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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

magazine hoarder

i love to read magazines.  i usually cram one in my purse when i go to the doctor's (next to my knitting of course).  my magazine subscription list is atrocious.  however, since i don't have a lot of time to read much anymore (wonder why?), my  interests have changed over the years, and the fact that magazines are expensive, i have dropped a lot of subscriptions.

over the past couple of years i started hoarding them.  i didn't do it on purpose.  it just sort of happened.

whenever i get a magazine, i skim it, maybe pull a recipe/craft/pattern/article that i really like, then add it to my stack.  initially, my magazines fit into a 12X12 basket.  then they grew into a 12X24 basket.  then i started piling the "weeklies" on top of the basket.  then the weeklies grew a foot tall.

when we renovated the living room a couple years ago, the basket went upstairs to my bathroom, and i kept a small basket of current magazines downstairs.  every couple of months i'd clean out the magazines, sending older ones upstairs and rearranging the ones upstairs.  pretty soon i had a stack of magazines on top of the basket upstairs.  then i had to split the stack in two.  the basket and the stack grew as tall as the bathroom sink (which is probably 3 feet tall).  downstairs, the basket turned into a leather lidded hassock, and i had 2 stacks of magazines, probably 18 inches deep.  the hassock also had a couple of books tucked in around the edges to prop the magazines up.

not long ago, while sitting in the tub (the only place in the house where i do read the magazines in peace), i looked at that pile and basket of magazines and felt sick.  i cleaned it out a few months prior and found magazines that were over 2 years old.  there were magazines that were either defunct or discontinued.  for some insane reason, i thought i could read (or realistically, skim) a magazine a night and then recycle it or give it to mom.  but i neglected to remember that sometimes i read books during my bath, and some nights i don't get to read at all.  and the magazines continued to stack up.

so last week, i started cleaning out the stacks.  the only magazines i kept were martha's (which i collect, Bob knows why), some old (and now defunct)  cookie and blueprint magazines, a handful a piece of inStyle and real simple (both canceled) and a couple of organic health magazines that i still wanted to read.  the stack shrank by a couple of feet!

the magazines i pitched:  parents and parenting magazines, a ton of women's days, family circle and good housekeepings, and the organic health magazines i wasn't interested in.  i took piles of magazines and pitched them out the big bathroom window, out into the back yard.  then i went and collected them and piled them into an old wine box.  let me tell you, that box was stuffed to the gills and heavy as heck.

now i look at that space where the magazines were, and i feel a lot lighter and freer.

i got to thinking about why i had so many damn magazines.  a lot of issues were a couple years old.  i had magazines older than my miscarriage.  was that why i held onto them so long?  why was i so afraid to throw them away?  they were just stupid pages bound together.  i figured i'd already culled what good things i wanted from them.  i was so sick of looking at them, and it was definitely time for them to go.

i'm trying a new magazine reading rule.  once i get a magazine, i try to skim/read it within a few days of receiving it, tearing out things that interest me, then either recycle it or pass it on to my mom.  so far, it's been working!

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