Coming home after back-to-back trips — the first one the longest vacation I’ve taken in years — gives me a fresh look at my surroundings. Sam’s condo has always been much neater than my house was when I was downsizing. I knew my piles of reading material were accumulating, but living here every day, I didn’t quite notice how much. It’s not just what I’m currently reading or even what I’m planning to read, I’m holding on to what I’ve already read and “might want to see again”.
Here’s a sampling from the stack in the corner…How old are some of these magazines? *Blush* — um, decades.
First — Smithsonian, 1982. “Yak caravan makes way back to Tibet after trading in Nepal.” I couldn’t possibly let this go, could I? Because: yaks!
I’m focusing on magazines. For books I (maybe) have better excuses. Some of these magazines are here because I found them in storage, brought them back to sort out and still haven’t let go; some are recently accumulated.
Utne Reader, 1992. Here’s an oldie, but somehow I can’t seem to move on. It may be from decades past but I still want to “free myself from consumer culture.” (I’m working on it)
Annals of Improbable Research, 1996. Bob used to take this magazine, and I found several in the basement.
More on Improbable Research: In case you didn’t notice, this issue’s cover photo features seeing an image of ET in a “ventral view of Capillaria (Nematoda: Trichinelloidea) from the epithelium of the tongue of a long nosed bandicoot” from New South Wales, Australia.
The New Yorker, May 1990. Clearly I should never subscribe, if I still have an issue after this long. Upon examination, it doesn’t have the article I thought I was keeping it for. (Maybe here’s one I can pass along after all)
Aura Publications, 1976. This is the oldest one in the stack and here’s a mystery. I remember having a photograph accepted in an exhibition called Aura, but that would have been a decade later. I wasn’t taking photography classes yet in 1976. I have a list of publications somewhere; I’ll check that out next time it surfaces.
Writer’s magazines – at last, something contemporary. I’ve kept these to refer to, but shouldn’t I move on?
Star Trek cruise activity schedule, 2018. Technically not a magazine, but it insinuated itself into the stack. I kept it after our January vacation because I wanted to research a couple of the space and science presentations. Time to scan it if I think I still need to, and let this one go. See? Worf is glowering at me for keeping it all these months.
There must be a lesson here. (Besides the shout out that “Hey, writers and photographers, there’s someone out here who appreciates your work enough to hold on to it!”)
I also have clipped-out articles for how to do something, magazines with great photos, and other quirky things of interest — special thanks here to Bob’s 1980-90s stash of Smithsonians. I’ve tried online subscriptions, with the result that I never got around to reading the issues. Apparently I need a real presence to pay attention. Last year I asked the library about donating subscriptions, then going there to read the magazines. Apparently that’s complicated, and I was not met with enthusiasm.
I could do a massive scan project, or maybe I just need to realize I can’t keep everything that interests me, and move on. Are you a keeper of magazines, and if so, how do you rein yourself in?