Purchases that keep on giving #4: Magazines

IMG_20141226_101032

Part of my magazine collection

At one time or another I have been intensely interested in learning to skydive, taxidermy, knitting, sewing, oil painting, kung fu movies, film noir, kalashnikovs, diamonds, poisons, the subprime market crisis, science, forensics, the causes of birth defects, cooking, makeup, serial killers, the periodic table, embalming and loads more. Some of those interests are enduring, some were fleeting. Time goes very fast for me when I am learning about something just for the sake of it, but aside from a few things, the interest generally wanes after that.

That’s why I absolutely love my magazine subscription to Stack. They send me a new magazine or two each month on a random topic, put out by independent publishers. The ones I’ve received so far have covered street art, boxing, interns, gay men, plants, bicycle riding, Los Angeles, music, film, graphic design, happiness and inventions. It’s like Christmas once a month when my subscription arrives.

It’s also a purchase, and it’s one I considered long and hard about cancelling when I started my year without spending. But it’s something I decided to keep simply because it brings me so much joy. There have been a few standouts since I started, and I wanted to share two of them because they’re doing an amazing job and I guess its hard to survive in as an independent publisher in the digital age.

The Plant

This was my very first one and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s a beautiful, full-sized glossy magazine that features interviews with gardeners, landscaping tips, recipes based solely on commonly-grown edibles, gorgeous photography, erotic plant-based fiction (not even joking), an in-depth look at a feature plant and advice on growing more and better.

It’s a fun one to flick open now and again, and fills me with a desire to be more wholesome and self-sufficient. And to get out of the city. Which is completely unrealistic for me because I lose my shit when a pigeon flies in my direction and don’t even get me started on insects.

.

.

.

Works that Work: A magazine of unexpected creativity

Works that Work magazine aims to “publish articles that give you great dinner stories to tell your friends.” And they do. This is by far my favourite and I will get a subscription to it once my year of not spending ends. It’s only put out every six months, but the writing is of such a good standard and the topic is so broad that it could cover just about anything.

The issue I received had a fascinating long read on people who had lived through the siege of Sarajevo – the longest in modern history – and the way they had been forced to improvise to complete simple, every-day tasks. From hauling water up endless flights of stairs with no elevator to home-made thermos mugs constructed from salvaged boxes and bubble wrap, the people interviewed actually looked back on the time as one of the most interesting of their lives. Necessarily forced to develop a sense of community, people shared their inventions as quickly as they could and in a time with no conveniences, intermittent electricity and extreme danger, they innovated the most incredible things from the most unlikely materials.

There were so many other great stories in there as well: how the native Sami people of the arctic constructed dwellings that helped them follow reindeer herds across the tundra, how an entire city is constructed out of nothing every four years for the holy Indian festival of Kumbh Mela, and how the invention of a cheap solar lightbulb is changing lives in the Philippines.

My Stack subscription is a calculated spend that brings me far more joy than the 12eu a month price tag costs me. And it lets me peek into all sorts of interesting corners of our amazing world.

And by the way, if you’re like me and get crazy interested in things for a short time, you might also have felt like there was something wrong with you. I have always envied people who can sustain a deep, abiding interest in a single topic and find contentment in it. The people who always knew what they wanted to do with their lives. I’m still figuring it out, but I’m no longer punishing myself for all my interests. I’m learning to celebrate them, as I’m working my way through this book: Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. It’s a really liberating read for me and I feel much more at peace with my ADD and my broad array of interests.

And don’t worry, I didn’t buy the book. It’s something I’ve had on my shelf for a long time but have never actually sat down with. That’s another benefit of not spending, it forces you to shop your own bookshelf. And you bought everything in it for a reason, even if you haven’t gotten to it yet!

Advertisements

About colonizethemoon

36 years old. Reformed smoker. Unreformed drinker. Antisocial neighbour. Sometime shower-singer. Speaker of appalling German. On a quest to become a grown up. In all the good ways and none of the bad. Originally from Sydney (via Wales, Spain, and Newcastle, NSW) now living and working in god's country - aka Munich, Germany.

Posted on December 26, 2014, in Game on, My Purse is Closed and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You get to shop your own bookshelves, shop from the back of your closet and the bottoms of your drawers, cook from all those cookbooks and the interesting things you find in the pantry… 😉

    I’m getting ready for my purse closing journey, mostly by cheating now. I’m trying to take a long, hard look at what I’ve said I won’t spend money on after January 1st and see if there are any legitimate gaps that need filled. So far all I’ve acquired are some blouses and a sweater that I can wear to work and on the weekends and some craft supplies for specific projects. We’ll see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am similar in that I get really interested in things, and then my feelings wane. That is why I started the hobby blog–because my hobbies and interests change frequently–probably too frequently.
    The magazine service looks interesting.
    Happy Holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We must be kindred spirits because I too share the short time interest gene:) I read a book once (and I can’t remember what it was called) but it address this issue. People like us were labelled ‘scanners’ because that’s what we do and people you’ve described as going deeper into set subjects were described as ‘divers’. The definition settled well with me and I accepted whole heartedly that that’s what I am, a ‘scanner’. Funny how we buy books that we’re not ready for at the time but keep it till the time is right 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: