I used to be a voracious magazine reader. However, since I started working in magazine publishing eons ago, reading magazines has ceased to be the pure pleasure it once was. I would start out opening one for the sheer fun of it but even before the halfway point, I would be thinking of story ideas, which layouts worked and which didn’t, and of course, agonizing over the articles. The last part was envy mostly — why I can’t write the way the writers in these magazines wrote. And so, ironically, while I was putting together my own publications, I was reading fewer and fewer of them. I still browse through a lot, but they were mostly for professional reasons, not for the joy of actually having a new issue of a favorite magazine in hand.
Until recently, that is; reading them is fun once again. Maybe because my work, though still in publishing, is about one step removed from the glossies I used to work in before. I have come to accept though that part of me will always view them as work; I go through them with half a professional eye open. Occupational hazard I guess.
Anyway, today, there’s no work as it is Hari Raya Haji here in Singapore. So I’m spending the day puttering about the house and reading the four magazines that have always been on my reading list. (Though I don’t buy as many issues as before because they take up too much space!) These are the magazines that I would (still!) want to work for, given half the chance.
Vanity Fair: In this magazine, gossip and serious issues all get the same level of in-depth reportage. The result? A very engrossing read. I bought both the October and November 2013 issues, because I always try to buy the special issues and the October issue is the magazine’s 100th while the November issue has Maureen Orth’s interview with Mia Farrow about Woody Allen, among others. Explosive stuff!
Esquire October 2013: This is the magazine’s 80th issue. Esquire has always been one of my go-to magazines for great writing and this issue does not disappoint.
Glamour: I always buy this magazine. For me, it contains the best balance of fashion, beauty, advocacy and serious reportage that’s possible in a fashion lifestyle magazine. Of course, I don’t know how long the formula will remain the same. Rumor has it that Anna Wintour is eyeing a revamp of the magazine. I hope it’s not true because I like what Cindy Lieve has done to Glamour and no disrespect to La Wintour, she’s going to make a Vogue clone out of it once she’s done.
So anyway, back to my catch-up reading. Esquire first…