I have been reading magazines for a very long time. Getting one in the mail is always so exciting to me. I would run to my room with a fresh magazine in hand, no crinkles or folds or anything, and read the entire thing cover to cover. Here’s a little timeline of my magazine history, ending with the magazines that I read today.

(Note: All magazine covers are of issues that I actually owned unless otherwise noted.)

Highlights for Children

I stopped getting Highlights over 13 years ago, so finding a cover photo has been too difficult. The covers look so different now. 😩

I was subscribed to Highlights for a few years and, man, how I loved it. Goofus and Gallant, those tricky Hidden Pictures, the adorable Timbertoe family. One of my goals was to have something of mine published in Highlights but I was never proud enough of anything to send in. (Or maybe I just was always too lazy to send something in?) And I loved the crafts even though I made maybe 3 in my entire life. I got those subscription cards from school and I bought into it for a few years before my parents decided I was maybe getting a little too old for it.

Not to worry, I found a new magazine to replace it in my life a little while later.

American Girl

I was subscribed to American Girl for a couple of years! This was back in the olden days, when a wee Victoria Justice was on a cover! loved AG, as we were told to call it. I aspired to be a cover girl for this magazine. I liked that this magazine was tailored for girls and had crafts, stories, advice, all kinds of great stuff. When they introduced the MINI version of the magazine to cut out and assemble, I was all sorts of giddy.Alas, I started getting older and the content started changing a little. I was aging out of AG and the content changes reflected that. It was time to move on to some tween-teen magazines.

YM (Your Magazine)

Oh Orlando Bloom. I think this was my first issue.

I don’t even know how I learned about YM… but I was subscribed until the magazine went under. 😩 This is where I started learning about celebrities, makeup, fashion… the stuff that fuels most of the female magazine industry. I didn’t apply any of it, really, but I have to say that I learned a LOT and I was actually really sad that the magazine tanked. This was also the first magazine for which I followed their website, but that soon folded as well.

Teen Vogue my subscription hadn’t quite run its course, I received maybe 5 issues of Teen Vogue following the collapse of YM.

I did not like Teen Vogue. It was half advertisements, so finding any actual content was difficult. Then when I did find content, it was so much high fashion that I could not afford and didn’t care enough about anyway. I would dread reading these but still comb through in the hopes that maybe SOMETHING would be of value. I would enjoy maybe 1-2 items per issue. It was a dark time. I needed something to fill the hole that YM left.

CosmoGirl!! or CG, as I was told to call it, filled that void really well. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that it was the spin-off of the risquĂ© Cosmopolitan magazine but I liked it a lot. It had everything I liked in YM, basically. This helped me learn what society wanted me to be as a tween girl. At one point, there was even a little CG manga story in there! I liked that a lot.

But I liked it. I learned different ways to make my hair nicer (it was very chemically damaged from perms and highlight jobs at the time) and my skin smoother (I had just realized that there was a name for the bumps on my face – keratosis pilaris). It was a good run, but that, too, had to end.

It would be a while before I would have my own magazine subscription again. High school was more or less magazine-less. But in college, I started reading a few that today I still keep up with on their websites and through my parents’ subscription.


I don’t like Sarah Silverman but I loved the “Why Things Suck” feature

My brother got a subscription to Wired most recently in our house, but we had a subscription a few years ago. I now follow Wired online only, primarily through their Facebook promotion of articles. I love reading their articles. It’s mostly tech-oriented, which is good for me to learn more about something I don’t really know a whole lot about, but there are lots of great articles about science, design, innovation, business. I love it.

Women’s Health

The last issue I received in the mail

I had started reading some other magazines that were less “women’s fluff” and more serious, primarily Time and Wired (see below), but I still wanted something that was going to make me physically feel like a better person. I like reading about keeping myself healthy – healthy food, healthy body, healthy face, healthy mind. I didn’t resubscribe but I still read WH online.

This week’s issue, which I recently finished reading

Ahhh, Time. This helps keep me in the loop with what’s going on in the world. I get to learn a lot about politics, news, designs. Time makes me feel connected to the world and to the people who live in this world. (Also, it’s nice that it makes me look smart while I’m commuting to work.) Of course, Time is also wonderful to read online.

I don’t think I forgot any. I have read a bunch of magazines in waiting rooms and the like, but these are the ones that I have been reading regularly.

[ EDIT ] I almost forgot!

Scientific American

Nerd cred? Yes. This is definitely a great read if you are a fan of science, as the articles are often written by the scientists who are conducting the research. Super informative and really great for keeping up with a lot of disciplines of science. I got a free subscription with an MCAT prep course I took and I like reading it when I see it.

Do you subscribe to any magazines? Have you ever?
Do you prefer reading physical magazines or do you follow your favorites online?