So yeah, we all already know that I am an unabashed, indiscriminate reader. Basically anything with words on it, I will check out. Oddly, I read very few magazines. Generally speaking, if I have the choice between reading a book or reading a magazine, I will pick the book. I guess I'm in it for the long haul.
There was a time when magazines were my top choice. Back the, I was a super busy full-time working mama and had almost no time to read anyway (except at night when I read story books to the boys at bedtime). But occasionally there would be those 5 minutes of waiting for the water to boil or the timer on the washer to buzz or the even more rare and luxurious moment when I was able to indulge in a lovely hot bath all by myself. Then a magazine was perfect. One article and the water had boiled, read one recipe and the buzzer went off. And in the case of the bath, if I accidentally dropped the magazine, the world didn't come to an end. Really back then, magazines were my lifeline to the rest of the universe.
And I didn't personally subscribe to any of those magazines that I read. I received a few gift subscriptions from family members but mostly they were pre-read magazines. I come from an entire family of readers and we are generous with our reading material. We pass it around, we share. And it was fun to read something with notes in the margin, crumbs in the fold, tea stains on the cover and once in awhile, a recipe already snipped out. It connected me to the other women in the family in a way that an unsullied magazine did not.
Now, however, I'm back to books. I have time to immerse myself in the story, to become committed to the characters, to curl up in my favourite corner of the sofa and read a book in one sitting. A perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. So I'm back to visiting the library on a regular basis.
It's not like I have nothing else to do of course. I'm still the chief cook and bottle washer around here and that fills a goodly part of my days. And then there are my teaching days and therefore the time spent writing up lesson plans, Pilates classes, my photo excursions (which will expand once Joy returns from Yellowstone) and my days at the museum.
And it was at the museum that I learned that one of the other ladies there is also a big reader, exclusively a reader of magazines. She and her friends trade magazines around the same way my family used to, and she seemed to be the final magazines repository. I noticed that she always left magazines behind when she finished her shift. I asked her about it one day and she said that she left it for whoever might want to read it after her. I volunteered ME! When she learned that I too was a big reader she began bringing magazines in by the stackful! Holy Moly!
To be absolutely honest, there was no way I was ever going to find the time to read everything in these piles. And frankly, a lot of it was of little interest to me. I mean, if I had NOTHING else to read, I absolutely would devour them, but given such a lovely wide choice, I could read as I liked and pass along the rest, unread by me.
There were quite a few Vanity Fair magazines in the pile. I don't believe I had ever picked one up before. I assumed (although one should never) that it was one of those glossy fancyschmancy style magazines that had absolutely no bearing on anything in my life and initially, I put it in the to be dismissed pile. But for some reason, before final discard, I finally pulled one out and thumbed through it.
Initially yes, it was a lot of glossy high end fashion stuff as I thought. Pretty but totally, completely and utterly out of the sphere of my real life. One of the ads was an absolute mystery to me. What on earth was this selling? High end knitted head covers? This is a Calvin Klein ad by the way. Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Hermes, Stella McCartney,Oscar De La Renta, Movado, Kate Spade, Ferragamo, Valentino...... page after page after page!
So there it was, so many advertisements showing amazing clothing and jewelery on very pretty people who do not ever smile, exactly as I suspected. I was about to just give it up and return the Vanity Fair magazine to the byebye pile when I ran across an article that struck me as interesting.
As it turns out there were a lot of very interesting articles. And not only interesting, but pertinent. And not only pertinent but damned fine writing. I was delighted and surprised. I set aside all of the Vanity Fair magazines, cruised through the shiny ads and gobbled up all of the fascinating articles eagerly. Shame on me for dismissing these magazines out of hand without checking them out first.
Inside the shiny pages of Vanity Fair I read about: actress Michelle Williams - not as an actress but as an outspoken fighter at the forefront of the Hollywood paygap battle; A behind the scenes look at the Trumps re-election campaign; the South Korean laboratory that clones people's pets for them; Steve Job's daughter Lisa; Elda Neyis Mosquera who was one of the most feared commanders of Columbia's guerilla army, and model/actress Maria Lani who, in the 1920's arrived in Paris, quickly became a popular artists muse and then, just as quickly, disappeared without a trace. And this is just a sampling from ONE issue of the magazine!
Oh my ! What I would have missed out on! Vanity Fair has gone from being completely dismissed by me to becoming one of my favourite reading materials.
Shame on me. I grew up being instructed to not judge a book by it's cover. Apparently that applies to magazines as well.
Learn something every day!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.