One of my favorite things to do on my days off is to visit a library (stop laughing), find its magazine section, curl up with a beverage in my hand, and pore over the news, fashion, trends, and other curiosities magazines can offer. This usually gives birth to elaborate fantasy lives: someday, I too will make funky furniture out of found objects or run an ultramarathon! Who knows? I might even finally get my life together once and for all. Again, I beg of you: stop laughing! Sometimes everybody needs a cappucino, a glossy periodical, and a dream.
If you’re inclined to idle away a few hours in a similar fashion, you’ll find yourself surrounded by plenty to dream about. You can pretend you’re the next Bob Vila, Anthony Bourdain, or Kanye West. You can plan your next vacation, create the ultimate fantasy sports team, or get ideas for the outfit you’ll wear when you accept an Oscar for your screenplay (which was, of course, based on your award-winning short story).
Not a dreamer, per se? That’s okay, too. Magazines can be both practical and sensible. Like many people right now, you might have concerns about your finances. If you’re a news junkie, periodical punditry might intrigue you. Maybe you value matters of religion and faith, or family matters, or both. In fact, that’s one of the best things about magazines: there are so many of them, on so many diverse topics, that you can indulge your sensible and zany sides simultaneously.
From where I’m sitting, though, the shiny disco ball of imaginative goodness that magazines provide definitely trumps any sensible concerns I might have. I might not get to Paris anytime soon, but I can fuzzle over Le Nouvel Observateur. I’m a mediocre poet at best, but with a flip through The New Yorker, I can be inspired by the genius of others, and strive to be a little better. And for sheer mindless, frivolous fun, you cannot beat the guilty pleasures of Cosmo, Glamour, and In Style, especially if you take what you find there and make your next trip to the thrift store an informed adventure.
So, the next time you get tired of squinting at all of your news and entertainment online, consider seeking out one of our cozy magazine rooms. All you need are a few spare hours, some coffee, and a dream to enjoy the power and pleasure of our magazines.
All good things come to an end, and the next intstallment of Shelf Examination will be the last. Tune in to see which collection will be featured, and what crazy adventures we’ll embark on next!