Part of the pleasure of growing up in the era I did was going to news stands. I liked confronting all those bright, snappy magazine covers. Though I usually ended up buying science fiction and mystery magazines, I usually tried other types, too. For no apparent reason I got hooked for a year or so on civil war magazines.
Later on, in college, I started reading political magazines, The New Republic, the Nation and sometimes the more radical kind featuring people such as Paul Krassner.
I continued to buy sf magazines long after I'd given up reading most of them. It may have been a neurotic attachment to my youth. Or maybe it was because I kept hearing how badly they were doing so I thought I'd kick in a buck to help keep them going.
I can remember my folks getting The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and The American. The latter was where I first read the Nero Wolfe novellas. I always watched for them. The Post seemed to have everybody from Luke Short to John D. MacDonald. John D. seemed to be in every issue of Colliers with great stuff.
I mention this because today I read a long article about how magazine are vanishing. Maybe the only people who'll miss them are my age or a little younger. But it sure was fun going to those news stands.
I want to thank everybody who wrote letters about westerns. What a fine collection of thoughts and suggestions.
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I find it incredibly depressing that you can go into Wal-Mart or the grocery store, look at the several hundred magazines for sale on their racks, and find not one word of fiction. When I was growing up (Geezer Alert!), all the drugstores and grocery stores in our little town out in the country carried the digest fiction magazines. Maybe not all of them, but a good selection.
We still subscribe to a lot of magazines but saw the same stats. Some of their prices are so low now I don't know how they stay in business. I guess the advertising rates haven't sunk too low yet. Our local Borders carries a dozen or so of the lit journals and some of the others. But I guess not for long.
I miss the newstands of old, the inner city ones that had thousands of different magazines and big comic book racks!
Civil War magazines rock, Ed. I'm a sucker for them also.
And there are definitely less newstands here in NY than used to be. Pretty sad.
I think I'll miss the magazines more than the newspapers. My neighborhood newstand shut down earlier this year. Does anyone know if The Phantom's Videoscope magazine is still being published?
My postman once told his son, with whom I played softball, that no one "got more magazines" than me. While growing up in northern Manitoba, one of my lifelines to the "outside" world was the small tobacco shop that had a magazine rack. Almost every day at noon hour or after school, I would stop there to see if anything new had arrived. That's where I bought my first copies of Sport and Sports Illustrated. Quick was a small photo digest that I always bought and my sister used to bring home the movie magazines. My parents always had subscriptions to several magazines including Readers Digest. My first-ever job was delivering the Canadian magazine Liberty. Over the years I've cut back and now I only subscribe to about four and occasionally pick up Esquire or GQ at a bookstore, but find that they pile up. I honestly can't say that I would miss any magazine that folded.
Patti--Borders is likely to fold before most of the surviving fiction magaziens do. Which is perhaps its own kind of sadness.
Wegman's is the only supermarket where I've seen fiction magazines for quite some time...the Penny Press/Dell cf and sf titles came along with their puzzle and astrology titles, at least for a while. Oddly enough, the handy B&Ns and Borders seem to discriminate against AHMM, while most carry EQMM, ASIMOV'S, and ANALOG. And at least a smattering of their circulation peers and the smaller-circ magazines (F&SF, THE STRAND, GRANTA, TIN HOUSE, ZOETROPE ALL-STORY, BOULEVARD, WEIRD TALES, SPACE AND TIME...most Borders used to be reliable for CEMETERY DANCE, not so much any more).
I still find myself picking up JAZZ TIMES and DOWNBEAT, SIGHT AND SOUND and VIDEO WATCHDOG (and the infrequent ASIAN CULT CINEMA, which like VW has lately been reaching out to fiction writers to beef up the writing), BITCH and BUST and the occasional MS., ESQUIRE and the occasional FHM UK or PLAYBOY, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and NEW SCIENTIST or NATURE, THE NATION and THE PROGRESSIVE and IN THESE TIMES and Z and the occasional LIBERTY (the mostly rightist, but not always, libertarian magazine) or ANARCHY when one appears. And the BUFFY comic, when I know my friend Alice hasn't picked one up for herself (and LOVE AND ROCKETS for myself when I remeber to look).
The big-box bookstores are very nearly the only newsstands worthy of the name I see these days.
...and MYSTERY SCENE and LOCUS, of course...
...and French PHOTO (vastly better than the US edition)...
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