May 2018
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Lessons learned from my stack of magazines.

Honestly, I only subscribe to three magazines: The Economist, Rolling Stone, and Ex-Berliner.

The Economist is expensive and I get it delivered to my home in Berlin – it is the only appointment reading that I have every week. I read it from cover-to-cover in a specific order (cartoon, letters to the editor, then I glance at Europe, skip to the United States and read straight to the back (including the obituary, but skipping special sections), then I move to the front and read forward until I get to the United States, then read special sections. Once I am finished with an issue, it goes straight into the recycling bin.

Rolling Stone, on the other hand, was a birthday gift a very long time ago – two friends gave me a lifetime subscription ($99 at the time), but delivery is only in the United States. Thankfully I have a friend who willing accepts it and then forwards me four or five issues at a time. I try to read them relatively shortly after receiving them, but, I will admit, that I sometimes let them slide and it takes me a few months to read them. Once I finish an issue, I put it in another stack and then mail it to a friend who reads them after me.

Ex-Berliner is a magazine, of sorts, aimed at the English speaking peoples of Berlin. It comes once a month and it can either be a delight or it can be tedious. This month it features an interview with two of Berlin’s Femen-ists and a 15 page drinking guide. The interview with the former kept my attention for about 3 minutes. The latter was a waste of 15 pages, at least for me. The review of Berlin politics can sometimes be amusing. I think that I subscribe to it because I feel like I should – although some of the issues are quite interesting. I usually keep the current issue through the end of the calendar month and then recycle it. I will admit that sometimes I delay reading it for a week or two, thus rendering its calendar of event’s somewhat useless.

If that was all that was in my stack of magazines, I wouldn’t feel so bad – but my stack of magazines has, accidentally, reached epic proportions.

Every time I visit a magazine stand (typically in the US or UK, but sometimes at train stations in Germany), I usually end up buying a stack of magazines that I think I will (eventually) read. And I do. Sometimes months later. Or a year. I just found the June issue of attitude magazine – June 2012, that is, the annual naked issue of the somewhat famous British gay magazine. At least it promises to be interesting.

Right next to it was the June/July 2012 issue of instinct magazine, an American gay magazine, which proved quite the opposite. I flipped through it in about, oh, 3 minutes? Maybe a bit less. Yeech—it had nothing in it and I will not be buying it again.

I decided to make a push to read as much of the stack as I can, in order to reduce it, because in a month I shall be Stateside, and I fully plan on stocking up on magazines again.

Only this time I will read them in a timely fashion.

I swear.

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