Anyone here at the Northshire will tell you that I am modest to a fault, but I suppose the added responsibility of the magazines -- following the unbridled success with changing light bulbs and putting out the event sign -- was inevitable after 12 years. I only bring it up as a clever segue into some observations about magazines in general. I guess I hadn't paid a lot of attention to them for quite some time.
The magazines I once read regularly seem to be thinner these days. Thinner or non-existent. It isn't fair, I know, to single them out as being more expensive than they used to be. Everything is more expensive than it used to be. There seems to be a nagging contradiction inherent in thinner and more expensive, however.
There certainly is a magazine for every interest and occasion. If the number of different magazines on a particular subject is any indication, this is a great area for running, decorating, investing, eating, and looking good. Didn't see anything on mortuary science, legal anachronisms, or Tom Hanks movies. You'd almost think there would be some interest in the first two.
My favorite so far has been one called Romantic Prairie Style. I flipped through it quickly, expecting to see an article titled "Erotic Things to Do With Tumbleweeds" or "Why Lanterns Instead of Candles." I did find an article called "173 Ways to Make Old Seem Fresh," that I assumed must have something to do with either sex or reupholstering.
The word "sex" beckons on the cover of an awful lot of magazines, the literary equivalent of the aroma of fresh bread from a bakery. I'm from an era when sex wasn't so analyzed. All these articles that focus on different aspects of it seem to place a lot of additional pressure on the participants to comply with printed guidelines. Whatever happened to pawing and fumbling?
If I had to apply a word to our selection here at the store it would be "classy." To be completely honest, however, I suppose I should use a qualifier. Maybe "generally classy" would be more accurate. That's not to say that we have magazines that feature an inordinate amount of skin or ones that are focused primarily on leather, chains, or inflicting pain. But, we do have a few that seem to exploit the rather pathetic need that some people have to enter the exalted realm of celebrity by splashing their private lives in public like graffiti in a fetid alleyway.
You can't have magazines with the word "Kardashian" on the cover and claim to have a selection that is above some degree of reproach. But, every once in a while, I have to deal with a bulb that just won't light, too.