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Why I’m quitting the magazine habit

October 31, 2015

magazine stash

Hello I’m Ruthy and I’m a magazine addict. Commuting by train every weekday means that I frequently pop into to WHSmiths to purchase yet another monthly mag. But as of today I am calling a halt to this habit for the following reasons:

  • glossy magazines make me feel vaguely dissatisfied with my life
  • there is too much temptation to buy things featured in the magazines, whether it is a new handbag or a recipe book
  • the content is actually pretty repetitive and predictable, so now we are in October it is all about how to have the perfect Christmas and in January there will be diets aplenty…
  • there is lots of interesting stuff to read online these days, including some fantastic blogs
  • magazine issues pile up around the house and make the place look untidy
  • they may only cost a few quid each, but I dread to think how much I have spent in total over the years…

I’ve made previous attempts to quit this habit but I am really determined to stop now. By saying this publicly here I hope that my willpower will be strengthened.

This also links in with my intention to collect moments not things. I’m going to keep track of the money saved by not buying magazines and put it towards a trip to Paris with two of my sisters in the spring.

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38 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2015 12:14 pm

    I changed my habit and now I get two a month on subscription which are Christmas gifts

    • November 8, 2015 6:44 pm

      Sounds like that is a good solution for you.

      I’ve been getting two a month on subscription too, but it hasn’t stopped me buying further magazines in the shop. So I’m not going to renew the subscriptions.

  2. October 31, 2015 1:41 pm

    Great idea about saving the money up for something more special! It’s been ages since I bought mags for me – I bought 2 home ones this month as we’re buying somewhere new and I need inspiration though 🙂

    • November 8, 2015 6:48 pm

      I’m hoping that saving the money up for Paris will help my willpower.

      There are lots of excellent blogs with home inspiration and Pinterest can also be good 🙂

  3. October 31, 2015 6:51 pm

    Airports were my downfall, but now that I don’t travel for work, I’ve curbed that. I’m even trying to let my current subscriptions expire and not renew because of the clutter they cause. Oh, a sister’s weekend sounds wonderful. I have one next week, but Midwest USA, nothing so exotic as Paris, but the company will be good.

    • November 8, 2015 6:53 pm

      I’m letting my subscriptions expire too. No more magazine clutter for me! Hope your trip to Midwest USA went well.

  4. October 31, 2015 7:06 pm

    Good luck with quitting magazines, I go through phases with them – I read them for a while then don’t for ages. x

    • November 8, 2015 6:55 pm

      I’ve been going through a particularly bad phase with magazines recently, partly because of finding work quite stressful over the last few months. Thanks for wishing me luck. x

  5. Soph permalink
    October 31, 2015 8:50 pm

    I quit all magazines a few years ago, for similar reasons to those you have mentioned. I also noticed that a lot of the glossy women’s magazines had a right-wing, imperialist slant to their current affairs content and a lot of them spouted utter nonsense about Islam and Muslims. The only previously good, balanced and useful magazine IMHO, Prima used to be fantastic, had really good recipes and ideas and a free pattern but now the content is nowhere near as good as it was and they no longer include the pattern-it has to be ordered. Recently though I was tempted back to them by a glossy food and lifestyle magazine. I’ve come to realise though that it is as you’ve said, like all other magazines it has repetitive content, and in addition it has complex and fairly costly recipes for the most part and the news section by the time the magazine is published, it is very old news. Especially considering most of the stories I have read online weeks ago. So back to buying no magazines again. If I’m going on a train or plane I bring my own books to read or play games I have already on my phone. I went from buying five magazines religiously every month and three or four others most months, so it can be done. Good luck!

    • November 8, 2015 7:20 pm

      Yes Prima used to be good, and some of the free patterns were really good. I miss the old-style Prima!

      I was really impressed with the lack of clutter in your house when I visited last month, so quitting magazines has obviously worked for you.

      Thanks for wishing me luck!

  6. Stephanie Ness permalink
    November 1, 2015 7:35 am

    I quit my magazine habit about 8 years ago when I relised how often the content was becoming recycled, and repeated. Also after I worked out my habit of Latte and Glossy read was costing me about £5 a time x 2 a week….. ( this was my stop in a coffee shop once Kerenza was a pre school ). So best of British it’s a odd habit to quit, I would wonder forlornly over and nearly buy one. But would remind my self that my new hobbies took presidence ( inline skating, and book club) and stop my self x

    • November 8, 2015 7:23 pm

      As you say, a few quid a time adds up, and there are better ways to spend the money x

  7. November 1, 2015 9:31 am

    I haven’t bought a magazine in years and don’t miss it now. I think that’s partly because I don’t have any commute to do and don’t really have the time to read them. The costs do add up – cheaper to buy a book.

    • November 8, 2015 7:25 pm

      Yes it’s the commute that has led me to temptation. But I’m going to stick to books from now on, as I find books more satisfying to read.

  8. November 1, 2015 9:37 am

    About 20 years ago I developed a ridiculous addiction to house magazines, ironic given that I never put the lovely ideas into practice. I weaned myself off that after about 5 or 6 years but switched many of the subscriptions to travel magazines instead – at least those fed in to my travel planning in a more concrete way. But even then I had too many, so I gradually cancelled all of them. The only magazine I get now is one I bought a lifetime subscription to during a charity auction, it’s a travel magazine, though I feel bad that I rarely get round to reading it.

    Certainly in the food arena I find that most of the magazines are now simply following what the developments I’ve already read about on food blogs – it’s amazing how often the latest big theme or discussion on twitter / blogs magically appears very soon after in the supermarket food mags, for example.

    So I really prefer to get that kind of content via blogs.

    That said, I wonder if a good option for you MIGHT be something like Readly? You pay a monthly subscription and have access to a vast library of magazines, all the latest issues, and you read via a tablet, or your desktop computer, so no piles of magazines.

    It wouldn’t address the temptations to buy things you see in the magazines, but it may be a good compromise if you need one.

    • November 8, 2015 8:37 pm

      I remember your house magazine stash! Travel mags are much more you.

      Thanks for suggesting Readly. I’ve had a bit of play with it (there is a 2 week free trial) and it seems like a great way to dip into lots of different magazines, including titles I wouldn’t normally buy. Even at £9.99 a month, it would probably work out cheaper than what I’m currently spending, and there wouldn’t be paper magazines piling up in the house. I’ll see how I get on with quitting magazines completely, but it that doesn’t work I may well sign up to Readly.

      • December 5, 2015 4:02 pm

        Oddly enough, since commenting above, I got contacted by Readly to ask whether I wanted to run a giveaway on my blog, I said yes and am getting that up this month. But they also suggested a reader discount code, so hang on for that if you’re interested. x

      • December 5, 2015 4:39 pm

        Thanks Kavey! They persuaded me to sign up for two months for £5, so I’m still using it. Finding it fun to try out lots of different magazines, and my husband appreciates the fact that there are no paper copies piling up in the house.

    • January 2, 2016 9:22 pm

      I’ve been using my trial a lot lately, it has saveur and lucky peach, worth it for those two alone! Good photography ones too. Not as much travel as I’d like though. But I’m enjoying it a LOT!

  9. November 1, 2015 11:51 am

    I havent bought a magazine since my teens but the wife does occasionally buy one for the freebie.

  10. November 1, 2015 4:23 pm

    If there is a decent freebie then I will buy the magazine, but otherwise I am not too bothered and prefer books x

  11. November 1, 2015 5:38 pm

    I used to be terrible at buying magazines .. i to am collecting memories with #MagicMoments .. its important to keep sight of what matters xxxx

  12. November 1, 2015 8:56 pm

    I have to confess to being a mag addict too Ruthie! But you are right – there are plenty of blogs to read for free and saving the money for such a nice treat will help you to stay focused! Good luck! x

  13. November 1, 2015 9:00 pm

    I haven’t bought a magazine for ages! I’m too tempted to keep them and then end up with huge piles and nowhere to put them!

  14. nessjibberjabberuk permalink
    November 2, 2015 7:10 am

    I love magazines but they are a rare treat now. For the price of them I can’t really justify buying them. My friend though does have a subscription to a gardening magazine and she saves them up for me.

  15. November 2, 2015 2:23 pm

    It’s all the adverts that bug me! I find myself carting around a fairly thick magazine and there’s only half a dozen readble pages sometimes!

  16. November 3, 2015 6:53 am

    I gave up magazines a long time ago – I prefer to read things online

  17. November 3, 2015 7:03 am

    There are fantastic life style blogs on line that can replace your addiction to magazines. With a little money saved you treat your self with something you want.

  18. November 3, 2015 9:56 am

    I gave up on them a whole back – like you I found them repetitive and a bit demoralising at times!

  19. November 3, 2015 7:57 pm

    I buy the occasional magazine, when we travel. Tesco’s own magazine is great to grab every couple of months, as it if free :-).xx

  20. November 8, 2015 2:51 pm

    I only buy one if I see it has an expensive hand cream on it

  21. November 8, 2015 4:20 pm

    I do spend to much on magazines, they are my guilty pleasure! x

  22. November 9, 2015 3:53 pm

    Sounds like a good habit to crack. I am stopping some of my subscriptions to travel magazines but still like getting the kids magazines.

  23. November 11, 2015 10:46 am

    Really interesting reading this as I used to buy magazines all the time! Thankfully I’ve calmed down now. One subscription to Surrey Life (which was a gift) and I just buy the occasional photography magazine. I thought I’d really miss all the others but I really don’t 🙂

  24. January 2, 2016 9:15 pm

    I just learned from Kavey that you are “one of us” (magazine addicts)! I wrote about it in my 1 January 2015 post and have since made a lot of progress. Wishing you all the best!

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