Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reading Magazines

Last night, about 9:45 PM, I pulled a book off the reading pile and began reading, mug of coffee at the ready. I'm sure I'll give a report on it, 510 pages from now. For the last three weeks or so I've been concentrating on reading magazines. On the end table between Lynda's and my reading chairs, we each have a stack. Actually I have two. One is a stack of books; the other a stack of magazines and newsletters. I tackle each as the spirit moves me. Actually the stack of books is not my reading pile. It is the current book I'm reading, plus a Bible or two, and maybe a study book. My reading "pile" is actually out of sight, on a bookshelf in my closet.

The magazine pile is quite varied. I only subscribe to one magazine, Poets and Writers, and that's a one-year experiment. I'll see in February if I'll renew it. But we get lots of other mags or newsletters. There's alumni magazines from the University of Rhode Island, the University of Missouri, the UoM College of Engineering, and I think Lynda may get something from the University of Kansas. We get a magazine twice a year from our timeshare organization, every month from our rural electric cooperative, and one a month from AAA. They pile up.

Then add to that the newsletters: Prison Fellowship, New Fields Ministries, our water utility, Focus on the Family, the Bella Vista POA, the non-official Bella Vista newsletter (almost a mag), and a couple more. These pile up as well. Lynda gets a couple every month from various stock trading organizations, though those may be more "buy our service" type of ads rather than true newsletters. I also classify as "magazines" things such as annual reports from insurance companies and stocks. We get a few of those.

Then add the mags we pick up at thrift stores, yard sales, or the recycling place. That one is amazing. When the magazine box is full, you have your pick of hundreds within reach. Conversely, when they've just emptied the box, you can't reach any. We normally come away from there with just about the same number that we drop off. The National Geographic I've read recently came from there—though we've got years of the Geographic on shelves downstairs, waiting for me to get to them.

I try to read them all. Why? I feel like I'm probably missing something if I don't read them. They come to me to impart knowledge, maybe even wisdom on occasion. How can I simply trash them? Certainly what I pay for I'm going to read. Every page. Even the ads. Those that come free I might skim. Oh, wait, most of those I actually pay for. The cost is just hidden in the utility rate or the overhead of the organization. The ministry newsletters are always interesting. New Fields is an organization of Russian-Americans who provide a wide range of Christian ministries in the countries of the former Soviet Union. They do a great work, including much humanitarian work.

So for the last three weeks, when reading time materialized, rather than go to my reading pile I grabbed something off the mag pile. As of Monday night the mag pile was left with only two things it in. One was something from Blue Cross Blue Shield that I just didn't feel like reading. The other was the timeshare org mag, and that is almost as much sales pitch. So I felt caught up and grabbed the book from the reading pile. While it's a rather large book, it will feel good to get back into that kind of reading. At ten pages a night and a few more on the weekend, I should finish this around the end of September or early October. By then another ten to fifteen magazines should have piled up.

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