A New System for Magazines and Much Hoo Ah!

When we got the bad news about how much stuff the moving company estimated that we have in our house, I culled books from the library mercilessly. Quilting books were not exempt, either. I also thought that the many back issues of American Quilter, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, McCalls Quilting, and a couple of others needed a hard look to see if I was really ever going to use any of them for anything.

I tackled QNM first, and looked through every magazine page by page, but pretty quickly, and tore out interesting articles or pictures of quilts that I liked or that I thought were inspirational in technique, design or color usage. The pile dwindled to nothing much faster than I thought it would, so I continued on with the IQA Journal, which is pretty thin and usually doesn’t have much in it that’s very interesting except pictures of the winners from the show in Houston. I went through this entire stack:

QNM Magazines

And kept out only this small bit of articles and quilt pictures:

QNM Magazines

Hoo Ah! Then I was sitting here thinking that this couldn’t be all of the issues of QNM that I had, since I’ve been a subscriber for years off and on, but mostly on. I started looking around further and guess what I found? Lots more:

More QNM mags!

It still wasn’t too bad going through all that, and then I just kept going through all the rest, because it didn’t take that long and it was kinda fun anyway. Nearly all of my many pounds of back issues have been reduced to a stack that’s about 2¼” high. A couple of days later, I tackled the old Martha Stewart Living mags from at least 10 years ago that were still sitting here as well. Hoo Ah Hoo Ah!

My only qualm about ripping apart all these mags was that I wondered if I would be passing over articles or pictures that I’m not necessarily interested in now, but might be later, and then I wouldn’t have them. I finally just had to say “whatever” and get on with it. They’ll always publish more magazines, after all. Big Hoo Ah to that one!

After all was said and done, I was kind of amazed in a couple of ways. First, that it took relatively little time to do this, and second, that there were so few articles and pictures that were really interesting enough to keep out of all those magazines that I paid so much money for. I guess that’s just how magazines are, but it surprised me even more when I picked up the very latest issue of QNM that I had, March 2008, that I picked up at the bookstore in Heidelberg just three weeks ago or so, and tore it apart to only keep about five pages. The dang magazine is $6.99 or something like that, and I kept five pages? Ouch. No Hoo Ah there. 😦

ITMan says it’s not really that bad, since it is entertainment value as well. Hmfph. The whole exercise has provided a new view of how much value there really is in a quilting magazine, and how that money could perhaps be better spent elsewhere. If I buy at the bookstore, four magazines = a quilt book and two magazines = more than a yard of fabric. Obviously, buying by subscription is better, but even so, at $20 or more for a year, there are still other things that could be bought that might bring more lasting use or enjoyment.

I must note that American Quilter, IQA Journal, and Quilting Quarterly are included in the membership benefits of AQS, IQA and NQA respectively, so it doesn’t seem quite as bad cost-wise, maybe. The back issues of these were not exempt from the rip and tear process, however. I did sort the bits that I kept from all the mags into separate piles of articles and pictures, and maybe at some point I’ll drill down even further into categories and styles (or maybe not 😉 ).

I still have a stack of Real Simple magazines to plow through, but it’s not high on my list of priorities before next Tuesday when the packers are scheduled to arrive, though that is something I could do while they’re here packing up boxes, I guess. So this leads me to my “new system” with the magazines: read through them once when purchased or received in the mail, and tear out interesting articles and pictures as I go, and toss the rest immediately. New house, new organization, new system, no magazine pileups. A Big Double Hoo Ah Hoo Ah!

(Do realize that we are moving into true Army territory in Heidelberg, as opposed to this slightly weird Joint Command situation here in Stuttgart, so Hoo Ah is the name of the game there and us Air Force folks must get into context! It’s an interesting pronunciation for “Hoo Ah!” The two syllables are squished together and said very quickly. It should kind of sound like someone punched you in the stomach or maybe like the very tail end of a vigorous sneeze when you say it with the proper inflection and gusto! All together now: Hoo Ah! According to ITMan and some sort of “Army guide to Hoo Ah” that he found in his closet while cleaning out, Wikipedia has the spacing and capitalization all wrong though. 😀 )

Your voice: How do you handle the magazine pileups in your house? Is it organization city, or death by paper?

2 thoughts on “A New System for Magazines and Much Hoo Ah!

  1. I have a shelf full of not-very-old quilting magazines. I plan to offer them to my local Freecycle group. There’s bound to be a quilter in the approx 1200 people on this email list.

    There are local Freecycle groups around the world. It is well worth joining cos it is a great way to give your stuff to people who will use it. Freecycle groups are Yahoo groups. I’m sure Mr Google or Yahoo will help you find if there is one near you.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up about Freecycle, Gillian. I’ll have to keep that in mind for when we move back to the States, since the messages on the groups pages here are all in German, and I don’t speak it well enough to get by with something like that. 😦 What a great concept though. I had no idea something like this was around!

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