I wonder how many of you, like me, have vowed to cut down on clutter in 2014. I won’t say I’ve “made a resolution” because I don’t do those, it’s more an intention. One of the things that tend to clutter my life (and house!) are magazines and that goes against another one of my intentions which is to read more often and more widely, so important for a writer (I guess I am a writer, huh?) which is why I like magazines. But they do tend to accumulate in piles waiting to be read through the year, right?
I go through phases of subscribing to my favourite food, travel and tech magazines then the next year I unsubscribe, claiming I don’t have time to read them all. Then I regret my decision and re-subscribe the following year. 2013 was a year when I re-subscribed to a lot of magazines because I missed reading them but the end of the year saw me lugging about 12 of those magazines to Australia to read on the plane ride there. So clearly I didn’t have as much time to read magazines as I thought. And as I was reading them, I noticed that with many of them I was simply leafing through, rather than reading in depth. And it got me thinking. As I sat on the plane looking around at how different people were keeping themselves occupied during the
interminable 21 hour flight, I saw a few people reading many of the same magazines I had weighing down my bag on their iPads, so not weighing them down at all. I’ll admit I was a bit jealous (magazines are heavy!).
I’ve subscribed to a few magazines’ iPad versions in the past and have found it to work pretty well except for magazines with tons of recipes I want to cook. When I cook from a magazine, I like to write notes on the actual paper about how it worked and if anything needed tweaking, so I wasn’t a huge fan of completely replacing recipe magazines with their digital versions. Other magazines, like travel, tech, photography, heck, even teaching publications – those work better for me digitally. But if I subscribed to every magazine I *might* want to read a few articles a year in, well I’d never get anything done (not to mention the cost!).
So when I was asked last week if I’d like to check out Next Issue and write about my experience with a free 30-day trial, I couldn’t have been happier – what perfect timing to help me with my “de-cluttering” intention! What is Next Issue, you ask? Well it’s a app for iPad, iPhone , Android or Windows 8 devices which gives you access to over 100 magazine titles for $9.99CAD per month (including back issues). The perfect solution for someone who can’t decide between a number of different magazines, like me! The signup process is pretty simple and before too long I was staring at my first selections from the offerings…
Magazines like Wired, Yoga Journal, Food Network Magazine, Real Simple and The Vegetarian Times are ones I would buy from time to time only so Next Issue is a great solution for those occasional purchases. Saveur and Bon Appétit are magazines I subscribe to in print but I was interested to see how the digital versions have changed since I last looked at them over a year ago now. I figured this might be a great way to figure out whether I want to continue with the print versions or not (and for travel there’s no question of which version is the best choice!).
As we’re planning a couple of trips to Gascony in the next few months, I was excited to see I had access to Condé Nast Traveler’s July 2013 issue featuring this story by Michael Ruhlman about the “other south of France” and featuring one of my favourite people in Gascony – Kate Hill.
Since this article is pretty much guiding our planning for our upcoming March trip, I’m happy to have this on my iPad for access on the go. It’s a wonderful article outlining all that Gascony has to offer anyone who’s interested in food and France and who wants something a little off the beaten track (for now).
Since photography is such a huge part of blogging these days, I figured I couldn’t go wrong checking out Popular Photography for a few issues.
Typically with a magazine like this, there are only a few articles I will want to check out (“Photo Gear for your Smartphone” for instance) so Next Issue is a great way to do just that without committing to a subscription or even the price of one issue.
Similarly, Real Simple is a magazine I like to read every so often but not all the articles appeal to me. I liked this one from last year about “869 New Uses for Old Things” – with hints like tucking a guidebook inside the cover of a regular novel so you don’t stand out as a tourist when you are travelling (totally the type of thing I do!).
Even though I do prefer to flip through print versions of recipe magazines for inspiration, there’s only so long you can stand in the store looking at magazines and if I bought every magazine which had a recipe I wanted to try, I’d be in a lot of trouble! I really enjoyed looking at the Next issue version of Vegetarian Times as I am always looking out for new vegetarian recipes and form the couple of issues I’ve flipped through already I already have a lot of ideas for make-ahead meals (crucial at this busy time of year) and some great new soup ideas (because who isn’t on the lookout for great new soup recipes?).
I mean cooking IS science, right, and when I saw this quote from David Chang (he of Momofuku fame):
Yes natural is good and healthy, and whole foods are important. However, experimenting is important too. [...] Let’s celebrate the kitchens, labs and people who are creating foods and tastes we’ve never experienced before.
I immediately downloaded the issue. I mean, yes, I am all for from-scratch cooking and whole foods too but cooking as a science fascinates me and as a teacher of cooking, I can never stop learning myself.
All in all, my first week of my Next Issue 30 day trial has been great – the app is easy to use and as long as you are patient and only download one issue at a time, it works very seamlessly. I’m going to explore a few different titles over the next few weeks but I think that Next Issue just might de-clutter my life (and house) a little in 2014 – and provide me with some great reads for my commute to work.
Want to try it out? Sign up for your FREE 30-day trial on Next Issue Canada here.
Disclosure: I received compensation for writing this post, however, opinions are 100% my own.