Pic via internet /Almay
Magazines have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and that's a l-o-n-g time. Owing to other priorities on our limited income and the ever escalating cost of periodicals they are now an occasional luxury rather than a routine purchase.
I have mentioned Monocle before because it is more than just a magazine. The publishers operate a radio station, shops, a café and various global events. It is decidedly up-market but hey, even if I cannot embrace their lifestyle any more I can still keep an eye on what the movers and shakers are up to. The current issue [Number 94] is £6 for 225 pages, ... but I only buy issues 'as and when' Great journalism and reporting allied with top drawer production standards are never going to be cheap.
The current issue of Esquire demonstrates many of the reasons that I stopped buying it some ten years ago. The regular cover price is around £4.30 and the current 146 page issue is on offer at £2.50. A reduction like this may be considered as desperation resulting from falling sales and diminishing advertising revenue. Esquire was established in the USA as a quarterly back in 1933. It was riding high in the 1950's thanks to a mix of thoughtful articles and urbane sophistication that attracted top writers, photographers and models of the day.
It saddens me to see that it seems to have become a gutter location for articles with more expletives than I would utter in a month, poor grammar and syntax and only one female ... a post-it size mono shot from the 1960's of Marilyn Monroe. It appears to be aimed at men who are seriously in touch with their feminine side, who are too young or lazy to shave, who wear tattoos [but no socks with formal suits] and think that shorts are a good look for inland towns. An epic fail waiting to happen!
And so to the jewel in the crown of mens' magazines [not to be confused with Lads' Mags !] GQ is all the things that Esquire aspires to be and misses. Serious and thoughtful articles, playful features and even a couple of pulchritudinous ladies to restore our faith in female attractiveness. 250 pages of reading pleasure where even the upmarket advertisements are showcased in a suitable environment. A great mix although they do tend to go overboard on sport from time to time ... in issues that I skip. I just don't get the appeal.
I thought I had bought a second hand paperback book for £1.90 via Amazon. The package was too big for the letterbox which meant a pick up at the local sorting office. Published at £25 in 2001, this luxuriously presented coffee-table hardback book features 400 superb colour photos of Italian interiors and homes. Appropriate enough as we are having a refurbing staycation this year.
So what's with all this reading? It is true that I would rather be strolling along the local beach but the prevailing NE winds have never been my favourites. It appears that summer may have arrived and the weather is set fair for a few weeks. Wall to wall sunshine, zephyrs of breeze and calm seas. Wow!