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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Magazines -- My Shameful Secret

When you attend any sort of gathering that involves librarians, people who work in libraries, people studying to earn a degree that allows them to work in libraries -- the talk often leans toward books. Ask those same folks about their passions and interests, and you'll hear about books and reading. It's inevitable. Right?

So here I am, a librarian, a long-time employee and patron of a variety of libraries, and I have to confess: I do love reading, but my real love is a thick, glossy magazine. Of course I love books, I've cherished them since my youngest days and have favorites I revisit time and again. But when I'm stuck home with an illness, when I'm trapped on a plane, when I'm blissed out on the beach or in a snazzy hotel coffee shop, or simply lounging in the tub, I loooooove a great magazine. I had my first letter to an editor published when I was ten years old (completely startling my parents and siblings, who had no idea).
While magazines remain a constant, I confess I am somewhat fickle in my affections for specific titles. My first loves were music magazines. Then followed a fixation on cooking and home-related fussiness. Fashion comes and goes, and so does my taste in fashion magazines, from
Allure to Vogue. And I love a magazine that's a little bit of everything - it's like a miniature library that slips into my handbag.

Why should you care? Because right here, at the Des Plaines Public Library, we have the most amazing selection of magazines I have ever seen. I honestly have to avoid it during my working hours, such is the temptation to browse. At my former library job, we also had hundreds of magazine titles. Well, sort of. It was a college library, so we had a collection of "periodicals," most of them something like, "The Journal of Research About Things You Can't Possibly Understand."

I'm kidding, but it was not the magazine lovers' paradise we have on the third floor of DPPL. Every day, on my lunch break, I can indulge a different side of my personality. Need a quick fix of fashion? There's Vogue, along with dozens of other fashion titles. When I need an update on what Sweet Lou, The Riot, DeRo and the boys are up to, I can grab this month's Chicago Cubs Vine Line. Travel magazines like In Britain and Ireland of the Welcomes remind me of happy times in places I love. The computer geek in me loves Macworld, the musician digs Rolling Stone, the English major craves The New Yorker and my soul likes a dose of Christian Century now and then.

But that's just me and my interests. With close to 700 titles, I dare say we've got a magazine for you, too. I took a stroll through the magazine stacks this morning and found this list of titles I never even knew existed:
  • Divorce
  • Forensic Examiner
  • La Cucina Italiana
  • Cloth Paper Scissors
  • Tea Time
  • Giant Robot - Asian-Americans, pop culture and martial arts
  • Going Bonkers - "The self-help magazine with a sense of humor"
  • Living Without - devoted to helping people with food allergies and chemical sensitivities
  • Trailer Life
  • Adoptive Families
  • Hobby Farms
  • Paranoia
If those are not your cup of tea, we have all the most well-known magazines, where you can satisfy your curiosity about the Jonas Brothers (on Rolling Stone???!!), Brad and Angelina's twins (People), and Carla Bruni (the "new Jackie O," according to Vanity Fair.) If you haven't browsed our magazine selection, you owe it to yourself to check it out. And speaking of checking it out, you can check out our magazines and take them home to enjoy for two weeks, except for the most current issues. (We keep those on the shelf so everyone has an opportunity to see them.) Wondering if we have a specific title? Go to the Library home page and in the Catalog box, top right hand corner, type in the title of the magazine, click the "Title" option, then click "Search." The Catalog contains all of our books, movies, music and magazines.

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