Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things to read

So, why have I decided to come back into the blogsphere just now?

Well, I've spent the last five years reading other people's words after getting fed up with trying to think of my own. Gradually the need to waffle on again has overtaken me and adding the occasional comment to the other blogs I read hasn't fulfilled that need, so here I am having a go a the real thing for myself once more. Hopefully someone, somewhere will get some enjoyment out of reading this along the line.

Some of those other blogs have been talking about magazines recently (see for example David Hepworth and five-centres) and that got me thinking about the ones I have pored my way through over the years.

There were always magazines in the house when I was growing up. Mum favoured My Weekly and Family Circle while Dad was a subscriber to National Geographic and also had some relating to his job as an Electrical Engineer. There were also two others we had all the time, but I'll come back to those later.

When we first got our ZX81 (and probably beforehand during the decision making) the Computer Magazine made it into our lives. Sinclair User was the first, to be followed in time and as the computer changed by Your Spectrum/Your Sinclair, Crash, Computer & Video Games, ST Format, Edge, Mean Machines, Mega, Games TM and Retro Gamer. I have subscribed to some of these over the years, and bought others off the shelf religiously every month but now find I read no computer or gaming magazines at all.

Music mags had a stronger hold on me, with Q, Kerrang, Raw Power, Sounds, NME, Mojo, Vox, Classic Rock, Rock & Reel and even Lime Lizard holding my weekly or monthly affections from time to time. But, as with the computer ones, I have stopped buying music magazines at present. I will still dip in when there is something particularly tasty on the cover or something I want to hear on a covermount CD but there is just too much out there and not enough time to consume it for me to be a regular reader right now.

So what do I still get month in, month out? Well, just SFX and Death Ray (and that one is a bi-monthly publication anyway). I've been buying SFX since the first issue and just can't seem to stop. Same with Death Ray. Even if I do only read half of most issues these days. Too many articles on films and tv shows I'm just not interested in, but enough wheat within the chaff to keep me going.

And then there's the Radio Times. This, along with the TV Times up until the listings market got de-regulated and we onlyhad to get one, has been the staple magazine of my entire life. I cannot remember a time when Tuesday evening wasn't spent ploughing through the listings to see what we might want to watch next week. The arrival of the Christmas double-issue, presaaged by a couple of weeks of early publications, is still one of the highlights of the year. Even if the amount I actually choose to sit down and watch shrinks on an almost daily basis, knowing what I have to choose from (or choose to avoid) is one of those things I just have to work out. Every Tuesday.

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