I’ve spent $8,880 on magazines! My magazine addiction

Note: this post originally ran in May 2015.  We are rerunning it to highlight a special program sure to please all you magazine lovers:

Learn to use Zinio
Thursday October 29, 11:30 am in the computer lab

Do you love magazines? Learn about the free digital library service Zinio for Des Plaines card holders. Our collection includes over 70 popular titles such as xhicago magazine, The Economist and Good Housekeeping. Bring your phone, tablet or laptop.

I've done the math and it's not pretty.  I am Heather, and I am a magazine addict. 

After much analysis (OK five minutes with a calculator), I've determined that I've spent approximately $8,880 dollars on magazines since 1978 when I purchased my first copy of Teen Beat and Seventeen. I'm probably underestimating here, but 5 magazines per month x 12 months x about $4 per magazine x 37 years = $8,880. 

Honestly, I thought it was going to be more. But still, that's a lot of money!

I just tried calculate how much money I'd have in my 401K if I'd invested that $8,800, rather than "wasted' it on magazines, but I've done my quota of math for the day (see above). I'm pretty sure it would be A LOT more than $8,880 though.

In my defense, this all began back in the days before computers, smart phones and tablets. Pre-cable and pre-DVRs.  Before blogs and Pinterest.  If you wanted to keep up on fashion, interior design, celebrity gossip or news even, you had to plop yourself down in front of the TV at a very specific time. OR BUY MAGAZINES! I considered it a critical investment is my personal growth.

My magazine addiction was a precursor to my Pinterest addiction, documented here and here and here.  I never just read a magazine, I read it and then tore out everything from it I wanted to save for inspiration and carefully filed these tear-sheets away in carefully categorized boxes. Fashion. Weddings. Design. Career. Health and Exercise. I've still got these boxes and it's pretty hilarious to see that I've been ripping out and saving - and now pinning - the same five yoga poses for the past 20 years. Which all leads me up to the point of this blog post.

I no longer spend money on magazines. 

How do I manage this, you ask?  With the help of the Des Plaines Public Library, of course:

I read magazines on Zinio:

This free product lets you read magazines on your tablet, smart phone or PC for free. Access complete digital editions, they are always available and there are no due dates or overdue fees. You need just three things: a DPPL library card, the Zinio for Libraries App for your iPad or Android device (if using on a mobile device) and then a library Zinio account. It's all pretty self-explanatory if you know your way around apps, help is available here if you need it

Zinio has been around for a while, but just recently went through an upgrade that made it WAY easier to navigate and use. I confess to having abandoned "Zinio 1.0" for being too clunky, but the new and improved "Zinio 2.0"  works like a charm.  Give it a whirl.

Magazines on display
I put magazines on hold and check them out from DPPL

DPPL has, no joke, pretty much any magazine you'd ever want. And if we don't have it, ask a librarian it and there's a great chance we will add it to the collection for you. From Cat Fancy to Vogue. Parents to AARP the Magazine. Us Magazine to The Atlantic Monthly. BMX to Brides. Maxim to More.  Plus all my favorites, Vanity Fair, InStyle, O, People, Country Living, Real Simple, Women's Health, Self and Elle Decor.

Of course I'd NEVER rip something out of library magazine. Luckily, these days all these magazines have accompanying Pinterest sites. When I see something I want to "keep",  I can go to and seach for the article or photo on Pinterest and pin away.

DPPL also offers an extensive collection of magazines in foreign languages, like Twój styl, People en español, ¡Hola!, Bunte, Citralekhā = Chitralekha and Oggi.

Mostly I just go to the third floor magazine section and browse. But my must-read and want-to-read-as-soon-as-they-hit-the-stands-favorites I put on hold.

Since I'm making confessions, before I came to work at DPPL eight years ago, I hadn't placed a hold in my life. What was I thinking? These days I just go into the catalog, look up my faves and place my holds to my heart's content.  I may no longer have the thrill of a mailbox full of thick glossy magazines, but I do now have the thrill of a Hold Shelf full of think glossy magazines with my name on them. And the very best part. 

Total cost: $0

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