Magazine Subscriptions Online

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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My most enjoyable mail days are those when my subscription magazines come. A treat that is no less delightful for being expected, my favorite magazine in the mail helps make the bills it's shoved next to less annoying. At least one day a month, opening the mail box lid is fun, and reawakens that feeling I had as a child when I got a "little something in the mail."

It's a mystery to me that more people don't subscribe to their favorite magazines. Not only do the magazines provide a lift when they arrive, but they provide an excellent cushion on the pocketbook--at least compared to purchasing them at the newsstand or bookstore. Most magazines are available via subscription for pennies on the dollar.

One of my favorites, The New Yorker, which is easily worth the $4.95 cover price, costs often as little as a dollar an issue via subscription. People magazine, roughly three dollars or more an issue at the grocery store checkout, can cost as little as a buck and a half via subscription. The savings can really add up.

Subscriptions Online: Convenient, Quick, and Private

The Internet, too, has made finding one's favorite magazines super-cheap even easier. In years past, one had to find one of those tear-out subscription flyers, remember to fill it out, remember to stamp it, and most importantly, remember to mail the silly thing. Good intentions often got lost in the mix along with the card. However, anyone with internet access can get their subscription easy-breezy, in less than a minute. Plus, many magazine subscription sites feature specials, add-ons, and even "sales," allowing loyal readers to save even more. Many fine magazines even offer free, risk-free trials, letting readers get a taste before plunking their 89 cents an issue down.

Just about every magazine Americans read is available online for subscription. Food and recipe magazines, like Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Cooking Light, and Wine Spectator, to name but a few, are available via subscription for practically pennies on the dollar. Impressive publications like Scientific American, National Geographic, The Economist, Time, Newsweek and even the Wall Street Journal are easily available as well.

Perhaps the greatest advantage subscriptions have is that they allow us to receive "on the sneak" those fun, cotton-candy magazines we might be just a tad embarrassed about actually buying in public. I know some English Literature professors who make a professional career sneering at the likes of US Weekly and In Style. But guess who is gleefully tip-toeing down to their mailbox every other Tuesday afternoon? Uh-huh.

Introducing Kids to Reading for Pleasure

My first magazine subscription was actually one which my grandmother got for me. I was just a wee one, but for my fourth birthday, she gave me a gift subscription to Highlights. Remember Highlights? I would get so excited when it came in the mail. That gift subscription did two things for me: it helped me view the mailman as my friend, and it built excitement for reading in me at a young age.

In fact, studies have shown that reading magazines is as influential on the development of literacy as that of books. Children's magazines can often be even more affordable via subscription than adult magazines. Plus, there are children's magazines out there for pre-readers (like Your Big Backyard), emerging readers (Nickelodeon Magazine and National Geographic for Kids) and teenagers, too (like SI for Kids and Teen People). The discovery that reading can be pleasurable is truly one of the greatest gifts one can give any child. Thanks to my grandmother, I make it a regular rite of passage to give magazine subscriptions to my favorite young people, whether they're little ones, grade-schoolers, high-schoolers, or even those just off to college. It's a gift that gives pleasure every time it's received, which for me, means it's money well spent.

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