I bought my first magazine aged six – and I’ve never looked back


Our pop culture columnist on a life reading glossies

I think the first magazine I bought with my “own” money was an official Sindy doll magazine. Clearly my budding hipsterism is what attracted me to small-batch, locally grown produce over an overpriced foreign competitor, but that’s a column for another week. The key takeaway is that a periodical-buying habit was formed by the time I was six, and I never looked back.

The Sindy magazines were very pink and I loved them, but as a teen my tastes shifted wildly. Between 12 and 16, I made room for that dentist waiting room stalwart, Reader’s Digest, becoming obsessed with the idea of publishing a joke in its pages one day. I also gleaned questionable “wisdom” from the pages of J-17 and More!, learning things I had no business knowing. At uni, I went through a mild fake-ladette cycle and subscribed to trashy and upscale men’s magazines that now make me cringe. I went through a Vogue stage, as many young women do (alongside Marie Claire and Elle). As a resident of the city in my 30s, I have subscribed to the New Yorker because I never met a cliche I could not inhabit.

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