An article in City Journal sparked some memories of the good old days of literature. The article notes that many of the more popular magazines found in the supermarket check-out area still carry the same basic content they did years ago – with one exception: serious literary works of non-fiction, fiction and even poetry. Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal – all today carry almost Twitter-quick articles aimed at making the reader the best at almost any undertaking, from cooking to decorating their homes, to dressing themselves and their kids, in the shortest amount of time. I’ve saved several significant articles from year-old issues of Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, even Readers Digest, the like of which are never included in today’s editions. Yes, there are magazines today that publish excellent, if a bit esoteric, literature, but they're not there to be scooped up as an impulse buy by us regular folks.
My prime example of ‘the good old days of magazines’ is one from my college days in the early 60’s. Each dorm on the campus had a budget for periodicals for the main lounge area. One of the publications chosen for our dorm was Playboy: not for the centerfold – this was a women’s college – but for the fiction. Check out their list of top ten writers and you’ll see what we were reading way back then.
Ah, the good old days of check-out area magazines - like the good old days of live drama on television in the 50’s, they are gone forever.