Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Right now, I have to say that I'm in New Yorker heaven. The winter fiction double issue came thudding through the letterbox late last week, ensuring many hours of engaging reading over the Xmas period. Over the years, I've had many periods happy engagement with magazines and periodicals, however I'm struggling to think of any others which have so consistently enthralled me.

My first memories of a regular reading habit was not with any of the classic children's Comics, it was the local weekly sports paper "The Green'un". Every Saturday evening I would wait with mounting impatience for the driver to drop the paper off at our local newsagent. Once the paper had arrived my dad would hand over the cash and before we were out of the door, I would be eagerly scanning the match reports, which dominated the front page. For the next couple of hours, I would be lost to the fascinating world sports news. My mother swears that I learnt to read from this suggest journal, I sure that the hours spent pouring over the football league tables helped my knowledge of maths as well. I was plotting prospective variations in my team’s point’s totals and working out goal differences at a very early age. The summer gave me even more chances for mathematical fun, with all those lovely cricket averages to check.

The next regular read was again football focused. Shoot, was a weekly football magazine, which gave me all the information I needed to keep update with the world of football. The regular highlight of the year with Shoot was the fantastic pop out cardboard league table, which came free in August to mark the start of the forthcoming season. The idea was that after each round of games, you could spend hours moving you little cardboard team names, within the framework of their respective leagues. Of course in reality, this just resulted in Bristol City making rapid progress to the top my league, rather than their more traditional role of mid-table obscurity.

Cricket provided the next major magazine obsession, with two different magazines. The Cricketer was a very ground up journal which, gave me a comprehensive overview of the world game. Rather stranger was my subscription to the quarterly journal of the cricket statistician association. For some reason, I became obsessed with knowing every conceivable statistic associated with this amazingly numerically focused game.

In my later teenage years and onwards, NME and The Face dominated my reading world. Both eventually fell from grace, firstly The Face became swallowed by it’s own pretensions, the NME on the other hand gave up on any semblance of pretension or thought and turned into picture filled scandal sheet it is today.

My time as a young fogey coincided nicely with the launch of The Oldie magazine. Great fun for a few years, it finally became too curmudgeonly for it’s own good and I jumped ship.

Through it all the New Yorker has ruled supreme, brilliant factual journalism, outstanding fiction, wonderfully witty cartoons and articles, all topped of by those fantastic covers. Where would I be without it?


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