When I was a teenager I read magazines backwards starting with the last page first. This is still how I read magazines, but I didn’t realize it was odd until I told my husband, who thought this habit was very bizarre. On a superficial level, I can trace my backwards-reading to my rebellious teen years where I did everything opposite from what I was told. However, it’s a bit deeper than that. No matter what magazine you’re reading, each issue seeks to tell a story crafted by editors, photographers, writers, advertisers. They all intend the story to be told from front to back, and by reversing that, readers create their own stories.
Me and My Lookbook
I’m no stranger to taking magazine content and repurposing it for my own needs. Over the past eight years, I have kept a lookbook that features clothes I like, haircuts I might try one day and articles that got me thinking. This is just one way I choose to use magazine content to create my own spreads from neutral color palettes to bright red lips to ethereal dresses. Every page tells a story. One of these days I swear I’ll get around to making my own zine.
There’s One Last Thing . . .
Reading magazines backwards not only personalizes the content, but it highlights “One Last Thing” pieces that encapsulate what the magazine ultimately stands for. These are usually short pieces with more images than text. They’re a sign off for each issue–something to leave readers thinking, which is why I love reading them first.
Of all the magazines I read on a regular basis, I definitely have my favorite sign offs and the ones I hate:
Love It, Can’t Get Enough of It: Lucky: For how much I rip on Lucky week after week, it may surprise some that their sign off feature, “My Mom: The Style Icon,” is one of my all time favorite sign offs. I love to see women talk about their moms, show photos of them from their fashion heydey along with suggested pieces to make their mom’s look work. “My Mom” has a nostalgic simplicity to it that can be found running through the rest of Lucky.
Hate It, Never Want to Read It: Glamour’s “Dos & Don’ts. I subscribe to the the Bill Cunningham philosophy that there’s no such thing as a fashion don’t, so to me this sign off just seems cruel and helpful to no one. One thing that bugs me specially about this feature is they never name the celebrities featured in the “don’t,” only the ones in the dos. Seems kind of cowardly to me!
How Do You Read Magazines?
Do you have some special way of reading magazines? Do you read yours backwards like me? Share your thoughts!