My Love Affair with Magazines Turns 50… Love and Magazines, Both EternalMarch 12, 2012
The more magazines change, the more they remain the same. Fifty years ago I started on this journey that began as a hobby of buying and collecting first editions. It turned into an education that culminated in a Ph.D. in journalism and ended as a never-ending life-time profession of magazine education and consulting.
From the first time I bought a magazine at the ripe age of 9, I fell in love. I felt, all of sudden, that all the stories that my father and grandfather used to tell were captured in the palms of my hands. I was in control of the story. I had the story, the whole story, under my control. I was no longer dependent on my dad or my granddad to start or finish a story. It was there. Every page I turned made the experience of knowing the story and controlling its pace even more exceptional. The more I got hooked into the story the faster I was turning the pages. It was unlike any experience I have ever had with stories and story telling.
The first time I felt the pages, read the stories, and had the power to control both (flipping the pages and the pacing of the stories), I was hooked. I had never experienced anything like it. I was addicted. Needless to say that there was no way on earth, 50 years ago, I would have been able to define a magazine as an “experience maker” rather than a “content provider”; but now, after all these years, it is all clear to me. I can explain my addiction. I can explain my love affair. I can explain why I say that the more magazines change the more they stay the same. Magazines are much more than content providers; they are experience makers.
My hobby of collecting first issues that began 50 years ago turned into an education of studying those first issues and a profession of teaching and consulting on magazines. My hobby is still going strong, better yet, stronger than ever. My love of magazines is still as powerful as that very first love that I felt when I bought my very first issue in my hometown of Tripoli, Lebanon. Little did I know that there was no turning back.
What I’ve learned over the past 50 years is one thing that I know for sure: my love for those experience makers called magazines is forever.
Photo by Mark K. Dolan, taken on my birthday March 8 in my office at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.