Over the years of my long career in design I must have read of thousands of shelter magazines. In the beginning I treasured every copy, reading them thoroughly from cover to cover and analyzing every picture. I even saved some my favorites and referred to them over and over again.
As my career progressed and became busier and busier I began to neglect and disrespect my mags. I would flip through them quickly scanning for items of interest or inspiring rooms. If I found something that struck my eye I would rip out the page in question and throw it in a messy pile to be sorted at a later date.
The remainder of the magazines corpse was tossed unceremoniously into the garbage can. I will admit that I put very little thought into the time and effort of the many individuals who worked tirelessly to produce the issue for my reading pleasure. I took them and the magazine for granted. I believed there would always be another volume showing up in my mailbox to entertain me, plus, I did not want to clutter up my meticulously styled bookshelves with magazines! How Tacky...
I developed a system that let me store the pages I tore out in a quickly referenced series of notebooks labeled and organized to hold images of a certain subject such as kitchens, or bathroom fixtures. I would tear pages out and my assistant would seal them in plastic page holders and file them away in their appropriate binder.
This system served me well for years but now I am living to regret my lack of respect for the many magazines that have ceased to exist over the past two years. I feel that I should have realized the importance of each issue instead of dissecting it and tossing it away with little or no regard to its content. Should I have saved them all, intact, for posterity? Are we seeing the permanent demise of the once thriving shelter mag industry? If so, should we treasure our remaining magazines before they also go the way of the dinosaur?
Personally, even though I have confessed to misusing and abusing my shelter mags, I always had a deep and abiding love for them. I always felt a rush of anticipation every time one would arrive in the mail and I neglected my important duties of the day to read them immediately upon arrival. I did store my chosen pages reverently behind plastic in binders for eternity. Now when my copy of Glamour magazine shows up in place of whatever subscription to a fabulous shelter mag that was canceled I want to gag.
I find myself jealous of other bloggers and designers who gave these magazines the respect they deserved and now have vast reference libraries of past issues to refer to. They show them off with such pride and dare I say, superiority at their having the foresight not to trash them as I did ( this may just be my imagination but I feel like they know I threw mine away, paranoia? I think not) I feel an immense sadness that I did not erect a huge monumental bookcase to store all of my mags in. It would have had to be a big one to hold them all.
Perhaps I should have wrapped them all in custom covers to make a style statement.
Or should I have gone reverent and stored them like this? They probably would have preferred this environment over the trash can.
I wish I could have foreseen the future and kept them all. This bookshelf would have held a few.
Thankfully it's never too late to start so from now until the last shelter mag left on Earth showcases a product or room that I can't live without I will refrain from tearing them to pieces and give them a respectable home in a bookshelf devoted to their own kind.
In closing, to all of the individuals who worked so hard to produce the issues that I tore apart with my bare hands; I am very sorry and I promise not to do it again.
How do you store your old magazines?
Do you plan on saving magazines now?