I used to buy fashion magazines religiously. I would read them on the elliptical at the gym in college. I haven’t bought one in years. (I also haven’t been on an elliptical in years.)
It’s possible that my thoroughly-dissipated inclination to pay for a hard copy of Vogue or Elle or Harper’s Bazaar at CVS these days supports the prediction that print will ultimately end up listed in the grand obituary section of life, but then I was assigned to write a “best of” roundup about the contents of this year’s September issues. As they began to arrive to our office and accumulated on my desk in a thick, juicy stack, I plunged right back into the depths of what it feels like to hold and see and smell and absorb a physical fashion magazine. Just like that, I was back in the saddle.
I forgot how much fun it is to actually run my hands across the pages of a glossy editorial or dog-ear an article I wanted to revisit. It felt almost…romantic. Like an indulgent bubble bath.
Amy Campbell, Man Repeller’s summer editorial intern, helped me compile the most enjoyable reads from each issue. I asked her if she enjoyed the rarity of consuming so much print media in one sitting and she said something that really resonated: “When I’m reading on the internet, there’s a certain angst in knowing I can’t possibly get around to consuming everything. That’s why reading a magazine feels so satisfying in comparison, because how often do we get to digest something in its full, deliberate totality?”
Click through the slideshow above for our quick and dirty guide to 16 of this year’s September issues, and shout in the comments below which ones you’re reading from start to finish in their full, deliberate totality.
*Story titles mentioned in the slideshow are written as they appear in-book. Titles may change for the online versions.
Research assistance from Amy Campbell.