Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Serial Reader: Magazines at the Library

As someone who works in a public library, I am - as you might expect - surrounded by books all the time. I really am spoilt for choice and so my reading habits tend to be somewhat random.

Lately though, I seem to be having a hard time getting into any of the books I bring home. I leaf through a few pages and then I forget about the book until it's time to return it to the library. As a working mom of a young child, I sometimes have difficulty finding the time or the focus to settle into a good book. Instead, I've been voraciously reading some of the great magazines to which Halifax Public Libraries subscribes.

Last summer, Kristina P. profiled some of the literary magazines carried in our libraries. My interests tend more toward social and political analysis, however. David Hansen turned me on to The Economist (M), which provides in-depth analysis of international politics and finance. The Atlantic (M), another favourite, examines both national (U.S.) and international current events from a broader perspective that includes stories about cultural and tech-trends. The magazine I like best, however, is Mother Jones (M).

Describing itself as an independent news organization that features "smart, fearless journalism", Mother Jones publishes breaking news and investigative articles on politics, human rights, the environment, labour issues, and culture. It was through Mother Jones that I first learned about the appalling working conditions of warehouse workers who fill online orders for big internet retailers like ("I was a Warehouse Wage Slave"); where I discovered what happens to teenage girls who are sent to poorly regulated "troubled teen" homes in the U.S. ("Escape from Missouri"); and where I read about how a group of ex-Marines could hold the key to curing breast cancer ("The Few. The Proud. The Afflicted"). Although most of the in-depth articles focus on stories from the U.S., Mother Jones makes for fascinating reading about subjects that are often missed in more mainstream news publications.

Whether you're looking to become more informed (Maclean's, Mother Jones), entertained (People Weekly, Rolling Stone), or inspired (O, the Oprah Magazine, Bust), there are magazines to suit every interest at the library!


  1. I personally love Mental Floss. It is a bi-monthly magazine that presents trivia and facts in a humourous way. I can always find something in it that will amuze and inform at the same times

  2. I'll check it out. Thanks!