Today, I enjoyed a nice lunch with Joe Nuss, managing editor of Endurance Magazine, where my yoga column has been running since 2004. (Wow.) Joe says he and Steve Lackey, the publisher, often speculate about what part of magazines people like the most. Joe favors long, personality-driven features; Steve prefers the shorter, pithier tips you often find in the early pages of a magazine.
My answer was different. I like regular monthly columns written by authors whose voice comes through in each story. Think Cyndi Lee’s basics column in Yoga Journal, or Peter Sagal’s semiregular essays in Runner’s World. The one magazine I regularly buy on the newsstand, always when I am traveling, is O: The Oprah Magazine, and I turn there to the column by Martha Beck (she’s fantastic!) and to Oprah’s last-page essay. Obviously, this is a reflection of my own, smaller-scale work, but it’s interesting to see how I project my work onto my preferences, or vice versa.
What is your favorite element of magazines, and why?