Saturday, August 21, 2004

Read The Back Page First

I discovered something recently that I have a particular habit of perusing when I get a new magazine. Frequently, people send us magazines from the states. Mostly, technology magazines for me and home, family and cooking ones for Angie. Almost exclusively after mentally digesting the cover, I head to the back inside page first. Don't ask me why. I think it has something to do with the way I think. When filling out forms, I often jump all around the page, I guess it makes it more interesting for me to fill out. However with magazines there is a system. Usually, in a magazine there is a fairly interesting article on the last page. I am not sure why that is. You can't do that with a book. I mean, I suppose you can, if you don't have much time or you don't like to read and you only want to find out what happens at the ending. I assume with magazines, since most people like to read them from front to back, they are deliberately leaving people with a good remembrance of their magazine. Whereas I am left with the sparse and often uninteresting ads that I leave for myself last, more on that later.

After reading the last page, I then start skimming the entire magazine, this time from front to back. I stop only on the most interesting articles or snippets that truly capture my attention. Once I have made it to the end (again), I start at either the front or the back working my way towards the middle of the magazine stopping at the less interesting articles along the way. Afterwards it may sit for a time. From that point, I begin shotgun reading. This is when it becomes less organized and more like 'pot shots' of reading throughout the magazine. Usually I while just open the magazine lawlessly. Opening at any point in the magazine, like cutting a deck of cards. As soon as I open it, I am faced with a decision, read one of the least interesting articles left, or if it is one I have already read, determine if it was worthy of a reread (which is the case with some of those early articles) or flip to another section altogether. This goes on for some time, until which time I have either read the entire magazine or kept it out long enough to have forgotten if I have.

The last thing I read in a magazine is the ads. I do love to read. I don't read as many books as I did in the past, but I read all the time. Either magazines, news online, countless informative websites and even comics. I guess this is why I will even check out the advertisements in a magazine. I don't want to waste anything. So next time you pick up a magazine to read, think about how you go about it. And maybe, just maybe, you'll start reading the back page first too!
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