I’ve never been much of a periodical reader. The most I’ve ever thoroughly poured over in the newspaper has been the crossword, and when I was younger, my love horoscope. I did have a subscription to Seventeen magazine when I was a teenager, and I do remember perusing its pages with fair regularity. And at one time I did have a subscription to National Geographic, but I mainly just looked at the fabulous photography.
I have attempted to get into Time and Newsweek, but with no lasting success. I did read The New York Times every day for an entire semester because of a journalism class I was taking, and I did enjoy it. But summer came and that habit fell away. I also didn’t have access to a free copy anymore.
However, science magazines have always held my fancy. It was an article about microbes in a science periodical-I can’t remember which one-that really got me interested in science. To be fair, the only reason I picked up the magazine was due to needing an idea for a science fair project.
It was a requirement that all students participate in the school science fair for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. I was dreading it. I guess it struck me as laborious. Step one of the project was to pick a project. You needed to get an idea, run an experiment, do research, and present your findings. You know that whole scientific method thing.
I had gotten the idea to do something with carpal tunnel, but I wasn’t feeling stoked about it. I figured if I had to put all this effort into a project I should at least try to do something that got me a little excited. Thus, I picked up a science-y looking magazine to get the ideas flowing. The cover story was on microbes. It was a magazine that was actually meant for kids a few years younger than I was, but it got me thinking. I mean germs were kind of cool. I could get behind that.
With a significant amount of help from a science teacher, I got a plan for a project about testing the potency of mouthwash and that perhaps mouthwash didn’t have to be as strong as manufactures made it in order to kill bacteria. It was at this point my love affair with chemistry and microbiology began. It’s been going on ever since. In high school the same science teacher, an honest-to-God Ms. Frizzle, introduced me to Science News. I fell in love with this magazine. It had so much to offer in one compact issue. However, I could only get it at the school library.
And like many things in life, I went to college, got busy, and forgot about Science News. I was without its wonders until about a year ago when I was feeling in need of some science reading. There are a great number of science books about a variety of science topics, but I didn’t know where best to direct my efforts. I thought a magazine that dabbled in a little bit of everything was the ticket.
I am always amazed at how much information is packed in its pages. It offers a nice little interlude between activities or other reading material. I even keep a couple of issues at work just in case I finish my book and need reading material for my train ride home. I will admit it’s not my main reading squeeze, but it is a delightful treat now and then that gives me much to ponder and explore.
What’s your favorite periodical?