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Magazine back issues can do more than just take up space in your home. Not only are they often collectible, but they're also readable. As with any collection, the key to magazine subscriptions is to start small and work your way up toward your final goal. With so many magazines to choose from, some going back over a hundred years, there is something for every collector.

Open a Window to the Past

The joy of magazines is their immediacy; from stories to advertising a magazine is a window on the world as it is now. Magazine back issues provide a similar window into the past; it's a snapshot of yesterday. Back issues of Time or Life Magazine show us historical events as people lived them. You can see what they thought was happening in the world and compare it to what we know now thanks to hindsight. The ads are cultural touchstones, showing what interested people enough that they wanted to spend money.

Be a Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Fashions change, clothing goes in and out of style as the years pass. The photographs in back issues show us clothes as people wore them. You can see both the styles of a given decade and the styles that followed them. Watch how celebrities influenced fashion then, and how they are doing it now. Try back issues of Vogue, or Cosmo. Look to the past to predict the future, as styles often come back as the years follow like seasons.

Enjoy the Pulps of Magazine Subscriptions

Before TV, many people got their entertainment from pulp magazines. There were pulps for every interest from westerns and detective stories through to the science fiction pulps like Astounding and Amazing. Some people buy them for the classic covers, others prefer to read them for a look into yesterday's tomorrow; the future that didn't come to pass.

Arts and Craft Issues

Magazine back issues are also great for arts and crafts. Many cover artists such as Norman Rockwell have gone on to fame and fortune, while the art that built their reputation sits on the covers of old magazines. Put one in a frame and you have a perfect way to show off your own personal style. Back issues are also great for arts and crafts. Cut them up for collages and create your own window into the past or present.

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