The glossy covers and outrageous titles draw our eyes as we check out at the supermarket. Articles tell us how to lose weight, simplify our lives, and keep us current on important and unimportant regional and world news. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the United States, in fact, the world boasts over 200,000 different magazines, with an enormous diversity in readers and topics of interest. While we see the repeated themes that editors have determined lure readers, some topics are downright strange.
I know peanut allergies have risen dramatically over the last decade, but have you picked up a magazine recently to read about squid sensitivities? A travel magazine can show you Spanish Magazine where you can sleep in a beagle shaped bedroom. Fitness magazines tout that exercise can help you lose weight, but can make you gain weight as well. Alien sightings have long been popular magazine and tabloid topics, and have now progressed to underwater aliens. There is the newly discovered vegetarian spider. Magazine articles note the hot new trend in furniture made from live shrubbery. Have you read that dogs and babies are some of the newest teaching tools in today’s classrooms? These are just a few of the topics you may not have expected to find in current magazines.
The magazines that ruminate on these topics are as varied as the topics themselves. Marking the aging population of Americans has the surprising largest circulation in the United States. Magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and Cosmopolitan are top US sellers while some of our national favorites have been also been wildly successful abroad. Readers Digest is the most popular magazine in the world, and is being printed in 19 languages with over 25 million subscribers. National Geographic is constantly broadening its reader base, recently launching National Geographic Kids in Indonesia, for a total of 18 international editions.
While there are magazines that target international markets with universal issues, regional and special interest magazines also abound. The most popular magazine in Asia is a regional small business publication called SME Entrepreneurship Magazine. I won’t venture to guess what local is targeted with some of the more unusual publications, like Varmint Hunter Magazine, or Miniature Donkey Talk. No topic is off limit, with magazines such as Girls and Corpses, a disturbing juxtaposition of young women and skeletal remains, and Modern Drunkard, for “functional alcoholics” who the rest of us might term populations in denial.
The prices of these magazines are as varied as the subjects covered, from free publications to the world’s most expensive magazine, Nomenus Quarterly. Limited edition might be an understatement for this folio of previously unpublished images, with a whopping circulation of 10, at a record-breaking subscription price of $6,500.
So, if you are looking for a magazine subscription on a particular topic, no matter how bizarre, you may just be able to find it! You may be able to read about it in over a dozen languages. If you don’t speak a foreign language, just pick up Mome (French), Kinder (German), or Chicos (Spanish) that are published especially to teach you. An amazing variety of magazines and articles worldwide are waiting to be discovered.