I don’t read magazines very often, especially fashion ones (Sorry, Julio!) Once I’m finished I’m always left feeling fat, ugly, that all my make-up sucks (and consequently needs to be thrown out) and that I’m in desperate need of new clothes.
The same goes for Décor magazines (my apartment is ugly) Food (my dinner looks depressing) and Travel (I’m too poor to go anywhere, ever)
I think the root of this; for me at least, boils down to the advertising. The constant bombardment of aspirational clothing, housing, nourishment and lifestyle leaves me feeling insecure and distracted from the articles at hand. Which is too bad, because it took me 4x longer than it should have to read Zadie Smiths fascinating short story, Moonlit Landscape with Bridge, in the New Yorker. I couldn’t appreciate the beautiful lattice pastry in Bon Appetit because the ads for Kitchen Aid mixers made me envious (They come in Pistachio now!) and when Lena Dunham was the Vogue cover girl last year I was so body shamed by the time I got to the article that I had to read it twice.
I can’t speak for other people, but magazines have never been a big part of my life because of my sensitivity to advertising. I never had magazine subscriptions growing up, I never buy them before long flights or lengthy subway rides. I will read one at the Doctor’s office If I don’t have a book, and when I was in Paris during the death of Yves St Laurent I bought the commemorative issue of L’officiel magazine, but otherwise this form of print media evades me.
So when Texture by Next Issue reached out and invited me to their briefing session at Hotel Le Germain on Mercer street last week, I had mixed feelings.
Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself: What IS Texture by Next Issue?
Next Issue is a subscription service that allows you to download hundreds of magazine titles to your phone or tablet. With new features added (such as a New and Noteworthy section that highlights important articles) it has been renamed to Texture. You pay a monthly subscription, and can share the app with up to five devices. So say you’re reading the October Issue of Chatelaine and you see a recipe for their Carmelised Onion and Apple Puff Pastry (um, Hi) you can read the recipe on your tablet, download the ingredients to your phone, and take your phone grocery shopping. The longer you use the app the more it will fine tune to your interests, suggesting articles or magazines based on past downloads.
So, beside the opportunity to stay a free night in a hotel, what was the push for me to go the event? I want to speak with transparency here and say that I truly was curious. Access to hundreds of magazines from an iPad? This I had to see.
I arrived for the Media Briefing at 530pm and met all the professional and kind women responsible for the event and the progression of Texture by Next Issue. I was sat down and learned that not only can you read the newest publication but back issues as well. I read the 1948 first edition of Reader’s Digest that the app had requested personally from the magazine! There was an article in it titled “The Gay Retriever”, people! The clincher for me though, were the features of the app. Along the bottom of any magazine that you read is a slider button that lets you filter through the issue and another section that lets you select the articles in the magazine AND THEREFORE SKIP THE ADVERTISEMENTS!!! I sat and read a fashion magazine and was able to focus on just the articles and none of the advertisements. Of course; because it IS a fashion magazine, I still didn’t finish it feeling 100% attractive and capable, but I was able to focus and appreciate the craftsmanship of the clothing more than I felt ashamed by my personal “shortcomings”.
Currently reading the 1948 issue of @readersdigest on my #texturecanada tablet. As a major sentimentalist, I’m loving this! Available tomorrow, the @texturecanada app lets you view magazines on any tablet or cellphone. – Brittany (@be.rittany) #texturecanada #dothedaniel A photo posted by Daniel Desforges (@dothedaniel) on
I am not a magazine person, but Texture by Next Issue is definitely for me. I am so excited by the prospect of reading New York Magazine, Nylon, TIME, Food Network Magazine, In Style, GQ, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Saveur, Better Homes and Gardens (and did I mention they have titles in French as well?) without feeling as self-conscious afterwards.
So yes; technically, Texture by Next Issue IS a magazine subscription, one that gives you access to titles that you can download and read anywhere, at any time. I for one like to think of it as Netflix for publications; and anything that allows to me fund print media, but side-step the advertising, is worth my money.
Anyone want to look at In Style with me?
For details on how to get your subscription of Texture by Next Issue, head to www.texture.ca
For more information on Texture by Next Issue, follow @texturecanada on Twitter and Instagram. To join in on the social media conversation about the app, follow and use the #texturecanada hashtag.
Make sure to come along on my culinary adventures around the world by following my Instagram Account. See something you’d like me to cook or write about? Tag me! I can’t wait for you to join in on the #DoTheDaniel adventures.
Photos: Texture by Next Issue & Brittany Levett
All the best,