Do you remember your first magazine subscription? I remember reading “Ranger Rick” when I was little, and somewhere along the line graduating to “Seventeen.” It seems like social media has taken over the time we spent reading magazines. As a consequence, Gering Library has been paring down our magazine subscriptions, but you can still find some great magazines on our shelves. 

When we were cleaning and moving things around in the library I came across a stash of old “Nebraska History Magazines” in the basement.  History Nebraska produces this amazing magazine quarterly. Each issue contains three or four in-depth articles as well as a handful of book reviews in the back. If you are a history buff, or are researching something that happened in Nebraska, this is your magazine. The articles include everything from the history of divorce in Nebraska, to suffragists, to baseball. They also emphasize diversity- in the latest few issues they discussed Kosher restaurants, the Genoa Indian School, and Mexican American communities in the state.

If you like Nebraska, but not digging deep into history, try “Nebraska Life.” Between the covers of this bimonthly magazine you will find interesting articles about Nebraska’s people, communities, history, art, and culture. The latest issue has an article about Ole’s in Paxton and the Orphan Grain Train, a Norfolk based charity that assists where they are needed, delivering everything from hay bales, to clothing, to food. You can also find recipes and poetry and great Nebraska-made gift ideas. It’s a magazine that makes you proud to be from Nebraska.

If you prefer a broader look at  history and culture, we have “Smithsonian” and “National Geographic”- both long standing classics. “Smithsonian” has been around since 1970. People have been saving “National Geographic” magazines in their basements and attics (because they are too good to throw away) since 1888. Sorry, we are not able to take donations of  “National Geographics.”

Looking for a new recipe? You can find “Food Network,””Good Housekeeping” and “Taste of Home” at the library. Yes, you can find recipes online, but magazines have two advantages. First, you don’t have to scroll through seven paragraphs about how Grandma used to make this meal when the author was a child. Second, your magazine won’t go to sleep when your fingers are covered in meat juice and you need to see the next step in the recipe.

If pop culture is your thing, you can check out “People” and “Reader’s Digest” magazines. Remember “Consumer Reports?” We have that too, both the magazine and the annual review book. “Consumer Reports” is an excellent source of unbiased professional reviews of everything from household appliances to cars. Their reviews are not as entertaining as what you will find online, but they might be a better source of information.

We also subscribe to a handful of other magazines; “Air and Space,” Good Housekeeping,” HGTV Magazine,” “Time,” and a health magazine, “Prevention.” The library determines which magazines we subscribe to by looking at their circulation. If you enjoy magazines, but can’t afford a subscription, check them out at the library. Every time someone checks out a magazine, we know it is valuable to our patrons and we can justify the subscription. 

My husband rescued the old “Nebraska History Magazines” from the recycling bin, “Can I take these? They look really interesting.” I had to agree they did look interesting, and he has been enjoying them at home. He even discovered an article by local map enthusiast Brian Croft. My husband is planning to start checking out “Nebraska History Magazine” just as soon as he gets done with the stack at home.

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