Doane Yawger: Car magazines have a short life span

08/14/2014 6:45 PM

08/14/2014 6:46 PM

Magazines can keep us connected with the old car hobby. They’re informative as well as entertaining, a key part of my enjoyment of all things automotive.

I’ve always been a magazine junkie; there are stacks of car and train magazines all over my hobby room, the bedroom and even the family room.

Alas, I’m starting to realize that not everyone shares my zeal for these periodicals. Even my diehard old car and car modeling buddies don’t share my enthusiasm for magazines.

I cringe when I hear others say they have thrown whole boxes of magazines into the garbage can. I still feel as if I’m a one-man rescue mission when it comes to no-longer-wanted car magazines.

Car magazines published before 1965 have a historical appeal and may have higher values.

An emerging trend these days is for readers to get digital copies of magazines, thereby avoiding the paper clutter. That’s not for me; I want my paper copy.

I think most magazines, even car magazines, have a short shelf life. A number of area stores have extensive magazine racks, and new issues easily command between five and 10 bucks. But they depreciate quickly and end up either in doctors’ offices, thrift stores or the landfill within a year or two of their publication.

Even a self-confessed magazine hoarder like me periodically thins the herd. Every now and then I pick up magazines at thrift stores or auto swap meets, thereby increasing the volume at home.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been weeding out about 175 fairly recent issues of Hot Rod, Popular Hot Rodding, Car Craft, Sport Truck, Truckin’, Chevy High Performance and Super Chevy that are taking up precious room and don’t have much interesting in them.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid losing a couple of hundred magazines won’t make much difference in the overall accumulation. If I can’t interest my friends or fellow enthusiasts in these magazines, they will be heading back to the thrift store in the near future. I doubt if anybody would be willing to pay more than a quarter for any of them.

A car magazine has to have at least two compelling features about vehicles that I’m interested in for me to buy it. Otherwise, I will pass it up or it will end up on the discard pile. I’m also resolving to be more choosy as far as bringing more magazines home in the weeks ahead.

During the current purge, 100 similar magazines survived the cut and will return to the stacks in the hobby room. All of my street rodding magazines also are keepers.

Unwinding after a day at work or chilling out just before the eyelids close usually involves a magazine. I may have a few stacks less than I used to, but car magazines still hold an esteemed position with me.

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