Recycling My Back Pages: A Music Writer/Collector Reflects on Disposing of His Magazine Archive


Very sad. And wasteful.

You had other choices beyond donating them to UW (who likely wouldn't have wanted them) and listing them one by one on eBay.

You could have spent two minutes putting a "Free - must take all" posting on Craigslist. You could have sat them outside. You could have easily donated them to a a wide variety of places.

Several years ago at Short Run Peter Bagge had a "garage sale" at his table where he sold a lot of old comics and magazines he no longer wanted. I ended up buying a bunch of issues of Spy. There are people that would have wanted your Creems and Forced Exposure and other mags.

Oh well.
Your local neighborhood "Buy Nothing" group is a great place for such things. I'm assuming someone at the Seattle Punk Rock Flea Market would've loved a chance at those, too. Or even ZAPP.

I've been through the exact same thing, and currently have boxes of magazines in my parents attic that are likely destroyed from the heat, but I can't bring myself to part with 'em. There's something specifically about reading old issues of Spin, Fizz, Motorbooty, etc. that makes me still feel connected to the pre-blog universe.
@1 Yes, but the thing is, as I wrote, I had no time to do anything but either let the movers transport the boxes to my new place or dispose of them. It dawned on me too late that the sheer quantity of the mags was too unwieldy to feasibly move them to the new dwelling. And they were too heavy to simply "[sit] them outside"; plus, my building manager wouldn't allow that anyway. My fault for procrastinating about the matter, but there it is.
#1 I'm curious, what are some of the places that would take such a donation? I've got a similar dilemma, only with mostly political mags (Nation, Progressive, Mother Jones, etc. dating back to the '80s). I keep thinking they must be valuable to someone with the space to store them.
I feel your pain, Dave. I've done the "big purge" myself a few times.

Magazines used to feel so important...and glossy pictures from magazines always seemed like they could be useful for some other projects that never seemed to actually be undertaken.

There are definitely times where I think "Oh, if I only still had that particular issue of The Face or Premiere or DJ or Mixmag or Raygun or Uncut or Q or Empire or The Rocket or Interview or Brill's Content or Wired or Mojo..." etc.

...but there's never a "...I'd do this specific thing with them"...

Recycling bins should be able to take all the regret when they take all the content we discard.