The Donation

I've been buying Wired magazine since issue 1.1 back in 1993. For some reason, I decided to keep every issue instead of tossing it out after reading. I have every single issue, every subscriber-only special issue, every special supplement, and every issue of Test magazine (put out by Wired's test lab before Christmas for the past few years). Actually, I should say, "I had..." A few weeks ago, I donated all my Wired magazines to the UofA library.

You know, you keep a few issues of a magazine around and eventually they start to make some pretty big piles. Then you put them in a box and the box fills up. So you get another, bigger box. And then you'll need another box, and so on. Soon, your wife is bothering you about all those boxes of magazines you're collecting and are never going to read again. Right, good point. But it seems such a shame to just...throw them out.

A few years ago, someone sold their whole collection of Wired magazines on eBay. I heard they got over $700 for them. (The photo here is of that person's collection--I never thought to take a picture of all my Wireds.) Now, it would be nice to make some cash, but the shipping would be killer: those boxes weighed several hundred pounds. (I told you I had a lot of magazines--a 16-year collection of magazines printed on heavy weight paper adds up.) So, what to do?

I noticed that the UofA library had a partial collection of Wired, but there were some gaps--especially in the first year. Hmm, why not donate them? Now I realize that the contents of Wired are available online. But not everything is online; when you read the articles online, you're really missing the impact made by the radical (and award-winning) design and layout of the magazine, especially in the early years. They used bright fluorescent and metallic inks; the magazine really stood out from everything else. And the print ads are not available online--the ads themselves are worth the price of the magazine. Why not give back to the library, so that others might one day have the chance to flip through these actual dead-tree things?

So a few weeks ago, I loaded up all my boxes and took them to the Book And Record Depository (sadly, the magazines are not on the shelf on campus). I was surprised to find that I'm going to be getting a tax receipt for my donation. Score!

Now I have to ensure that my wife doesn't start eyeing my comic book collection. I have, er...about 10,000 comics.

Why aren't you studying?


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