Maglove – Of magazines and authors.

Today my colleague and me were discussing the whole notion of MagLove. MagLove is not something to do with Magnetism, but rather with Magazines. There are a few Magazines that we swear by, have referred to whenever we needed a clarification, quoted the authors who’ve written in those magazines in those heated discussions as if it were the final word. Most of us who read magazines have sometime or the other experienced MagLove.

Which brings me to my next point – why? Now, as always, this is a blog in which I express my personal opinions, and in no way are to be assumed to be a generalization. The reason that I believe that we as readers love some Magazines/Authors more than the others is beacause we understand their analogies, their methodology of explanation, their curation of those bland facts and figures, their view on the things that we care about.

For example, I love Rishad Cooper’s takes on Bikes, and Osueph Chako’s take on Cars – which sort of reveals that I read Autocar regularly. I also love the writeups by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond – and that’s the reason why I buy Top Gear. Also, Hormazd Sorabjee does a brilliant work of curating the perfect experience for me when it comes to cars – he gives us those all important cars that normal people can buy, as well as gives us something to drool about so that we can continue to dream big.

It’s something similar to what my dad does while watching cricket matches – he, for quite sometime, used to keep one of those AM radios that would broadcast the hindi commentry – it sort of completed the experience. Likewise, driving a car, experiencing a gadget, reading a science fact on wikipedia is one thing, but to have someone you trust, and have come to respect, write good things about it, is another. It is one of the major reasons that quite a few of the “Our Choice” Cars from Autocar have ended up in our garage (with a few exceptions – every once in a while we do have a difference of opinion). It also has a flipside, the responsibility is immense. On the author that is. Their review/article has the potential to sway quite a few decisions one way or the other, and thus the onus of the responsibility to write a review sans bias becomes all the more important. This does not mean that their article should be without emotion. We want them to sway one way or the other, and not tread the middle path (unless absolutely necessary), but we don’t want them to allow previous biases to affect their decisions.

This, my friends, is a very hard job, and I must commend all those authors punching away on their keyboards on their brilliant work, and the editors who burn the midnight oil to make sure the articles are legally sound, but without losing their soul. In today’s world of suing and cross-suing, that job, in my opinion, is as hard as churning out a good article if not harder.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of my favourite MagWriters, and their editors – especially Wired, Stuff (India), Top Gear, Autocar, The Economist (supremely crisp but a heavy read) and of course my new favourite BBC Knowledge India. I must really thank Preeti Singh for curating an experience that is absolutely brilliant (and the authors do a good job of keeping the articles interesting).

Hoping to become a loyalist of a few more magazines in the future.

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