I went to Barnes & Noble today to look for magic. For years, I would make a monthly visit to buy the new magazines to feed my imagination. I chose from a wide range of genres: home decorating, psychology, fashion, graphic design, art, current affairs and so on. Inevitably I found images or writing that would spark excitement and enthusiasm, and I might even come up with a new idea that suggested itself from something I read. But today, I came up dry. There were titles like NEW YOU, BEAUTIFUL YOU, and NEW BEAUTY all devoted to looking good and feeling good — but mostly looking good. (Making me think, “I look like crap.”) There was plenty of home design porn — 3 local magazines alone on that topic, not to mention all the national ones. (Making me think, “My house looks like crap.”) There were women’s magazines filled with stuff to buy and people to envy rather emulate. (Making me think, “My clothes look like crap.”) But I couldn’t find one magazine that I just had to have. I ended up buying a couple of art publications (Elephant is my new favorite find), New York magazine and something else that I can’t even remember. It’s not that there are too few magazines out there; there are hundreds. But they’re all so mundane or predictable that I wonder how they stay in business. Obviously, I’m not the target market for what’s being published these days, but I’m starved for something I just can’t find on the internet, web and Kindle junkie that I am. I visit plenty of online sites that introduce me to things I’d never have found otherwise, but it doesn’t make print obsolete for me. That magic thing that happens when you turn pages, find startling essays and design, tear out something to save, dog-ear a page to remember. I think it’s similar to how I’d feel if I could only see art online instead of in person. If I had simply viewed the Ai Wei Wei exhibit on a website, for instance, would it have electrified me and moved me to tears the way it did when I wandered through it for several hours? Something is missing and I mourn it.