A Crafty Fall Give-Away!

Ok, so on occasion I’ve done product reviews at craftylauren.com, but this is definitely a first for me.


Zinio 300x250I know what you’re thinking…

“I’m going to get sucked into a rolling payment for something I just wanted for free.”

I thought that too when Zinio first contacted me. My initial reaction was actually:

“Get lost, because I’m not interested in screwing the readers who actually take the time to give a crap about my life and the zillion Starbucks-es I visit.”

But this is totally legit.

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were leafing through my Mom’s Better Homes and Gardens or Country Home magazines and day-dreaming about my future decorating scheme.  Ok, I still do this on a regular basis, but the point is: magazines are neat and Zinio is an online newsstand that hosts magazine subscriptions for your desktop, phone, or tablet.  Sometimes I’m just not that into mobile formats of reading (which is totally weird considering the whole semi-professional blogger thing I have going on), but I also don’t like piles of magazines on my dining room table.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to test out switching to a digital format, here’s your chance!

To kick off my favorite time of the year, Zinio and I are giving away 10 magazine subscriptions FOR FREE.  There are only two strings:

1) Fill out the form below with your full name, email address, and magazine title chosen from Zinio.com (note: it’s an annual subscription, so the number of actual issues depends on the magazine). You don’t have to give me or Zinio ANY payment or personal information other than your email address.

2) In the comments below, tell me what your favorite magazine is and why.

The first 10 people to complete both these steps before Oct 15 win!

That’s it.

Oh, and if one title isn’t enough, or you miss the boat on the giveaway, all home, design, and garden related magazines are 50% off until October 8! For more information, visit http://bit.ly/ziniohome

PressReader: Newpapers in really, really, tiny print


I used to subscribe to the Sunday paper, and loved those lazy Sunday mornings perusing the headlines, clipping coupons, drinking coffee.

And then I started working on Sundays and began to develop a huge stack of papers that I didn’t have time to get through.  Before becoming eligible  for an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive, I cut off the subscription and these days I typically try to catch the news on the radio.

I must not be the only one, because the papers are sinking big time.  Publications have had to get creative in order to survive the newspaper apocalypse. Enter PressReader: a massive database of 2,300+ full-text publications all available for download on your mobile device. The occasional paper peruser can purchase individual issues for $0.99 each, or the full-on news junkie can have any of the database, any time, for a monthly subscription fee.

This seems really great for a person who, say, commutes by train and owns an ipad, or a person who travels frequently for work.  The idea of reading The Irish Times on a layover in Tulsa in the middle of the night is amazing to me.  I would assume that flight attendants sometimes just want to know what’s going on in their hometowns, and this way the local paper is always at your fingertips.

The problem is: I’m not any of those people… and I don’t have an ipad.

I have that bookshelf app and a few other reader-type apps and despite my optimism to read all of these things while on public transportation, I mostly end up staring out the window.  The thing is: reading newspapers on your phone is sometimes awkward.  In order to get the words big enough to actually read I have to scroll over every three words.  Maybe I’m dense, but then I get lost in the article and give up.  Plus, reading on the bus makes me a little woozy.

If I consider where I really like to read, PressReader doesn’t really do it for me.  Call me a romantic, but there’s something about a tangible newspaper that is so wonderful; online versions don’t give you that leisurely feeling you get from flipping the oversized pages, black smudges of ink on your fingertips, sipping a cup of joe will the sun shines in on your dining room table.  That’s a feeling I just can’t get from scrunching over my little rectangular box.

But, it’s not personal…

I can see how this app would be totally amazing for the right user.  It’s also a great model for, say, an obscure publication that might not otherwise be able to recruit readers to a mobile format (like, for example, the Albanian Gazeta Panorama or Cambodian Business).  And, you can bet when Dance Magazine jumps on board I will most definitely be downloading it on a monthly basis, no matter how tiny the text.