My name is Kavey and I’m a recovering magazine addict.
You might laugh, but fellow addicts know that this particular affliction can be a hard habit to break. Of course, as addictions go it’s by no means the worse to have, not by a long shot. But still, it can be pretty expensive. And if you like to keep titles for future reference, it’s a storage nightmare too.
When Pete and I bought our house 21 years ago, I got hooked on Home decorating magazines. Not a huge surprise to start with, given the unreconstructed 60s and 70s interiors we inherited – not so much retro as hideous, and dilapidated too. More of a surprise a few years later, given how little of the magazines’ ideas I’d put into use – though at least the swirly carpets, melamine kitchen and metal-framed louvre windows were quickly replaced. I never did get my stencilling, stippling or sponging on – which I’m very glad about in retrospect.
I weaned myself off those after a few years but as my interest in that topic waned, so my hunger for travel magazines and photography titles grew and there were just as many subscriptions dropping through the letterbox as ever before. Food magazines tended to be adhoc purchases, especially supermarket inhouse ones. But I was easily buying 8 or more, per month. Plus Pete’s computer ones on top of that!
It wasn’t until piles of magazines started taking over the house that I cancelled virtually all of them and went somewhat cold turkey. That was around ten years ago…
… but I didn’t entirely get rid of all the back issues, as this photo (taken today) proves all too well.
Actually, you know what? I’m going to take an action point right now to get rid of most of them within the next few weeks!
Around the time I cancelled most of the subs, I started reading a lot more blogs – I was an avid blog reader for years before I launched Kavey Eats.
I loved (and still love) the world of blogs, and there’s a lot of content I enjoy that simply wouldn’t be published by commercial magazine titles. But there’s still a strong place for traditional magazines, still quite distinct from blogs – certainly the single-author type like this. The forecasters and fortune tellers have been predicting the end of print media for many years now, and while I think they are no doubt right, I am also certain it’s a long way off yet.
So I do miss reading magazines.
Only my memory of how quickly magazine mountains can build up stops me from falling back into my old addiction.
This is where Readly comes in.
Clever, clever Readly is an absolute godsend for people like me – providing access to over 1,300 magazine titles in digital format for one single subscription price of £9.99 a month. Given that most of the titles I enjoy reading cost around £4 or £5 per issue, that’s pretty good value.
Once you have signed up, you can access Readly on multiple devices – your desktop PC or Mac, your laptop, your tablet, your phone… and when you switch devices, you can resume reading a given title where you left off on a different device, making it a seamless experience. All the screenshots below are from the PC Desktop app. I have also been accessing Readly via my Android phone, and via our Nexus tablet. All work perfectly well, though obviously there’s an advantage to devices with larger screens!
You can share the service with your family too – a single Readly account supports up to 5 profiles, allowing you to save different magazines into your profile Favourites lists, save personal bookmarks individually and so on. Note that you will all sign in using the same login and password, and have access to all available profiles so if privacy of content is an issue, this may not be suitable for you. For Pete and I it’s perfect, as he can save beer and brewing, science and tech content into his profile and I can save food, travel and photography content into mine. If you do have multiple profiles set up, Readly will ask who is reading each time you login, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally messing up each others’ profiles.
You don’t have be online to read a magazine on Readly, though if you just want to browse and flick through a bunch of magazines that is certainly easiest. Readly also allows you to download magazines to your device when you are connected, and they will remain available for you to read when offline. The number you can save depends on the space available on your device, so you may need to housekeep and delete downloaded titles you’ve finished with now and again.
This means I can catch up on magazines during my Tube commute – a very handy feature!
In More Detail!
The Settings box allows you to ensure that magazines are only downloaded to the device if you are on an unmetered internet connection.
You can also limit the maximum number of downloaded items.
If you prefer to see only newer content, you can hide publications according to how old they are.
Parental Control allows you to apply a password to access Readly, however I believe this across the entire account, not per profile.
Setting up additional profiles is very straightforward.
Before starting to browse, I suggest you access the language settings and restrict to those you can read. I have mine set to English only, but like that I could add French titles in to my mix if I choose.
You can filter the country of publication too, if you wish, but I am happy to view magazines published elsewhere, as long as they are English-language.
Go to Magazines to browse the entire list (of titles available in your specified language) or filter by subject matter.
There are plenty of categories – Animals & Pets, Comics, Health and Fitness, Fashion & Beauty, History, Music, Sport, TV & Film & Cinema and many more.
Of my areas of interest…
Food & Drink is very well represented with 46 English-language titles currently listed. Of those, I have added several to my Favourites list including Good Things (which I wrote for from launch until late last year), Lucky Peach (a fantastic US title which would cost me a whopping £8 an issue to buy in print form), Saveur, Olive, Delicious and BBC Good Food.
Photography is similarly well represented with 25 English-language titles currently listed including Practical Photography (which I used to subscribe to), Photoshop Creative and Shutterbug.
Travel is the weakest category for me. Despite having 66 English-language titles currently listed, most of these are region-specific – Sussex Life, Kent Life, Best of Bavaria. Of those remaining, only Wanderlust and Lonely Planet are titles I want to read, though I appreciate special interest travellers will enjoy Practical Caravan, Cruising World, Canal Boat, Yachts International, Skiing, and Climbing!
The ones I’m really missing are Food & Travel (the UK title, not the Californian one listed), National Geographic Traveller UK, Sunday Times Travel, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel Africa.
If you’re not sure whether Readly will cover the titles that interest you, do check out their full titles list via their website. For me, even with the gaps that I’d love to see plugged, the list of titles available is pretty appealing.
Of course, once you’re subscribed, you can search for and read any available title – not only the latest issue but several back issues too. The number of back issues varies by title, so for Olive I can go back to October 2014, whereas only the latest 4 issues of Lucky Peach are listed.
For titles you want to read regularly, adding them to your Favourites list makes it quick to access them without searching. When viewing the Magazines list, select one or more titles, then Add to Favourites.
You can then access them without searching, via your Favourites list. You can also choose to be notified when a new issue of any of your Favourites is available.
On larger devices, Readly displays a double-page spread – on smaller devices, a single page is shown at a time. You can easily access a quick navigation scroll bar which shows small versions of all the pages, making it quick to skip through without reading every page.
Once you’re viewing a page (or double page spread), you can zoom in easily to read small text or view the images in more detail.
Here is some of my own content in Good Things magazine, issues 7 and 8.
If, as you’re reading, there’s an article you want to come back to, you can create a bookmark. This allows you to return to a specific page in a specific issue of a specific title with a single click.
Readly UK are offering one reader of Kavey Eats a 6 month subscription to their service, worth £59.94.
The subscription will be provided via a gift card which can be redeemed anywhere in the world (see Rules, Terms & Conditions).
How To Enter
You can enter the giveaway in 2 ways – entering both ways increases your chances of winning:
Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment telling me what you love reading about in your favourite magazines.
Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the exact sentence (shown in italics) below.
I’d love to win a 6 month subscription to @ReadlyUK from Kavey Eats! http://bit.ly/KaveyEatsReadly #KaveyEatsReadly
(Do not add my twitter handle or any other twitter handle at the beginning of the tweet or your entry will be considered invalid.
Please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either; I track twitter entries using the competition hash tag.)
Rules, Terms & Conditions
- The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 5th February 2016.
- The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
- Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
- Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
- The prize is offered and provided by Readly UK.
- The prize is a 6 month subscription to the Readly UK service. The gift certificate can be redeemed anywhere in the world, but the winner must select UK as country when redeeming it. This will provide access to all Readly UK content (including international titles covered by Readly UK).
- The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
- One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but you do not have to do so for each individual entry to be valid.
- For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contact.
- The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check relevant accounts for the notification message.
- If no response is received from a winner within 10 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
Kavey Eats readers are invited to join Readly UK for just £1 for the first month.
The winner of the giveaway is @LindyHine, via twitter.
Kavey Eats received a review subscription from Readly UK.