Analog Cool is a recurring feature that highlights old-ass things that are still cool and useful dispute our furious thrust into the digital age. I’ll try my best not to sound like the grumpy-old-man-who-can’t-accept-the-way-things-are-changing that I am.

Print media has certainly seen better days. In the last 20 years the rise of the digital empire has laid waste to many fine newsstand staples. Of course, like any savvy business, most of those periodicals took their punches and ended up mobilizing their efforts to the internet with everybody else.

Thankfully, we still have a wealth of good magazines that we can touch, smell, read on the john, and draw tiny little Hitler mustaches on. Not to mention, there’s nothing quite like shuffling through the typical filth that finds its way into your mailbox to across a shiny new issue of…well…you’ll see.

I’ve recently invested in a few magazine subscriptions that are keyed in on self-improvement. I’ve sifted through the rubbish and picked out the cream of the crop for you to consider for your toilet-time reading pleasure.

| Esquire

esquire

Why It Doesn’t Suck: Edgy interviews, useful style tips, and bombastic cover stories pepper the pages of this man-centric magazine. Esquire understands the new age man and caters its content accordingly. Also, Jeff Bridges in a herringbone wool turtle neck.

Why It Might Kinda Suck: The only reason to be put off by Esquire would be to try and deduce what creepy shit is going on behind the chilling gaze of Mr. Lebowski here.

| Rolling Stone

rolling stone

Why It Doesn’t Suck: Rolling Stone is an institution. The all-things-music-and-entertainment bible has been heralded for decades for its harsh album reviews, provocative cover art, and abrasive political commentaries. I’ll have the iconic image of Jennifer Aniston’s blurry, bare tush firmly cemented in my spank bank for years to come.

Why It Might Kinda Suck: Some would argue the music reviews come off as pretentious and off-center. I would agree, but I would add that anything as subjective and intentionally inflammatory as a music review should be taken with a large grain of salt.

| WIRED

wired

Why It Doesn’t Suck: In WIRED, issues of the modern world are tackled through the thick-rimmed lenses of a the 21st Century techie. Despite the unfunny quartet of scientists on The Big Bang Theory trying to prove the contrary, nerds are finally cool. WIRED takes jargon-heavy tech content and cuts it into pieces that are easily digested by the layman, and is a cover to cover beauty, to boot.

Why It Might Kinda Suck: Sometimes the science-y angle that WIRED approaches issues with comes in a bit too steep, making certain articles feel like the’ve been shoe-horned full of unnecessary techno babble.

| GQ

GQ

Why It Doesn’t Suck: For the stylistically un-inclined like myself, GQ is a great resource for the latest in Men’s Fashion. Even if you’re on an Old Navy/thrift shop budget, you can still find helpful tips and modern inspiration to flesh out your threads.

Why It Might Kinda Suck: GQ is very ad-heavy, which means pages on pages of dense plugs for designer merch. I may be out on a limb here, but I’m willing to guess a lion’s share of its readers aren’t splurging for $1,500 Gucci man-bags (here are some inexpensive alternatives). Of course, what do I know about running a men’s lifestyle magazine?

| On Point

onpoint

Why It Doesn’t Suck: On Point is an aptly named quarterly publication from the Harvard Business Review that consolidates theme-focused articles the magazine publishes throughout each season. You’ll find well-researched and written articles that revolve around such ideas as productivity, leadership, and performance.

Why It Might Suck: The price of entry. On Point will cost you 17 American Dollars off the newsstand. It’s a steep toll, but well-worth the coin if you’re looking for a boost in life-efficiency.

| Entrepreneur

entrepreneur

Why It Doesn’t Suck: I’ll be honest. I’ve never laid my hands on a copy of Entrepreneur, so to speak of it’s contents as if I’ve been reading it since I got a B- in Economics 101 would be disingenuous. I have, however, just purchased a subscription based on positive word of mouth from various reputable sources. For the ambitious businessmen out there, Entrepreneur is a great resource (so they say).

Why It Might Kinda Suck: See above. I’m guessing if owning a couple of local Subway franchises isn’t your bag, you may want to skip this one.

| Popular Mechanics

popular mechanics

Why It Doesn’t Suck: PM cast a wide net when dragging the readersphere for perspective clients, disguising itself as a cool-kid how-to manual in order to touch on subjects like science and technology. Trust me, it’s a good thing.

Why It Might Kinda Suck: I honestly love everything about Popular Mechanics. However, if you’re looking for a ‘Maxim for techies’ you’ve come to the wrong place. And thank God for that.

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Peter Secan

Peter Secan

Peter is an architectural designer, freelance writer, and creator of The Self Aware Man. He wants to use this blog to share his thoughts and experiences, and much of his power is derived from the baldness of his head. He currently freelances for several blogs, including BusyBoo, Easy Render and Games Like Zone.

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