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Magazine Subscription Suggestions for a Gift or Doctor’s Office

I evaluate products and clearly explain their features based on my background as a technology writer with a Master of Science degree.

The right magazine exists for any occasion.

The right magazine exists for any occasion.

I've had many occasions throughout my career where I organized office space for the public, and placing magazines was a significant consideration.

The experience also helped me decide what magazines to order for gifts, which solved many concerns when gift-giving occasions came around.

If you're looking for a gift subscription or reading material for an office waiting room, this guide will help you find the best solution.

Magazines fall into three categories for various reader needs:

  1. Consumer
  2. House and home
  3. Professional trades

Each of these categories are further broken down to target specific types of readers. I’ll give you a review of all this so you know what to look for with magazine subscriptions.

General Interest and Consumer Magazines

These will be just fine if you don't know what to get for a gift subscription or office waiting room. They provide entertainment for a broad audience:

  • Entertainment Weekly
  • People Magazine
  • Vogue
  • Elle

House and Home Magazines

These magazines are excellent for home owners:

  • Time Magazine
  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Good Housekeeping

Professional Magazines

Science-related magazines might be a good selection for students who will find it useful for learning about school projects. But they are very much appreciated by professionals in various fields.

People who are interested in science would find any of the following to be a fulfilling experience:

  • Discover
  • Popular Science
  • Popular Mechanics

These also include interesting subjects the general public would find a delight to read passively.

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People who are business savvy may like a subscription such as:

  • Business Week
  • Kiplinger Magazine

For current affairs, US News or Newsweek will be a welcome addition for those who like to stay abreast of the news.

Several house and home magazines are excellent choices for patients who visit a doctor's office too, especially health-related subjects, such as:

  • Men’s Health
  • Women's Health
  • Life Extension Magazine
  • Vegetarian Times

Improving living conditions is a great plus. If you're looking for something in this category, I recommend Life Extension Magazine since I usually find helpful articles in it, and I'm always learning something new. Vegetarian Times is also an excellent choice for healthy-minded people.

Magazines About Home and Garden, Travel, and Pets

For adults, look for topics on gardening, hobbies, sports, shopping, drawing, knitting, quilting, watercolor, and other crafts. Other popular categories are about eating well, spirituality, music, real estate, travel, and history.

There are also specialty magazines dedicated to lovers of dogs, cats, birds, motorcycles, bicycles, and cars.

Just do a Google search for the field of interest from the above list and include the words "magazine subscription."

You can also search Amazon using any of these keywords to find subscriptions specific to the area you're seeking.

Magazines for Children

National Geographic has a particular version called Little Kids, as shown below at the right. And I remember Boy's Life when I was a kid. That's still around.

These magazines are also great for pediatric doctor's offices. They help keep young kids engaged, so they don't get fidgety.


Considerations for a Doctor's Office or Business

The types of magazines in a doctor's waiting room, or other business, will vary depending on the kind of office it is. They are best when based on the type of person that might read it.

When choosing, take into account that people come from all backgrounds. They have many different hobbies and interests.

It's best to have magazines available that provide enjoyment while waiting. It's also a way to keep people relaxed while waiting for their appointment.

Best Magazines for Medical Specialist's Offices

I find it amazing how often I see a total mismatch while I'm looking for something to read in a specialist's office.

  • Gynecologists will be better off with women's magazines.
  • Orthopedists may want to place sports magazines in their waiting room.
  • Pediatricians should have magazines that relate to the age level of the children who are their patients. Kids do like to read, or at least look at pictures.
Magazines in a doctor's office provide people with something to do while waiting.

Magazines in a doctor's office provide people with something to do while waiting.

How to Order Magazines and Manage Subscriptions

Amazon includes a complete subscription service for magazines. I like to maintain my subscriptions through Amazon for three reasons:

  1. Many print magazines include access to the digital edition on Amazon.
  2. They often offer deals on some titles.
  3. I can manage all my subscriptions in one place.

To help you, I've compiled the list below broken down by the most common fields of interest.

You can view magazines on Amazon and search for any of the titles I listed here. Look for the red box link on Amazon for tremendous savings with limited-time deals.

List of Magazines by Category


  • Entertainment Weekly
  • People Magazine
  • Vogue


  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Good Housekeeping


  • Better Homes & Gardens
  • Fine Gardening
  • Horticulture
  • Garden Gate
  • Mother Earth News
  • Birds & Blooms

DIY and Handyman Magazines

  • Family Handyman
  • Do it Yourself
  • This Old House
  • House Beautiful
  • Popular Woodworking

Nature Magazines

  • Smithsonian
  • Birds & Blooms
  • National Geographic Magazine
  • National Geographic History
  • Archaeology

Science and Research

  • Discover
  • Air & Space
  • Astronomy
  • American Bee Journal
  • New Scientist - US Edition


  • Popular Science
  • Aviation Week
  • MIT Technology Review


  • PC Magazine
  • Wired
  • Chip
  • Focus

Business and Investing

  • Fast Company
  • Business Week
  • Fortune
  • Inc.

Health Magazines

  • Men’s Health
  • Women's Health
  • Life Extension
  • Vegetarian Times
  • Consumer Reports On Health

Financial Magazines

  • Money Magazine
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  • Bank Systems & Technology

News and Current Events

  • Time
  • Kiplinger
  • US News
  • Newsweek
  • The Economist

Magazines For Children

  • Boy's Life
  • Girl's Life
  • Girls' World
  • National Geographic Little Kids
  • Sports Illustrated Kids
  • High Five™

Magazines for the Elderly

  • Senior Living
  • Senior Leisure
  • The Savvy Senior
  • Senior Times
  • Senior Connections

How to Find Magazine Reviews

Amazon is an excellent source of reviews on magazines.

Once you've selected what you want, Google the magazine's name to find if they have any special subscription offers available. You can order within Amazon's site, and you can even specify an alternate shipping address for gift subscriptions.

Amazon is also a great place to go to find little-known magazines on various topics or to compare prices.

How to Recycle Used Magazines

I don't like to throw my old magazines away, so I donate them to my doctor when I go for a checkup. For privacy, I tear off the corner where my address is printed on the cover.

I also give used magazines to friends when I know there is an article they would be interested in reading. People appreciate it when you show you're aware of something that can be helpful for them.

Final Thoughts

A magazine subscription could be a perfect solution when you can't decide on the ideal gift. They make great gifts for many occasions with a wide variety available.

When looking for information on a particular subject, there is most likely a magazine that relates to the topic that has articles with helpful hints you're seeking.

© 2009 Glenn Stok

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