My mom was a big fan of late night talk show host David Letterman and his Top 10 Lists, so I feel particularly drawn to today's activity:
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Zines:
10. Recipes - I'm never at a loss about what to make when vegan friends come over.
9. The nonprofit mindset - People generally don't write a zine to make money or need to censor themselves at the will of a publishing company.
8. It's easy and accessible - no rejection letters, deadlines, or copious amounts of money required!
7. Zines 101 - It's never anyone's job to educate someone about why their behavior is problematic. Zines helped me learn the best ways to be an ally and exposed me to other worldviews that I did not know about before coming to college. Zines that do little things like explaining pronouns or showing the reader ways to be a good ally to POC (People of color) and GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities) go a long way.
6. Global viewpoints - zines are a worldwide phenomenon and their uncensored content allows readers to see politics and living styles in a way that journalists may not cover.
5. Theory! - I wish I had taken more classes on feminist theory that Barnard offered, but zines exposed me to so many ideas that I could talk about almost anything with anyone.
4. Lots of Different Opinions on Theory - Punk Academic zinesters like Mimi Thi Nguyen provide a lot of commentary not typically discussed or aknowledged in mainstream academic theories.
3. DIY Ethic - DIY was so radical to me when I first started reading zines and it led me to question a lot of my actions and purchases.
2. Difficult subjects - When there are subjects people tend to shy away from, zines not only provide an outlet for people, they are also a source for readers to relate to and question why we don't talk about some things.
1. It's Personal - reading a zine is often like fast forwarding through small talk and hearing a stranger's most meaningful stories. It allows you to see things from multiple perspectives and removes the temptation to interrupt someone. Just being able to listen to someone's story has been the most valuable thing about zines for me.
If you have a blog or a tumblr, be sure to post about your zine month reflections, and enjoy some zines! Keep your eye on this blog, because International Zine Library Day is July 21 and we'll be having an event!