Mail-Order Catalogs: So 'This Century'
I consider myself a tech savvy gal but I just can't resist a good mail-order catalog. So "last century," I know. Don't get me wrong, I'll online shop with the best of them but I love sitting down with a good catalog and reading the descriptions of products and studying their pictures. Sometimes it's like a reading a good magazine for me. Here are some of my favorites:
SkyMall is packed full of stuff that you never see anywhere else. It's the best thing to read on airplanes, as soon as you read the safety card, of course. The catalog is a collection of other catalogs such as Brookstone and Hammacher Schlemmer. But it seems as though they pick out the most interesting things from those catalogs and pack them into SkyMall. You'll find stuff like a spy camera the size of a pack of gum for $150, a rug that looks like a set of patio stones for $40 to $150 depending on the size and a pet-sensing doorbell that chimes when your pet wants to be let in or out of the house for $80.
Levenger sells "tools for serious readers." You'll find everything from pens and notepads to leather totes and lap desks. The catalog was started in the late '80s by a husband and wife team who were avid readers distraught with the poor reading light in their new home. What resulted was a catalog full of neat things for not just people who like to read but also those who like nice tote bags and fancy pens. The catalog has clip-on book lights for $24, fountain pens for $88, as well as a wide selection of wallets and briefcases. Levenger also has a handful of stores, including one in Tysons Corner.
Herrington, known as the "enthusiasts' catalog," is another fun one to browse. They sell everything from golf accessories and tools and gadgets to cell phone accessories and women and men's clothing. You can get authentic Aloha shirts for $85, a set of 16 Minnesota fire cones for starting fireplace fires for $40 and a laptop briefcase with a fancy compartment that doesn't force you to take out the computer when going through airport security for $120. Each item has a lengthy description of its origin and why it was chosen for the catalog.
What are your favorite catalogs? Are mail-order catalogs better than online shopping?
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