How Many Licks Does It Take?

Remember that old commercial where the boy asks Mr. Owl “how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

Well, getting my new issue of Beckett Hockey Magazine, I wondered how many minutes it would take me to read this magazine.

In the past, I’ve complained that Beckett is 80% price guide, 8% advertisements and only 12% content that you actually read–and yet I subscribed to it because I got it for $3 an issue.

Is it worth it? I guess that depends on how long it entertains me.

Thus, I decided to time myself reading the new issue of Beckett Hockey. I read all the articles and even the advertisements–those are of interest to hockey card collectors. And though I flipped through the price guide, I didn’t read that part page-by-page–that’s pretty unrealistic, as no one would read the price guide page-by-page, line-by line like they would a book or mag.

So, how long does it take to get to the end of a Beckett Hockey Magazine?

For me, 22 minutes, 34 seconds…and 57 one-hundredths of a second (if you want to get all “Olympic Time Trials” about it). I made sure not to just skim the pages, but actually read them.

I guess 22-plus minutes isn’t a bad read. However, it was the content itself that was lacking:

  • The lead-off article “Behind the Scenes at the NHL Rookie Showcase” was a lot of boring photos of the players just standing around, off ice. The photos were also small and dark, as if taken with a camera phone. Actual action shots would be, you know, more interesting.
  • “10 Reasons¬† to Collect P.K. Subban” was stretching things a bit. Is the fact that a promo card featuring Subban sold for $25 a “reason” to collect his cards?
  • Short articles about the upcoming Score and ITG Ultimate Memorabilia cards, and the already-out WHA Hall of Fame set. Although many bloggers, including myself, have already talked about these sets, you can’t fault a print publicaton for being slow when compared to the internet.
  • “Readers Write” is usually an interesting part of the mag, because it answers hockey card-related questions. This time, only one question…plus a reader telling us what he got in a break of 2009-10 SP Game Used, and how much he sold each card for. Yawn.
  • And there are other short articles, like “Super Collector”–where a guy talks about his Anze Kopitar collection–and the “Top 20 Hot Singles.” A few other “blurbs” here and there.

Twenty-two minutes well spent? I’m not so sure.¬†I wish there was just more interesting stuff to read besides box breakdowns, previews of products we already know about and being told why I should collect a player that everyone is going to collect. Talk about a set from 30 years ago, or some obscure small release we might have missed from 2000. Anything is better than “What We Got in a Box of Premier.”

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Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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