* Prices may differ from that shown
I do not usually read 'gossip' magazines to be honest. What attracted me to Take A Break was not the stories but the competitions and the chance to win various prizes for completing some short,enjoyable crosswords/word searches and other such like puzzles.
Take a Break is available at all good newsagents and costs a mere 86p (yipee!) not often you can find a magzine for less than a £1 these days. I think this is great value for money when you consider some of the glossy magazines Glamour/Instyle/Cosmopolition are £2 or more!
Per magazine there are on average 14 competitons to enter. Prizes vary from £50 to £10,000. At the back of each magazine there are also some 'Click Win Prizes' where you enter online or on the entry coupon provided in the magazine and all you have to do is 'click' to win there is no question or puzzle to do and the prizes are usually pretty good.
As time has worn on, I have started to come round to the cheesy stories provided in this magazine. Some of them are quite funny and the headlines on the front cover are hard to believe at times! such as a 'spirit sat me geography O level' 'We are real life mermaids' and 'I hide biccies in my giant boobs' to name but a few!
I now enjoy these daft articles over a coffee after completed the puzzles and if theres nothing good on the T.V
This magazine is great for 'compers' (those who like to enter competitons) like me and for those who want a laugh or a bit of gossipy reading. Definatley not one for people who like to read about serious issues. It is also classed as a 'real life' mag so its stories about he general public not celebrities or people in the public eye.
For those of you who are wondering if I have won anything from Take A Break yet the answer is sadly no, but i'm going to keep trying!
WHAT IS IT?
A weekly womans magazine that is more about real life stories than celebrity news.
WHAT'S IN IT?
Take A Break has got a lot of articles in it that are about real women and families, I don't like that they print very sad stories all of the time and it is not very often that they write something that has had a happy ending. The stories are quite shocking sometimes and are about murder and abortion, I do not like to read unhappy things so I move quickly past them when I am ready a copy. There are quite a few adverts in every issue and these are for products that are everyday for most of us like hand cream and convenience foods.
There are a lot of competitions in Take A Break and some of these take up full pages, I think it is too much and even though the prizes always look very good I do not enter them and I do not do the puzzles. I buy this magazine to offer my clients something to read and some of them do the puzzles but I do not think any of them have ever won anything.
WHAT I THINK
I would not buy Take A Break for myself because I think it is a boring magazine and it is not for my style at all. I like real life articles but in this magazine they deliberately pick very sad things to write about and it makes me feel miserable to read it.
I like that they encourage their readers to send in photographs and tips, they pay quite handsomely for these and I know that one of my ladies has had photographs and letters printed several times.
The writing is very basic and easy to understand so anyone can read this magazine. There are tips and recipes that always look very nice but I have not made any of the recipes. It is easy to find things in Take A Break because there is a contents page and things like recipes and health are always in a group of pages together. I think the magazine feels very cheap because the paper it is printed on is rough and thin and the colours are not very bright.
Take A Break costs about 80p every week and it is worth the money because at least 5 of my regular ladies will read the copy that I buy.
3 Dooyoo Stars.
When I was growing up my nan would buy Take a Break on a weekly basis and I often helped her do the puzzles inside. She always sent off for the competitions and after winning a Super Ted toy set I was hooked and loved helping her. Now I'm older I've followed in her footsteps and often buy it for myself too. I'm not one for fashion magazines but prefer this as it is more my scene with the real life stories and puzzles to waste away 10 minutes.
Take a Break is issued every week on Thursdays. The standard issue costs 84p but they occasionally sell special seasonal editions which cost a little more. Take a Break can be found on sale from anywhere that sells magazines such as supermarkets and corner shops.
It's safe to say that reading this isn't too hard, it is written in simple English and it's really easy to read without becoming confused about words or phrases used. The majority of the stories featured in each issue are real life stories, these are usually on a variety of different subjects and create a variety of different emotions. From crazy, deranged partners, sick family members, murders and fundraising for poorly children, literally everything has been covered in their real life stories.
One of the main reasons some people buy this magazine is down to the puzzles. It features a variety of different brain teasers from a basic word search and code breaker to more complex puzzles that require more brain power such as a crossword and arrow word. The puzzles have the same format every week and are usually placed around the same page number each issue. For example, a tiny 4x4 basic arrow word type puzzle is always on the first double page spread. The prizes for the competitions are usually pretty hefty too, a brand new car and huge 4 or 5 figure cash sums are normally included with smaller prizes for some puzzles.
The magazine is definitely focused on the reader with the first double page spread containing pictures that readers have sent in, from funny moments to cute children. Readers also have the chance to send in their own savvy tips, letters and short stories. These don't feature as much as the longer real life stories but it breaks it up a little as you read through.
Towards the end of the magazine you will find a couple of pages on beauty, cooking, health, horoscopes and the like, readers can send in their questions and some get answered and published. I like these pages as the information Take a Break give is realistic and this gives readers genuine ideas for where to buy clothes and beauty products and not stupid ideas that cost a lot of money.
Take a Break definitely isn't a magazine you should read if you want to have an intellectual read. It is more suited to have a read when you're sitting down with a cup of tea, passing ten minutes. I usually read through the magazine quite quickly but then have it lying around for days as I do the different puzzles. It's one of the cheaper magazines to purchase yet it's one of my favourites and something I will continue to buy in the future.
I first came across a copy of this magazine a few years ago in a doctors waiting room. It was an old copy and when I left I decided to pick one up.
The magazine costs a bit more than it did back then, retailing at 84p these days, which is still good for what you get.
The magazine is weekly, in shops each Thursday.
What I like about this magazine is that the content is a mixture of real life stories, reader feedback, puzzles and factual articles. I'm not a fan of reading about celebrity break ups or leafing through tens of pages of adverts broken up by a couple of fashion pages so this magazine makes a refreshing change with interesting reading and puzzles.
What's in the magazine?
Each week the content of the magazine is set out in a similar layout which is good.
In the first couple of pages is always a double page 'Take a Break World' where readers send in snaps of themselves or family with a little caption. These usually consist of a couple of cute animal photos, kids photos, fancy dress, wedding and family pictures.
Your brainwaves is another page where readers send in some handy tips and pictures, if you want to send your own you get paid for each they publish.
There are sometimes some good ones, in the issue I have here I like the one from th girl who wanted some expensive looking shoes on a budget so bought some cheap black heels and glued diamantes to the heel and back of the shoe. They look fab.
The tips often involve useful ways of using old or broken items for a new purpose like a glass lampshade turned upside down for a plant pot.
Readers vote - Readers are asked to vote on a topic each week and the results and selected comments are published.
Readers letters are published at the back of the magazine each week.
There's a good variety of puzzles in the magazine which I like, they vary in size and difficulty and they all have prizes. You can enter by filling in the form at the back of the magazine and posting it off or by phone, text or online. I find the online form the easiest and it's free to enter. I've never won anything but to be honest I don't enter very often at all and I do know people that have won. The closing date for competition entries is normally about 2 or 3 weeks after the issue is available. Here's a few examples of puzzles and prizes from an issue a couple of weeks back:
Mega Snap - Find the picture shown somewhere in the magazine and answer with the page number - 20 prizes of £50 to be won.
Crossword - There's a couple of these, the big one has a cash prize of £10 000.
Big Bonanza - A mixture between a word fit and crossword. The prize for this puzzle can be chosen by you from a list up to the value of £3500.
Win it! - Prizes without puzzles - there's no puzzle just tick a box to win the prize, these change each week, they could be a toy, cleaning product, beauty products or anything really. Theres a few to choose from and you can enter them all if you wish.
Other puzzles include a codebreaker, quiz, sudoku and word search.
The real life stories differ every week, with readers sending in and getting paid for their stories. If appropriate the magazine will publish the story and state that the person has not been paid (e.g if they have done something wrong).
The stories are mixed and sometimes a bit Jeremy Kyle - I married my mothers boyfriend, My boyfriend has an ASBO, My husband cheated with the babysitter etc. etc.
Other stories however are more serious. There's normally a wedding story, sometimes it could be someone suffering from or recovering from an illness or accident who makes it up the aisle. Others may be have a baby on their wedding day.
There's often an awful story about some thug beating up a pensioner or murdering their partner or stealing from people.
There's also usually a couple of really heartbreaking stories of deaths too which I hate reading as they upset me but they are really interesting so I can't help myself!
What I really like about the magazine is that they often publish updates on stories, if someone was diagnosed with an illness they will often give an update on their story a couple of months down the line.
There are a few pages dedicated to health each week. There is information on a particular condition each week which includes a readers story on the condition, symptoms, detection, prevention and treatment of the condition.
Also included is an 'Ask Dr. Knott' section where readers ask the doctor about their health problems.
There is usually advice, in the issue I'm looking at it is what you can do to help a friend who is going through chemo.
There's also a couple of fashion pages which are usually quite good, showing affordable items of clothing from high street stores and supermarkets.
The beauty pages feature readers' letters and questions about beauty products as well as recommendations.
There are usually 3 or 4 recipes each week, I like these because they are short recipes which don't take a long time to make and don't need a trolley full of ingredients.
The travel pages focus on a different destination each week, telling you a bit about the destination, where is best to stay for families, couples, those who want to see culture, animals or beaches. It also gives you some prices and hotel information.
A TV page gives you a brief outline of what's coming up that week on the popular soaps.
Also included is a 'Take a Buddy' page where readers write in with an issue and get a few opinions on what to do about the issue. It's a different sort of agony aunt style page with a vote such as should you stay with him? The buddies will vote yes or no and a buddy from each side will express their views and experiences.
There's also a weekly horoscope page, which I look at to do the puzzle at the bottom of the page.
I really like this magazine and get it most weeks, it's low cost and gives me a couple of hours of puzzles and reading when I want to sit back and 'Take a Break'. I enjoy the magazines (except when I open it to find all the puzzles already filled out). I also find it funny when my boyfriend is telling a story in the pub about 'this woman and this happened to her' and I know he's got the story from my magazine! I say nothing and let him continue to go on about me leaving my 'womens mag' around the place!
I think for the price it has a good bit of information and interesting articles with only a few adverts. The adverts that are in it are for real people, boring things like toothpaste and baby wipes on offer, which makes me feel better than reading a celeb mag with adverts full of shoes costing 4 figures!
As with the ads, the rest of the magazine is for real people, with clothes you can afford, recipes you can afford and have time to do and tips on saving money and time!
I'm a big fan of this magazine and I really must start filling in those competition forms!
From a young age I remember popping to the shops for my mum to post her weekly competition entry for Take a Break. She completed them every week without fail and though she never won I was used to reading her copies of take a break that were laying around the house. So when I moved out and got my own home it's no real surprise that my magazine of choice has always been take a break.
Each magazine consists of real life stories that are interesting and sometimes unbelievable. I think that's what draws in people to read the stories, most the time you cannot believe what goes on behind closed door and that things that actually happen to normal people. Most the time Take a break covers stories such as adulterous partners and vicious attacks on innocent people.
But I have noticed over recent months that the magazine has latched onto stories of child abuse and foreign men using unsuspecting women for visa. Though I completely respect the stories of abuse and what the magazine does to highlight this atrocity and the help that take a break offers to other victims, I don't fully agree with the way it tells lots of stories regarding how women are being used by foreign men. A close friend of mine has been married to a Turkish man for ten years. He is a lovely man and they have a wonderful family. Not all men from aboard use women and it would be nice if the magazine wrote from the other point of view a little more often.
Take a break is one of the best magazines in regards to competitions. It usually gives away prizes each week totalling from £50,000 -£70,000. Holiday's, cars and money are just some of the brilliant prizes that are up for grabs and all you have to do is a little problem solving. I personally enjoy doing all of the crosswords and my partner usually pinches the suduko puzzle before I even get chance to look at it.
The magazine also does a small section each week of about 4-5 recipes that are simple to do and tasty to eat. I have a recipe in my cupboard from a magazine from 5 years ago. Toad in the whole and it is the best version of this recipe that I have ever tired. Take a break usually tends to stick to recipes that are seasonal based on what produce is available at that time of year.
Take a break is a brilliant all round magazine, though it doesn't have any stories regarding the latest celebrity gossip it is still a brilliant read. It is filled with interesting stories that you have to read to believe, the opportunity to win a selection of prizes and so much more. It is also one of the cheapest magazines out on the shelves. At 80p a week this is a much cheaper option compared to the celebrity glossy magazines out there.
==TAKE A BREAK REAL-LIFE MAGAZINE==
Take a Break is a weekly magazine with real-life stories and puzzles + competitions included. This magazine is mainly aimed at women but you see a lot of male people entering the competitions and winning the prizes! So there is something for any age, any person! My grandad, however, reads this and regularly enters the competitions so it really is something for everyone. I mostly read this at night time when I can't sleep & I find it very relaxing!
Take a Break is made by H Bauer Publishing alongside Bella, _that's life!_, eatin, tv choice and Total TV guide. Take a Break was launched in 1990 and the original price was 35p. Today, Take a Break costs a mere 82p but is still one of the cheapest magazines you can buy. There are double issues for christmas and new year as well as Take a Break's Fate & Fortune and Take a Break's Fiction Feast.
The front cover of Take a Break features a female model smiling with the Take a Break logo on the left side. The top of the magazine has a story with no picture with the title: OUR LIVES. Below the logo you get approx. 5 real-life stories with a few pictures. The price (82p) is on the top-right of the mag with the prices for abroad, (Spain and Canaries) below. The prices for abroad are between 2.25 and 2.35 euros so best if you're going to Spain etc. it is best to get a copy at the airport before you go.
==THE FIRST PAGE==
When you turn the page you are welcomed with a contents to the inside of the magazine with a few pictures and a 'This week in your Take a Break' with a little preview of what's about to come.
The main bit of the magazine, firstly is 'Take a Break World' where people send in their best photo's in exchange for money. Also 'your lives' is to show where all of the true stories are in the magazine.
3 pages in the magazine that tell you about health and health problems people have had to deal with in their lives such as brain tumours etc.
2 pages on beauty labeled as 'the honest beauty advice around' with recommendations on make-up or body moisturisers etc.
_Your Brainwaves:_ A page in the magazine where people send their tips, tricks and bright ideas, £60 paid if you send in a tip and picture, £30 if the tip but no picture. '''Christmas Brainwaves WANTED'''
_You're Telling us:_ A reader vote page with questions such as 'Would a woman propose to a man?' or 'Do you believe in ghosts?' People send in answers with a '''Yes, No or Not Sure''' answer.
_Katie Fraser's Take a Buddy:_ A problem page when people send in their problems and Katie Fraser's friends answers for them giving them advice.
_Cookery:_ Cooking tips and recipes for money saving baking ideas. Ideal if you're the cooking kind.
_Our Free Time:_ A page of the weeks best telly, films and fun things to do. Written up quite well with a good story behind it.
_Travel:_ A great pick on the best places to stay in the UK for shorts breaks, a.k.a. weekends. Some are picked for Best for fun: Best for sightseeing: Best for couples: and Best for shopping:
_Dena's life stars:_ Horoscopes, Approximately 8 pages per star sign with a competition at the bottom of the page.
_We've got mail!_ A page on letter's sent in by Take a Break readers, sometimes funny, sometimes sad.
==YOUR PRIZE PUZZLES==
_4-squared:_ Win 25x£50.
_Mega Snap:_ Win 25x£50, you have to find the photo in the weeks Take a Break and you win £50.
_Star Car:_ Win a car every week if you can figure out the crossword and the letters for the word needed to win.
_£3000 Big Bonanza:_ A fitword puzzle and the word that dose'nt fit in the grid is the winning word. If you win, you have a choice of 13 different puzzles such as weekends away or cash or toys etc.
_Oops, I shrunk the puzzle!:_ A puzzle has shrunk and the pictures have got bigger, you have to figure out the picture and spell out a word which is the winnign word. Prize is 2x£500 cash.
Code Breaker:_ Discover the winning word and win £500!
_Your Big Relax:_ Write in the answers following the arrows and find a word with the yellow squares, this is the winning word and you can win £2500!
_Question Time:_ Answer the 20 questions using the answers below and one answer is spare, this is the winning answer, write in the entry coupon and be in the chance of winning £1000!
_Shop till you drop!:_ Do the sodoku and win £1500 worth in shopping vouchers of you're choice!
_Now 4 something different:_ Do the crossword and find a word with the yellow squares. When you find the word, write it in the entry coupon and be in the chance of winning £100
_Win your dream holiday:_ Do the crossword and find a word using the yellow squares, when you do, write it on the coupon and be in the chance of winning a holiday of your choice!
_Your big Supermarket Bet:_ Do the fitword with the word left over being the winning word. If you win, you have to place a bet on how much you will spend when you go round a supermarket, for 5 minutes, grabbing goods as you go. If you guess £50 either way and you get a bonus cheque for £250, but if you guess £25 either way and you will recieve a bonus cheque for £500! Plus, you will get your groceries!
_Strike it lucky:_ Find the words in the wordsearch and cross them off as you go, the unused letters will spell out a related word and if you guess it correctly, you win £250!
Win it!:_ 5 prizes to win with no need to do anything! Just tick the box(es) and you have a chance of winning, with nothing to do at all!
In my opinion this magazine is well worth the 82p every week. it has real-life stories and puzzles to keep you going! I see where it gets the name 'Take a Break' from!
There are no stories to literally HORRIFFY you! or any to give you nightmares! It's much better than the likes of Full House! as it's better quality paper and more pages + puzzles.
Look out for 2 bumper issues at christmas time, they're crackers!! Literally!
==THANKS FOR READING!==
My lovely old mum buys four magazines a week (and a daily paper), one of the magazines is "Take a Break" and she always saves the magazines for me, and of the four the Take a Break is my favourite. I don't do the puzzles and competitions, as my mum has already done them but I don't mind, I like to read their stories more than do puzzles.
Take a Break make their money by getting people to tell their real life stories (and pay them for it), and putting them all together in the weekly magazine; there is usually a story about a child with cancer (who unfortunately dies), a woman who has been raped, another would be a lady who goes out with the wrong man and he kills her, and also a person who was massively fat who has had a gastric band, who either dies or is like a deflated Michelin man. You may think I am being facetious and mocking misery, but that is just what Take a Break is all about - it's the magazine equivalent of slowing down and looking at crashes on the motorway as you go past.
Just to cheer you up amongst all the mayhem and misery Take a Break also has lots of puzzles to do and generous prizes to win, if you are lucky you could win anything from £25, in November 3rd's issue there is also the chance to win a Chevrolet Spark worth £11,135 for doing a crossword, there are fifteeen competitions to enter (but you can only win if you send off the answers!) On the penultimate page is a coupon to send your answers in. I don't do the puzzles but I know that online there are places where you can find the answers, and then fax or email the answers in. So potentially thousands of entries for prize draws, which may make it harder to win anything.
My mother religiously does the competitions and sends them off, but has never won a prize. As she is nearly 80 maybe she's not as sharp as she was and is doing the puzzles wrongly, or more than likely she is forgetting to send them off! But undettered Mum fills them in, and the stories I read have got lots of pen marks on them as she is trying to solve the puzzles!
I'm as bad as anyone, if I buy a magazine it would be either knitting or crochet but when my mum gives me the pile of Take a Breaks to read I go to the first sad/mad/bad story and wallow in other peoples misery................. I suppose one way to look at these magazines is the people are so unlucky that you can feel greatful that your own life is not so bad after all!
I first read Take a Break as a teenager my nan used to buy it. When I grew up and left home I started to buy it myself. I have to admit I love magazines I buy about 6 a week. Take a Break currently costs 82p and is widely available in supermarkets and newsagents.
It is marketed as Britains bestselling weekly. You can also get special editions that cost a little more with dedicated stories focused on a certain area such a 'Puzzle Magazine' containing only puzzles and 'Spirit and Destiny' which contains stories relating to supernatural and spiritual occurances.
Take a Break is a nicely balanced magazine in my opinion. It contains true life stories these can be stories of affairs, love, murder but there are also uplifting stories on more positive things too. Take a Break also campaign for women's issues, some of which have been taken straight to Downing Street. The campaign for the right to breast reductions and jobs for mums as well as regularly featuring women who have survived breast cancer. There are also features on health, recepies, problem pages, readers letter and photos as well as several puzzles throughout and competitions.
I buy Take a Break mainly for the true life stories. I like to take a magazine into the bath with me while I am relaxing, as a new mum this is probably the only time I get to read magazines now. I never do the puzzles, however once I have read the magazine I take it to my nan's and she will just do the puzzles only and enter the competitions. We haven't won anything yet!
Compared to other magazines in the same category I buy Take a Break is the best quality, it costs a little more than others but it is definately worth it for the variety of the content.
I would give this 5 out of 5 as it is by far my favourite women's weekly (men can read it too though!!)
I used to purchase this magazine to do exactly what the title says 'take a break'. I used to sit down with the magazine, a drink and sometimes a treat. I sat and did the puzzles in the magazine, read the stories and filled in the entry form for the competition puzzles and send it off. I never won anything but it didn't matter as I enjoyed doing the puzzles.
Now I find that the puzzles are fairly similar apart from some of the arrow word ones being a little harder than before. I then find that a lot of the stories in the magazine are depressing and about dead people, dying people or very ill people. Nothing in it seems to be happy and I found myself not wanting to 'take a break' anymore as it meant having to look at the sad faces of the suffering people in the magazine. Some of the other stories are about people who have been stabbed, attacked or who are different from others in society but I really find that the stories these days are really horrible to read.
I now do not purchase this magazine as I do not want to see these horrible stories and find that there are other magazines I can buy for around the £1.55 take a break costs. I now choose to buy other magazines, or even save my money rather than spend it on something that is full of sad stories.
The only way I would recommend this magazine would be if you wanted to read about dead of dying people and liked to see the pictures of the sad faces. If this is you then this is the right magazine for you to buy, if not then stay clear!
From the front cover to the back cover Take a Break magazine captures your eye, with the bright coloured headlines for the storys inside,and the way the headlines are worded you will find yourself picking up the magazine to read while still in the store. I find the way the stories are written it is straight from the persons mouth, not what the magazine has wrote just to get you to buy the magazine. I love this magazine as i find i can relate and sympathise with the people the stories are about, especially if the stories are about babies or children with me being a mum myself. The puzzles are really interesting and they have some fantastic holidays and big cash amounts to win. it has some lovely humour too, which usually makes me giggle. This magazine is fantastic value for money, i personally cant wait for each new one to come out each week.
I have been buying take a break regularly for many years. Its the stories that i enjoy reading the best. They are a mixture of shocking, sad and some with a good outcome. I usually buy take a break for travelling or for when im relaxing at home, if there's nothing decent on the TV!
I enjoy doing some of the prize quiz's and you can win some fantastic prizes; like holidays, various cash prizes, beauty treatments, supermarket sweeps. Sometimes it can get a bit boring doing some of the quiz's, as they can take quite some time. Also, i sometimes don't even send off my entries (due to laziness i think!).
Its well worth sending them off though as someone has to win and although i haven't won anything as yet, i shall continue to buy this magazine as its a good read and well worth the cost. You also don't have to do all of the quiz's; the choice is yours regarding which competitions you want to enter.
There are other articles of interest included in the magazine too; fictional stories/readers pages/beauty and health tips and much more.
Take a break also has special bumper editions occasionally which are worth buying.
I have recently started buying take a break magazine both to pass time at work on the boring nights and also as something to do at night at home when I am not really in the mood to watch television.
Take a break is predominantly a puzzle magazine as far as I am concerned and throughout it you will find different kinds of puzzles all of which have a prize should you enter and be lucky enough to win. The prizes can be very significant too with cars, holidays and cash to be won. I remember when I was much younger my mum entered the competitions religiously every week and she only ever won an emmerdale dvd and she didn't even like emmerdale! Still, you have got to be in it to win it and so the way I see it is if I am going to be completing the puzzles anyway I may as well enter the competitions and give it a go! You can record the competition answers on the coupon at the back of the magazine and enter by post, phone or online so there is an option for everyone really.
Within the magazine the puzzles are varied in terms of what you actually need to complete and the level of difficulty. There are crosswords, arrow words, word searches, code breakers, [picture puzzles and even Sudoku. I personally enjoy doing the arrow words the best and find them relatively easy to complete. Sudoku is always the most challenging puzzle for me but I do get a great sense of satisfaction when I complete it!
Also in the magazine there are real life stories, health and beauty questions, a couple of fashion pages and readers tips and photographs. I am dying to get my dog and hamster to pose together so I can send it in and make sixty quid but I suspect my dog may try and eat the hamster!
Some of the readers stories in the magazine can be quite upsetting if they are about abuse or terminal illnesses and such like so that is something to be aware of. The magazine seems to feature stories about cheats and unsolved crimes quite regularly too.
Take a break costs just 82 pence for a magazine with approximately sixty pages. Although there is a magazine out each week you are given a couple of weeks to meet the deadline for the competition entry and so you can take your time with them if you wish. Personally I think that purely for the fact that the puzzles make my brain work when I may otherwise be mind numbingly bored at work makes this magazine well worth the 82 pence and who knows, maybe one day I will win something!
Thank you for reading my review!
I first started buying Take a Break last year as a way of passing the time during my sometimes long and boring night shifts. At first glance the front cover showed lots of amazing prizes that were on offer as a result of successfully completing their puzzles. I bought Take a Break from Tesco's for the bargain price of 82p. Not bad I thought compared to many magazine prices these days.
The magazine consists of approximately 63 pages which contain the puzzles and real life stories. The stories are based on readers experiences and offer cash prizes to the ones that are published. The magazine features a coupon which can be filled in with contact details. This enables Take a Break to get back in contact with you should they choose your story to be published. After reading one or two issues, I began to realised that Take a Break only seem interested in publishing other peoples misfortunes. They are all so depressing. Issue 10, which I am using for this review features stories such as 'My face started rotting' and 'will you murder daddy'!! After reading a few of these I realised that Take a Break is not for the faint hearted and, unless cheered by reading about people more unfortunate than yourself, it really does nothing to lift your mood. I personally find this quite shocking and after flicking through issue 10, I found that ten out of the eleven stories written are based around a devastating or catastrophic event. Not particulary what I want to read but I suppose if that's what sells?
The magazine features around fifteen puzzles, non of them particularly taxing. These include arrow words, cross words, word searches and spot the difference. The hardest puzzle in my opinion is the sudoku. As numbers are not my strong point, this one always takes me the longest. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I cannot complete one of these puzzles without at least once needing the help of the Tippex. This aside the other puzzles take no time at all and the prizes on offer are usually well worth entering for. These range from large cash prizes to holidays and cars. There is even the usual trolley dash to be had for one lucky winner. The previous winners are always printed so that readers are reassured that these are genuine. However, after a years worth of Take a Breaking I have to say I have never one a thing and have never met any one who has either. There must be some one out there some where!!!
The competitions are very easy to enter. The back page features a slip which is simple to fill in and enteries can then be posted of to the shown address. There is also the option to phone up to enter, stating the answers over the phone and a text or fax option. Personally I have never entered this way as I always use the more traditional posting method so I cannot comment on how effective they are. Another option is to enter online. I have looked at this website in the past and the entry coupon looks pretty straight forward. This is probably the best way of entering as it doesn't even cost the price of a stamp.
Take a Break also features it's regular sections such as an agony aunt in which people can write about their personal or medical problems and may recieve an answer from 'Dr Knott'. There is also the 'Brainwave' section. This is where readers can share their money saving or recycling ideas with the rest of us. Issue 10 features how to turn old CD's into coasters and wall papering an old chest of drawers. I have read this section from time to time but needless to say it has never inspire me to revamp or rejuvinate anything.
There is also the usual horoscope and product review sections.
This magazine is nothing I would go out of my way to buy. Its cheap and the puzzles are some what entertaining. I do still buy this magazine occasionally but have now become bored with it's depressive storys and drab columns. In my opinion, I think Take a Break needs some new changes to keep it interesting and break away from the same old thing every week.
This review may also appear on Ciao under the username of Supersweep.
In my quest to stay awake during night shifts, I have been picking up different magazines to keep me entertained. However, this is becoming an expensive habit so I am now on the hunt for cheap entertainment.
== The Real Life Mag ==
'Take A Break' is a magazine that is packed with a range of interesting real life stories and letter from loyal readers. On picking up the magazine, it feels very thin but actually contains 61 pages, with this issue featuring 11 real life stories. As well as this, the magazine is full of puzzles, fashion tips, money saving tips and interesting recipes.
All of the stories in the magazine are extremely interesting, and many heartwarming, and are aimed at a range of different audiences. The issue that I have includes stories such as 'I was raped by my sperm donor', 'Paedo sex rings on Facebook' and 'Fat fighters to the resuce'. Although these stories are interesting to many, they may be extremely upsetting to others and I would recommend looking what stories are inside if there are issues that upset you.
Take A Break can be picked up in most large and small supermarkets, WH Smiths and local newsagents. March 2011's issue is priced at 82p and the magazine usually RRPs around the same price every month.
== The Real Life Saving Mag ==
In my quest for entertainment, I have picked up a wide range of magazines but Take A Break is the only one that I actually read from cover to cover. With most magazines, you may get 100 pages inside but 30 of these are advertisements, this magazine is very minimal with the adverts which means you don't get bored and end up mindlessly flipping through and missing the interesting parts.
It is also one of the only magazines where I enjoy all of the features as it isn't full of celebrity gossip and over priced fashion items. If you're not into all of this celebrity and fashion business then Take A Break is the one for you.
But I think the best thing about Take A Break is the price! The fact that I can pick this up for 82p and actually enjoy it makes me resent paying £2-£5 for a magazine where I'm going to read 100 adverts and 2 articles before throwing it away.
Take A Break is another night time life saver for me! 5*!
Take a Break magazine... voyeuristic journey into working class horrors? A statement about the state of the UK? Reality TV in a easy to read weekly magazine?
I've read Take a Break often over the last 10 years, I've never been a subscriber or regular buyer, but occasionally a powerful need to read about the latest hospital blunder or reunited family (usually with dire consequences) comes over me and I part with 80p in my local newsagents or supermarket.
Take a Break has a consistent and reliable formula, I can't say I've noticed any major changes in the last decade.
Cover: Usually some wholesome, mumsy looking lady on the front cover, Take a Break emblazoned in red and white in the top left corner, the rest of the cover is covered in strap lines about the best stories inside, I use the cover to determine if the stories inside the magazine sound more appealing to me that the stories wrapped around the front covers of other magazines. Sometime TAB wins and sometimes it loses, depends on how I fell at the time.
the first double page is the taken up with 'Take a Break Street'. Here is where readers send in their own pictures of kids, dogs, flower beds, hen parties, actual hens, etc etc. Personally I would cringe with embarrassment if anyone ever sent a pic of me to TAB, I really feel this is the territory of proud grandparents who think that getting someone's name in print would be awesome.
Real Life!! The majority of the magazines is filled with 'Real Life' stories. Anything from a families most devastating event, stories on illnesses, pregnancy, weddings, murder, domestic & child abuse. Sometimes they will follow a particular story each week - currently they are keeping us up t date with a story on a woman who became pregnant with quads. Well cheery. For me these stories are always really heart-wrenching and I almost certainly will cry. The best are tales of someone overcoming adversity - issue 41 contains a great story about a little girl who was told she would never walk having been diagnosed with cerebal palsy, she, her mother, her twin and the rest of the family have been so brave and determined to make the best life possible despite all the hard work and adversity put their way. Where these stories can fall down is if you think the person telling the tale is lying or wrong in their judgements, there is a cash incentive for these stories, and although TAB don't seem to mention how much, I believe the going rate is anything from £250 to £500, probably more for a real exclusive that TAB can tout around other publications.
Brainwaves Roadshow is a single page dedicated to readers and their money or time saving ideas. There is always something pointless on this page like... 'Don't throw out your old summer dresses - wear them in winter as nighties' I mean SERIOUSLY, who is going to do that? Another I remember recently was 'If you struggle to put a cork back in a bottle of wine, turn the cork around' I mean, I worked this out for myself the first time I ever had to replace a cork, all you have to do is look at the cork, and you will realise that the end that has been further in the bottle is smaller! Jeeze.
Competitions also feature heavily in TAB. they have Sudoko, wordsearch, crosswords, arrow word and many more. Issue 41 that I am looking at has details of 104 previous winners from issue 32, along with the entry coupon for this issue - there are 15 competitions I could enter from this issue alone, sometimes this value varies.
They also have a 'Coffee Break' fiction page. Usually a single page of short fiction. I think these stories are always a bit rubbish and you can easily guess the ending before you get there, even though it only takes 2 mins to read.
The Heartbeat section deals with health news, there is usually a large piece on a specific item of news, a couple of real life heath stories. A short Q&A with their doctor, along with some short news snippets. In this issue I have to say that I think TAB have been incredibly irresponsible. They have a large piece based on one Professor in Newcastle's claims that deadly melanoma (killer skin cancer) has been widely mis-diagnosed for those who have had benign (non cancerous) moles removed. He says that this has meant that the media (including TAB we have to assume) has scaremongered the GB public into believing that the sun is bad for us, and that sunbeds will give us cancer. This Prof. declares it as all nonsense and even goes so far as to tell us to top up our tans at the tanning salon should we wish. This piece made me so angry! To imagine that someone right now can use this as evidence that the tanning shop iss good for you when there has been extensive research that proves otherwise is wrong of TAB. I am no scientist, but surely they need to present a more balanced argument than they did in this article. Journalism should be there to educate where needed but this was just unhelpful and a backward step in the wider battle against skin cancer, until proper research is done.
Take a Buddy is a slight spin on the usual agony aunt page, here a TAB staffer (Katie Fraser) helps with readers problems by asking other readers for their advice. I guess it is a nice opportunity for those who want to use their experiences to help others, but sometimes the advice given in this section is just not healthy for people to follow, and something a trained counsellor would never recommend. I think they believe they are giving some balanced views on what to do in some situations, but they are missing the mark in my opinion.
TAB also feature a few pages of recipes, usually something the whole family can enjoy, or something simple. I like the recipes, they are really easy to follow and TAB give details on price per portion and nutritional information for the dish.
Take a Break usually have a double page spread fashion section too, while it isn't even close to high end fashion I think they have got a good balance here, the clothes and accessories they feature are in line with trends along with usually being good value and easy for a busy mum to find (in Tescos for example, or at a large retailer/online).
They also have a beauty advise page, touted as 'The most honest beauty advice you'll read anywhere'. I think this is a fair assessment. Some magazines will seem to promote a product, because the great Clinque (or whoever) PR machine is in full swing sending out samples to the beauty editor of major magazines, but dress it as advice, something that always galls me. The beauty page also has a small section where readers can recommend their favourite product, I like this aspect of the page too.
The last page is 'Sensible & Barmy'. We're supposed to believe that Sally Sensible and Betty Barmy want to hear all our stories, be they utter drivel or not. Often they are - fortunately it is just a single page of readers letter on pretty much any old subject that pops into their heads.
Overall I will buy Take a Break again. I give it a hard time in places, and some of the journalism is questionable. Sadly since it is the only way I can cry I have to keep buying it to ward off the mental breakdown I would have without the emotional release, and to help me remember that I am really a very fortunate person not to have all this crazy drama that goes on in some people's lives.