Newest Review: ... 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... more
A Good weekly Mag!
Take A Break
Member Name: bettyboop2002
Take A Break
Advantages: appeals to a variety of readers, good competitions
Disadvantages: Some stories are similar each week
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!
Summary: An easy and interesting read