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Maximize Your TV Guide!

I have been a TV Guide subscriber for years, and before I was, my life was a total mess. I didn't know what was going to be on the tube from day to day, frequently missing shows I desperately wanted to watch. And I was always the odd man out with my peers, when they talked about hot shows around the water cooler.

Since getting my subscription, I am no longer that troubled outcast. My life has changed for the better, and now I have knowledge that week in and week out, the finest collection of TV journalism will be delivered directly to my doorstep. And not only that, but sometimes they even have collector's editions that have more than one cover (how great is that?)! All with no fuss, no muss, and no waiting in lines at the supermarket.

TV Guide is more than a magazine, it's an experience. And as a subscriber for more than 15 years, I have learned many tricks that maximize my enjoyment of the magazine. As a special service to you, the TeeVee reader, I would like to share some of them today.

Tip #1: Keep Your TV Guide Protected!

I can't tell you how many times my children have spilled fruit juice on my TV Guide, or how many times my wife has tainted the crossword because I left it out in the open. That's why I have my TV Guide delivered to a secret post office box: to ensure I am the first person to have access to it. I also have invested in mylar polybags to further protect them. And I've had a Plexiglas case with a lock (to which only I have the key) installed on our coffee table. While a Plexiglas case is moderately expensive, you will have peace of mind knowing that wherever you are, your TV Guide is safe, sound, and in mint condition. And how can you put a price on that?

Tip #2: Remember, Vigilance is the Key

Despite all of the protective measures you will take for your TV Guide, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. I have on several occasions caught my wife attempting to pick the lock in order to do the crossword puzzle.

Tip #3: Don't Throw Out That Sunday TV Section!

Now you might ask, with the TV Guide safely under lock and key, how does the rest of your family find out what's on TV if you are not around? I have found that the TV magazine in your local Sunday newspaper, while an inferior product, is a suitable substitute for my wife and kids.

Tip #4: Get a Safety Deposit Box

I mean, where else would you keep your old copies, for chrissakes?

Tip #5: The Table of Contents: A Window to the Wonderful World of Entertainment!

It's the best way to find what stories are in the magazine and what page they are on! I can't tell you how many times I've seen folks thumbing through TV Guide, trying to find an article about their favorite personality and failing miserably. "Where's that darn article about Sarah Michelle Gellar?" they'll whine. The smart TV Guide reader should always check the table of contents first. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I checked the contents page and I noticed there was an article about Joan Cusack! If I hadn't checked the contents page, I might have totally passed over the article!

Tip #6: Color Code Your Listings!

After thoroughly completing my first review of the listings and grids, I go through again and color code them. Blue for "can't-miss" shows, yellow for shows to tape, and pink for shows to avoid at all costs.

Tip #7: Pay Close Attention to The "Close Up" and "Editor's Choice" Boxes!

They put the spotlight on the best viewing experiences of the night!

Tip #8 : The TV Guide Horoscope: Words to Live By

For example, a couple of months ago, my horoscope in TV Guide said that "you will meet a stranger who will give something you will cherish." Lo and behold two days later, while my wife and I were at the supermarket, this woman who I've never met before in my life, came up to me and asked me if I'd like to sample something called a "pirogi." Let me tell you, brother, those pirogis were awfully tasty. Now some people might say that that was just a coincidence, but I know better.

Tip #9: Always Do the Crossword in Pencil

And it wouldn't hurt to xerox a few copies of it to work on before you officially fill it in.

Tip #10: Matt Roush? Skip Him

Trust me, the "Cheers and Jeers" section is all the guidance you'll ever need.

Additional contributions to this article by: James Collier.


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