Looking for 7,000 issues of four of America’s favorite magazines? here is your man



BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Anyone who’s ever collected items – porcelain figurines, autographed soccer balls, whatever – knows that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Some are more aware of it than others.

Take Tom Svare of Bakersfield, who has the joy and the burden of owning 7,000 magazines.

For those under the age of 20, it may be helpful to understand the purpose of this thing called magazine. In the old days, before websites and podcasts, this was how people got much of their news and information – from ink printed on paper.

And for many people, especially during the 20th century, they had special value – familiar friends who visited each other monthly or weekly. Some people clung to it like memories.

Some people, like Svare.

Svare has 7,000 consecutive issues of four of the country’s most beloved magazines: Time, Life, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic – in Life’s case, going all the way back to number one.

He had help, of course. He’s not that old.

Her late adoptive father, a World Mar II veteran named Michael Villareal, started the collection and kept it until his death at 92.

Now, at 78, Svare thinks it’s time to part with the collection, which occupies half of a storage unit in the Rio Bravo Valley northeast of Bakersfield – not cheap to store. He doesn’t want to sell individual magazines because that would break the sets and decrease their value.

So he’s stuck.

He donated the collection to libraries and colleges. No takers. They can access all questions on the Internet, they say. But they cannot access either the touch or the smell of history.

In the 7,000 magazine market? Tom Svare is your man. Email him at [email protected] and make an offer.


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