Cindi Leive: What I Read

A 'psychotically early morning person,' the Glamour editor in chief has a love-hate relationship with Instagram, and a love-love relationship with Words With Friends.

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How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts, and the literary world to hear their answers. This is drawn from a phone conversation with Cindi Leive, who has been the editor-in-chief of Glamour since 2001.

I'm a psychotically early morning person. I tend to get up at the hour when it's still impolite to email people. I'm not one of those phone- or iPad-in-the-bedroom people, so I do physically get up out of bed. While I'm drinking my coffee, I'll read The New York Times online and also — call me shallow — I will go to Twitter. It's not always the most authoritative source of information, but I do follow a lot of news sources and assume if there's a significant story I'll see it posted there. I'll do about 15 to 20 minutes of quick trolling around and looking online at everything from The Times to CNN. It's sort of one-stop shopping trying to get caught up.

We also get The Times delivered at home, which is funny because by the time I physically bring it in from the doorstep I've frequently read all of it online. But, I will never stop ordering The Times in print because it's one of those things that tells me I'm a grownup with a real home. Sometimes I'll also look at the New York Post on my phone on the way to the gym.

When I come back from the gym or a run, usually my kids are up and we'll sit and read the paper together — The Times, not the Post. I don't consider that kid-appropriate. We'll read that together as we eat breakfast or sometimes we'll read their magazines. My son is addicted to Sports Illustrated for Kids. My daughter would probably read every issue of Twist magazine if I would let her. But generally we'll look at the paper together. This morning I had an incredibly long conversation with my son about the found art exhibit at MoMA, which he was totally fascinated with. I love that time with them.

My commute is about a half an hour and I try to be in a news blackout zone because I use the time to read copy and edit. I find that's a nice quiet chunk of time. I'm on email a lot but I try not to get too far down the rabbit hole of Twitter there.

I follow a patchwork oddball collection of people from very basic and authoritative news sources, like the publications that I read anyway — The New York Times, The Atlantic — to a lot of individual writers, as well — from fashion folks to Clara Jeffery, the editor of Mother Jones who is a great and prodigious tweeter. For TV stuff I follow Emily Nussbaum from The New Yorker. For fashion it's everyone from Women's Wear Daily to The Cut. I also follow a lot of women bloggers like Tavi — does she actually qualify as a woman? Girl blogger? — to people like Anna Holmes, who founded Jezebel, just to keep up with what women are talking about in the blogosphere.

I definitely have fallen in love-hate with Instagram over the last year. I think it's completely addictive and if you spend a lot of time on Instagram you're very aware of the self-conscious way people portray themselves. In general it's 80 percent love, 20 percent hate. There's that eye-roll reaction that kicks in sometimes. We all dress ourselves up for Instagram a little bit. I'll definitely check that during the day as a combination of keeping up with actual friends in and out of the fashion world — everyone from Jason Wu to my sister. I think Tory Burch has a great Instagram. I love Francisco Costa's Instagram because he takes oddball pictures of things.

At the office, my news consumption is incredibly sporadic. Periodically, I'll see a news alert on my phone from The Times, but most of the time I am so busy in meetings and with the actual work at hand that I'm not spending much time looking at news. A lot of my consumption during the day is prompted by someone in the office seeing a story and telling me I have to turn on the computer and read whatever that is. In Glamour's world that could be anything from Wendy Davis's incredible filibuster before the Texas legislature to Beyoncé just cut her hair, which was legitimate big news in our world.

My office also has the most wonderful well-stocked library of magazines. I love National Geographic. I think what they do with photography is consistently excellent and really exciting. Love magazine is always consistently good and inspiring. And, 10 magazine, I really like. Some of their formatting is incredibly clever. I also have my personal favorite magazines that I would subscribe to under any circumstances on any planet: The New Yorker, New York magazine. I think you're not quite caught up on life if you haven't at least skimmed that magazine every week. In the wicked gossip realm I have a mini addiction to the British tabloid Grazia and I read all of Glamour's international editions. I use the term "read" loosely because my Romanian is not up to snuff.

My biggest chunks of reading time come on planes. It's such a pleasure, particularly if you happen to be on an international flight where there isn't WiFi. You have complete permission to immerse yourself in whatever you're reading. I have my top things I buy at the Hudson News stand: The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly —  I enjoy their kinship in the world of TV obsession — I'll buy whichever fashion magazine competitors look interesting or new, and New York magazine. I also actually really love Harvard Business Review. It sounds like one of those things you're supposed to say that you like because it makes you sound like a really on top of it business person. But, I've never finished an issue and felt like I didn't learn something about how to do my own job better. And then, for sure, for sure People magazine.

When I get home at night I'm a big TV watcher, unfortunately for my sleep habits. Usually there's something that my husband and I are in the middle of binge-watching. Most recently it turned out that I had completely forgotten what had happened in Breaking Bad. In preparation of Sunday's beginning of the last 8 episodes I had to go back and re-watch season 4. I'm about to dive into Orange Is the New Black. Then there's the usual DVR list of things that I watched both because I'm interested in them and because it's what Glamour's readers are watching: Back in the day it was The Office and Sex and the City, now it's New Girl and Scandal, which I'm definitely obsessed with. And then we DVR the previous night's Colbert Report and Jon Stewart.

In the nights, I try to squeeze in a little bit of novel time. I just finished Where Did You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. I completely devoured it — I ate it in like five bites. Now I'm in the usual dejected funk that transpires after you've finished a book that you really like and you don't know what you're going to read next.

Right before bed, I will make my last Word with Friends move of the day. That's the other aspect of my media diet: my minor game obsession. I play Draw Something with my kids. I'm constantly on Words with Friends, I have a three-year war going with my uncle.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.