The Real Simple Magazine Blues

David Romano
2 min readOct 8, 2023


Dear Real Simple, I have held off writing in hopes you would change but with the latest issue in hand I can’t put it off any longer. I do sometimes find useful and/or interesting items in your pages so, thank you for that, but there is an issue regarding style and design in the magazine that I would like to draw your attention to, and some environmental concerns.

Designers like to stack books and put things on top of the stack. This is so wrong. It has no style at all and is disrespectful to books and to those who would like to look at them.

On page 94 of the July/August issue, in the article, design ideas to steal from hotels, there’s a potted plant sitting on a book stack. This does not work in any way; not even to look at. Turn the page and there’s another stack with a bell on top; if you want to read the books, you’re going to have to do something with the bell.

Look at movin’ on up featuring the annual Real Simple Home: page 83 two books stacked with some implement and possibly a candle on top of them; page 84, a stack of three books with a large vase and a little vial on top of them; a large book with a pencil cup and tray on top; page 87 a stack of three books with a ceramic bowl on top. This has got to stop. This is no way to treat books.

Regarding the environment, let’s talk seriously about recycled plastic. Objects or clothing made from recycled plastic shed plastic micro-fibers. The process of recycling plastic create lots of micro plastics, by itself.

“A new study finds the micro-plastic pollution that now permeates the planet can travel to the brain and cause behavioral changes. Writing in the International Journal of Molecular Science, University of Rhode Island scientists say their study of mice exposed to various levels of micro-plastics in drinking water revealed that the particles accumulated deep in the tissue
of several organs, including the liver, spleen and kidneys. Researcher Jamie Ross said he and his team also noticed inflammation in the rodents’ brains after only three weeks of exposure, combined with more erratic movements and other unusual behavior.” — Earthweek: Diary of a Changing World Week ending Friday, September 22, 2023, by Steve Newman