Before the internet (shudder) The Dragon magazine was an important part of my pursuit of the role playing hobby. Essays by Gary Gygax and other hobby greats (before you could send one of them an e-mail), new classes and monsters (back when such things were novel), adventures (especially before Dungeon magazine), comics (I miss Wormy)... Now there is an overload of inspirational material available, but back when I started playing D&D, The Dragon was my only contact with the greater gaming community.
A few years ago, I got rid of my Dragon magazine collection. I had scattered issues in the 40's, 50's, and 60's and every issue from 70 to over 200. Maybe ten years ago, my wife (she was my girlfriend at the time) surprised me with the CD collection of 250 digital Dragon magazines! Content with having all of the articles on my computer, and needing space in my book cases, I boxed up the whole collection and gave it away!
Aaaargh! Many of the older magazines were not always well cared for and some were missing covers so I would have needed to replace many of the anyway. My interest doesn't extend to collecting magazines for the 2nd and 3rd editions either so much of my old collection won't be missed.
With my renewed interest in AD&D, I decided to set to recollect the early issues - at least those from #22 when the AD&D previews began up through the introduction of 2nd edition in 1989, which puts me in the realm of #140 to #150. This will be a long term process because even though back issues are plentiful on e-bay, some of the early books can be expensive. I just had a great find, though - issues #22, #25, #26, and #27 still wrapped in their original paper that sheathed the magazine for subscriptions. I got the lot for $30 including the shipping. These magazines are in near mint condition and make a great start to my new collection!
From time to time, I'll update the progress of this project, but barring the sale of a complete collection by someone who doesn't know what it is (and that no one else has noticed), I plan to just get a few issues at a time - kind of like a time-warp subscription.