The key to any hobby is knowledge. As a dealer, I maintain an extensive philatelic library and read many publications. Here are a few suggestions for you to expand your knowledge. I personally read all of the items mentioned here.
The American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA) has long been a stamp dealer member only organization. Today, the ASDA boasts a membership of over 600 professional dealers that adhere to a strict philatelic code of ethics. But the ASDA is reaching out to collectors now too. With this mailing, you'll find a brochure to subscribe to the American Stamp Dealer magazine. Not only does it still have articles pertinent to the trade, but it has articles of general interest to collectors. This is new territory for the ASDA. I think you'll enjoy it. At $19.95 a year for 10 issues, it's a bargain.
I read Linn's Stamp News every week. Among general interest articles, it has late breaking information on the philatelic world. You can subscribe by going to www.linns.com or writing to Linn's Stamp News, P.O. Box 29, Sidney, OH 45365.
Mekeel's & Stamps has been around longer than any other current stamp publication. John and Elaine Dunn do a great job with this publication. They don't compete with Linn's Stamp News. They are a complimentary product with different articles and information. I've enclosed their coupon before. I'll enclose it again. It's a weekly publication and the price is very affordable. It's a great read.
US Stamp News is also published by John and Elaine Dunn. While Mekeel's & Stamps caters to the more general or worldwide collector, US Stamp News is strictly devoted to US stamps. It's full of information. The coupon enclosed gives you a special rate on this publication too.
Are you a member of the American Philatelic Society? If not, let me know and I can drop you information in the mail. The APS is THE organization in the US for collectors of all ages and interests. Membership benefits in the APS are too numerous to list here.
Are you also a member of the US Stamp Society? The monthly journal is full of information on US stamps that you typically won't find in a more general philatelic publication like Linn's or Mekeel's. The US Stamp Society is 1700+ members strong. You can obtain an application online at http://www.usstamps.org/application.html or write to the USSS Executive Secretary, P.O. Box 6634, Katy, TX 77491-6634 for information.