Straps let you hold onto more weight than you can grip with your hands, or it lets you pull easier and takes the stress of your forearms. Some people use them on any type of pulling exercise because they feel it hits the target muscle better. Lots of pros will use them for everything because when you're really strong the forearms take a beating every workout just because of the weight being lifted.
I personally never use them and go pretty heavy and lots of stuff. Chalking up works for me. I would certainly use them if I had to, though. There is no sense in letting your back workout suffer just because you won't use straps. If I had to use them I would start training grip more to overcome the issue. Gloves are just fucking pointless for anything in the gym.
The only magazine I read regularly is Muscular Development. If you're not into competitive bodybuilding it's not really worth reading every month, but pick one up and see what you think. They aren't full of shit about everything, and have a lot of good information. Flex has better nutrition writing, but definitely isn't near as good overall. Bodybuilding.com has more info and whatnot on it than any other site, and their store is great too. The Muscular Development site is good too, and their boards can be pretty ridiculous.