The City Reader

A Modern Newsstand

D Street Special!

UpdatesKarin Dibling

Hello Readers!

Monocle, October 2016

Monocle, October 2016

That exciting buzz you have been feeling up and down the street recently has reached it's peak: Our lovely D Street is featured in Monocle this month! We are the first piece in their annual Retail Survey, where they highlight several Division Street shopkeepers, including myself, Josephine's, and Little Otsu. We have been photographed, filmed and interviewed, and the results are in beautiful print! It is a well-written and photographed piece, and is well worth a look. Also in this issue: a look into the Dutch people, interviews with 15 mayors worldwide including our own Charlie Hales, and their fashion special. I have a big stack of them, so they should last until you can swing by to grab yours on the way to Imperial for a pint (that's them on the cover!). October 2016, $12.00

Makeshift says Farewell to Print

Updates, RantsKarin Dibling

Hello Readers!

Magazine publishing can be a tricky business. The more unusual and international, the harder it can be to find your niche. Deciding how to use online media can easily be the most confusing part. Should you offer some of the print content online? What about a paywall? Should you merely use the internet to showcase the publication, or should you create a whole other aspect of your brand? The full spectrum of choices are represented in the world of independent magazines, from the lone Facebook page, to Monocle's whole online world, complete with radio station and shop. 

Makeshift, issue 15. Their last print issue

Makeshift, issue 15. Their last print issue

One of the small indies I carry, Makeshift, has decided to cease the print version of their reportage as of their last issue, 15. The quarterly has been on my shelves since I opened three years ago, when I had issue 7, and I am sorry to see them go. They say they will continue their work online, with reportage and videos, so you can follow them there if you wish. 

To read their farewell post, click here.

This got me thinking. Magazines were, not so long ago, predicted to be dying. The general thought was that digital was the future, that tablets and phones were where everyone would read their content, and people wouldn't buy print magazines. Take one look at my shelves, and you will know that certainly didn't happen. However, the big magazine publishers - those who create the likes of Vogue and Esquire - are forever reorganizing, trimming page size, and publishing sales numbers with scary-looking declines. So what is up? 

Well, I have a thought on that. I think there are two things going on here. First, people don't read magazines for the same reasons they did even ten years ago. All our news - world, political, celebrity - is consumed online and in 140 character bites (which is another blog post entirely). We reach for print to disconnect from all that and read something with depth. Who is supplying that? The independents, mainly. 

The other issue is simple. The big publishers give away all their content for free. Endless websites, Instagrams, tweets and Facebook posts means there is no need fork over the cash for that People in the grocery line, no matter how much they lower the cover price. They made this choice, undoubtedly, with the expectation that over time, online ad revenue - you know, all that stuff your ad-blocker doesn't show you? - would generate more income than the ads in the print publication. Turns out, not so much. Which is where the panic comes from. Online visits are growing (tweet, tweet), print sales are declining (Read free content online? Sure.) But the advertisers still want to be in the print publication, because that is where people are paying attention. So they are in a pickle. 

And once you give the store away, you can't take it back. In other words, you have been getting your Vogue or Sports Illustrated content for free online for years, and then one day you show up and you have to pay to see it? That isn't going to please anyone. 

But what if you didn't start out free? There are several examples of this in independent magazines, such as n+1 and Jacobin. Or, in what someone recently told me he calls the 'Microsoft Model' - and which you can see succeeding in both the New York Times and the New Yorker - you get them hooked on your content, and then you add the paywall. The trick there, of course, is that the content has to be top quality, or considered essential. Which mainly these days is coming from the independents, with their excellent longform journalism and often culturally edgy content that people actually want to read.

Which brings us back to Makeshift. Some publishers decide to start online, then go to print, and some choose the reverse. Others choose to do one or the other. The variety is broad, and has varying levels of success. But whatever you hear, don't worry about the future of print magazines! There are so many new, high quality indies out there, my shelves overflow. In fact, I have lots of magazines on my shelves that are so new they are still in the single-digit issues. The most recent arrival is Majestic Disorder, issue 7, which arrived last week, along with issue 8 of Hello Mr. I also have Drift, volume 4, which is on the coffee culture of Stockholm, and Womankind #9, Cahallo. And of course, don't forget issue 4 of Pallet, one of my favorites, or Lonely Planet's new US edition, which has their 7th issue out now. 

Print is still going strong! I have something good to read for you, whatever you might be interested in. Put down those tweets, you need a nice magazine. Keep reading!


Indian Summer, Good Reads

read thisKarin Dibling

Hello Readers!

One of my go-to places for magazine-chat is Monocle's weekly radio show/podcast called The Stack. If you aren't familiar, they sit down with someone from the world of magazines and chat about the state magazine publishing today. They also have short features, and go through selections from a stack of magazines brought in by the guest - thus the title.

This week's episode has a feature on a current favorite of mine, Pallet! If I haven't yet introduced you to this marvel, it's tag line is 'a Journal for People who Like to Think and Drink', which I would suggest describes many of my customers, as well as myself. Published by the folks behind Dogfish Head beer (which explains all the beer adverts!), but it isn't about beer so much as that beer infiltrates the stories within. It seems especially fitting for a town like Portland, where we have brewpubs or bottle shops on every corner not filled by coffee... While it may feel like summer this weekend, rain is just around the corner, so come on down and grab a copy of this one, while I still have, um, a stack of them available. Ha!

The World in Print

On the ShelvesKarin Dibling

Hello Readers!

Magazines are a great way to get a glimpse of the wonders in our world. Each publication is a curated collection of sights and people, a window into another culture. My current selection has a bunch of gorgeous and interesting items. Let's take a look at just a few!

The Escapist: A Journal of Places Less Explored

Summer 2016,


This publication is by Monocle. They do a few special editions annually, and the summer edition covers travel, as only Monocle can. They visit a handful of great cities that they feel haven't had the coverage they deserve, diving into the culture, shopping, and neighborhoods to find out what makes them vibrant. This issue the cities include Buffalo NY, Hanoi Vietnam, and Brno in the Czech Republic. Throw in a few interesting essays, some reportage, say on Portugal's navy, and their picks for restaurants and cafes, and you have something interesting on every page. Typical Monocle.

The Collective Quarterly

Issue 4: Pisgah


There is a trend right now among the indies, with a good deal of new publications with a travel focus where each issue goes in depth into one place or region. Boat does the locals, Drift does coffee.

Collective Quartely is a new publication that delves into a place's people, and what they call the 'essence' of the place. This is issue 4, and they visit the region around Asheville NC. The mountains contain an abundance of stories, from back-to-the-landers, to the Cherokees who never left, to craftspeople and 'city' folk and hippies who reside in Asheville. 

It is a beautiful 'slow journalism' sort of publication, hefty and packed with interesting stories, and tons of photography. Well worth your time. 

Victory Journal

Issue 11: Body & Soul

Bi-Annual, $16.00

There is nothing 'usual' about this publication. It is sports, but there aren't any scores. It is photography, but printed on what is effectively newsprint. And it is huge - at 1 1/2 feet high and a foot wide, it is certainly one of the largest publications I carry. But all that space gives them room to do justice to the beautiful imagery and stories covered within the pages. What you get is photo-essays, with introductory essays, on everything from a French Judo master to the ballet dancer Misty Copeland, the Green Bay Packers fanbase to Joe Montana and Tiger Balm. Interesting all the way through, no matter the sport, because it is really about the people. 

Keep Reading!