To Your Door
The City Reader offers the best in independently published magazines.
Whether it is on classic literature or traveling the world, you can expect the highest quality publications.
Selection changes according to availability of stock. Many of these are rare and hard to find,
so if something is calling to you, order it. Once an issue is gone, it's probably gone for good!
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Look for sale pricing on many back issues, marked at 25% off.
Limited copies available, so get them while they are still here!
Insights From Asia
I am honored and thrilled to be able to offer this publication. Kyoto Journal is celebrating 30 years of publication. After some years as digital-only, it recently has come back as a print publication. And I have to say, this must be experienced in print! The journal has Kyoto at the center of a story that illuminates the ancient-but-modern culture of Japan and its region, which includes Korea and China. Whether it is on traditional craftsmen maintaining a centuries old tradition, a travel diary from the Meiji era, the history and intricacies of Japanese confectionery, or an essay on a particular aspect of life in modern Kyoto, each piece is elegant, timeless and meticulously crafted, each issue a complete package. This is something to keep and treasure, certainly something you will go back to time and again. Rare in the US, so don’t miss it! Quarterly, Japan, in English, $16.50
Stories / Art / Ideas
Food + Place
Kitchen Table is a new food publication based right here in Portland! The focus is squarely on the culture and comfort that food brings to us, wherever we, or it, originated. This first issue is filled with a collection of interesting and quirky essays that often stick close to home - ie, Portland - and range from a review of fish sauces, ala Lucky Peach, to an interview with the guy that creates the chalkboard art at a favorite brewpub, to an interview with the celebrated chef and restaurateur Cory Schreiber. Secreted alongside these features you will find a foodie’s radical view that our country’s ‘melting pot’ of cultures is the basis for our comfort food - warm, delicious, familiar...and often appropriated. With it’s small size, colorful insides and chock full of great illustrations, this is a great new addition to the void left when Lucky Peach ceased. A must-have for any food mag fan! To be published 3x annually. Issue 1, Spring 2019, $9.99
By Chefs, For Chefs
Toothache is a peek inside the world of chefs and fine dining. Within the hefty covers you will find interviews by and of chefs of all stripes. Everyone from Michelin-starred restaurateurs to chocolatiers and pastry chefs, international and experimental - and recipes for some of their specialities. They talk of history and technique, culture and hardship, inspiration and the foods that inspire them. Recipes are fit for skilled cooks, with instructions and ingredients aimed at professionals. A solid 125 pages, with detailed and colorful photography, this should give inspiration to budding chefs and experienced foodies alike. Bi-annual, US, $20.00
European Review of Culture
This literary publication out of Berlin is elegant, international and mesmerizing. Each issue contains a few pieces of fiction, literary essays, and a long piece of reportage, often of a personal story. You will also find some poetry, mainly in translation, and perhaps a photo montage or essay. The feel of this journal is of classic European literature, with a post-colonial, multicultural mix. And it is gorgeous: ivory paper, lovely font, quality printing and bound like a book, fit for a shelf. If you like Granta or Lapham’s Quarterly, this is for you. Fast becoming a personal favorite, and only found here. Don’t miss this beauty. Bi-Annual, Germany, in English, $20.00
Expand your Mind, Refine your Wardrobe
Are YOU Chap? This publication is so cool! A small indie out of the UK, it celebrates those who appreciate the timeless, classic qualities of a fine linen three-piece suit, moustache wax, and tweed. If you tend toward trousers and fedoras, always hold the door for a lady, and wouldn’t consider wearing plimsolls except on the tennis court or cricket field, you are, most definitely, Chap. Each issue is filled with gents (and ladies) who are chap: interviews with well-known chaps, a section on the sartorial (what to wear, and how to wear it), and essays on the people and places that comprise the history of classic British panache. This publication is thoroughly entertaining. A rare find on this side of the Pond, yet fits quite nicely into our quirky Portland style. Don’t miss it! Quarterly, UK, $10.00
These days, travel publications crowd the magazine racks, from monthly ‘stay here, do this’ glossies to annual or biannual tomes filled with stories on one destination. Lodestars falls into the latter category, but stands apart. Each hefty volume takes us to one country, and attempts to find the heart of the place. Written very much as classic travel memoir, they might go on a paddling trip, or walk a historic trail, or visit the culinary destinations that embody the terroir of the region. For each trip the authors, photographers and illustrators document the landscape, people and culture as personal experience, lovingly remembered. Lush and unexpected, this is armchair travel at its best. Don’t miss it! Triannual, UK, $21.00
The Real Reader’s Quarterly
Slightly Foxed, the title referencing the brownish tinge old books sometimes get (called foxing), is a British publication about old - or should I say mature - and often out of print books, but also the stories and authors behind them. Does that sound a bit quirky? Oh, it definitely is, in a very British way, but it is also heavenly if you love books, especially old ones.
Indeed, this is a lovely little publication! It has ivory acid-free paper, intricate pencil illustrations, and is laid out like a book (of course) with a table of contents, chapters and bibliography. Just like that treasure you found hiding in the stacks of a used bookstore, Slightly Foxed is quite a rare find in the US, so get it while you can! Take it home, pour yourself a cuppa, find a comfy chair, and enjoy. Quarterly, UK, $16.50
Documenting Cycling Journeys Around the World
Far Ride is a gorgeous, photo-heavy publication that takes us on cycling trips far and wide. Published from Seoul, Korea, with hefty, art-quality paper and an elegant layout, this one simply feels different. Trips could be on the back roads of Korea, across the open plains of East Asia, or into the unknown lands of Africa. Photo essays, long personal stories, and interviews with riders and dreamers keep us absorbed and intrigued from front cover to the final page. Small print runs and self-distribution make this one rare, so grab it while you can. Tri-Annual, South Korea, $23.00
Each issue of this journal of food and travel covers one place, spending time, doing research and interviewing whoever is influencing the food scene. Whether they are chefs, restaurateurs, bakers, or growers, the authors get inside, peeling back the layers of the region, showing the food community and its inhabitants from an insider’s perspective. Lovingly put together, with photos that are intimate and compelling, hefty paper and 150+ pages, including a list of restaurants etc. in the back, this is a keeper. Annual, US, $19.00
Bright and exuberant, this bi-annual publication out of Brooklyn is a celebration of women and their place in the world of food. From chefs to start-up food entrepreneurs, cookbook authors to restaurant owners, famous or not-yet-famous, Cherry Bombe celebrates all these women and more. In each lengthy issue, you might find interviews with food icons, riffs on women making it in professional kitchens, or the story behind how a woman restaurateur got her start. Full of fun, without any fluff, it is one of the best of today’s modern independent publications. Bi-Annual, US, $20.00
Stories of Modern Business
Courier is a magazine for people making their way in today’s modern, entrepreneurial, startup and gig economy. Stories cover everything from how to upscale and how to fail, to the affordability of coworking space, to successful management of small teams, to financing your startup. Short pithy insights from successful entrepreneurs, long pieces on modern business success stories, and lots of advice, insight and interesting tidbits fill each 150+ page issue. From tech to retail, manufacturing to services, whatever your gig, there is something in here that speaks to your chosen path. Great stuff, totally unstuffy. Take a look! Bi-monthly, UK, $9.00
DG is a quarterly news journal for folks seeking an alternative to the fake news/social media/24 hour news cycle we seem to be trapped in. The folks at DG use hindsight and reportage to track down a bunch of stories that mattered, and compile them into an awesome publication every three months. For each quarterly issue, they look at a few important stories from across our world, giving them some depth and perspective. With interviews, timelines, photography and amazingly colorful, entertaining and readable infographics, they show us our world with insight. One of my favorite publications, I consider it the best in modern independent publishing. Get hooked. Quarterly, UK, $20.00
Beautiful back issues!
Fiery Fiction & Poetry Brought to Life with Visual Flair
Firewords is a petite quarterly of flash fiction and poetry, illustrated throughout. Flash is short, short stories, generally under 2000 words, and, when done well, thoroughly mesmerizing. Each issue of Firewords has a theme and the stories are all reader submitted. In the wrong hands that could equal amateurish content, but the editors have good taste, and I have found them to be entertaining, atmospheric and often humorous. Read it all in an hour, or pop it in your bag to grab quick bites in line at the store. Either way, much better than twitter!
I have two issues to choose from, 8 & 9.
A beautifully produced independent quarterly on vegan cooking and lifestyle. This issue includes an ode to CSAs, a visit to a refuge for neglected farm animals, tips for vegans when travelling, a discussion with five feminist food writers, and a host of delicious summer -or any- time recipes.
Issue 16, Summer 2015
Creativity for the Young at Heart
This adorable, tiny publication by Uppercase is for those that love crafts and crafting, with a bent towards the young and young at heart. For kids and adults, this pocket sized publication is filled with hundreds of pages of crafts and artists who create. Everything is included, from paper to knitting, dolls - nesting and soft - to quilts, books to pencils, interspersed with interviews of adult artists and their kids. This is the first issue of Little U, but Janine VanGool, says it won’t be the last! Created with help from her son, Finley, and lots of contributors and friends, it is a pint-sized package that is as tasty as a pint of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Take a peek! Occasional, Canada, $24.00
The Human Side of Technology
What is Offscreen? This compact publication is the stories, inspirations and passions of people who create in the world of technology. Containing a nice blend of pieces, there are four long, in depth interviews that explore the thoughts and drives of the interviewee, short essays and quick interviews about some insight found in a techie’s life, a handful of projects to improve the lives of humans, a photo section showing tech workspaces across the world, and a smattering of gear. Short of tech-speak and long on inspiration and humanity, this tri-quarterly published out of Australia and printed in Berlin is international, engrossing, inspiring. One of the many small, self-distributed gems I carry, it is hard to find outside of a few tech hubs, so grab it while you can! 3x Annually, Australia, $20.00