What happened to going out to a local newsstand on a Sunday morning and getting a paper? (Yes, digital happened but still...)
There’s something about flickering through a newspaper or a magazine. The 1-page ads might seem like a wasted space for an avid reader but even those, in the right amount, are nice to see. So visual, so tangible, so vibrantly colorful.
Reading a physical paper gives us 1 precious thing that digital can't: it gives us the mental silence and focus necessary to enjoy reading.
There’s no nervous scrolling looking for something “better”, no rush to finish an article and move onto the next thing, and there’s no sudden opting out to “check Instagram real quick”.
It’s just steady browsing through a piece where nothing pops out, moves or suddenly makes noise. It has a constant rhythm in which you gradually get into and just fall into.
All this newspaper-related philosophical introspection was triggered by a trip I went on a few weeks ago when I visited one of my best friends in Zurich and learnt something new about her (which I loved and stole… well, “incorporated in my own routine”): she goes out every Sunday and buys a newspaper. Which she then reads.
Let’s break that down: she leaves her house, walks 10min to a place that sells international newspapers because she’s not a local, and then goes back home, and reads it.
In a day and age when you just click your way through the news, I found this very refreshing.
So much so that when I got back home, I decided to do my eyes a favor and stop reading everything online. I say “everything” because I still read some things online, of course.
So does she, we’re not savages.
Here’s some inspo on both physical and online light reading:
The physical: Monocle, for “outside-the-trends” reading
Again, an introduction my friend made when I was visiting. Monocle creates many types of content but what I like most is their magazine. So refreshingly well-written, well-documented and illustrated, that you can read it for hours and not get bored.
Ok, it’s not the Bible, so you can’t literally read it for hours but you get my point…
The best thing about it: it doesn’t speak about the same things you see everywhere and it’s very international.
They champion original stories from places around the world, local businesses that are thriving and why, unique design and architecture, global affairs done from different angles, anything and everything that isn’t celebrity gossip or a slightly different spin on the same political news.
Anyway, if you’re ever close to a newsstand and a Monocle magazine pops up, give it a chance.
The digital: The Cut, for current affairs.
The Cut is part of the Vox Media Network (together with The Verge, New York Magazine and other big publishers) so it’s more glitzy and focused on current news and trends. Even so, it’s very well-written, entertaining and easy to gloss through. I personally like how their website’s built so I enjoy browsing it.
Another physical: The New Yorker, for so many reasons.
There’s no need to go into much detail about the print version of The New Yorker: the touch, the illustration, but most importantly, flickering through the newspaper-like magazine and reading its literature-like articles.
The New Yorker might seem like a short read but it’s not. It’s compact. Short but intense. It feels like reading literature.
So anyway, if you’re nostalgic about reading a newspaper on a Sunday morning, these are some great reads.
But that’s just me… thinking out loud.