where to get your mags in London

“Print is dead? Says who? I guess we didn’t get the memo”. Mag fanatic, Sara Hesikova shares with us her favourite London magazine stores. You can find her magazine recommendations @MagFanatic

More and more niche magazines are on the rise and online destinations such as Facebook and Mytheresa launch print publications. It seems that many readers still value holding a physical copy of a magazine, flipping through its pages, feeling the paper and the smell of fresh ink. Perry Thaker, owner of Charlotte Street News agrees, “Having a physical store where people can touch the magazines and see their quality still means an awful lot to people, and I think there are groups of people that value that much more than the prevailing judgement that ‘screens trump all’ would suggest”. I count myself as one of these people. But you still need to know where to go to get what you’re looking for or discover something new. These are my top five London stores catering to magazine junkies and enthusiasts alike.

magCulture

Starting with an online journal about all things magazines and a studio that helps making, designing and giving an identity to mags, in 2015 magCulture opened its physical store in Clerkenwell. Magazines are beautifully and carefully displayed in an open, modern and vast space housing about 450 different publications. All the offline and online magCulture outlets work together proving that digital and print worlds can co-exist and help one another. Every month, the magCulture store throws an event talking to creators of various magazines which are advertised on the website and social media.“Our shop and all the magazines we stock rely on digital services to promote and sell. Our website and Instagram are great tools, but they drive people to want to find out more and the physical shop is a vital resource for customers to engage with the magazines,” says Jeremy Leslie, the founder of magCulture. “Online representations of magazines – even the mini cover images – never do them justice. When you’re spending £10-20 on a mag, you want to find it well-presented in an environment that matches the care paid to making the magazine.”

270 St John St, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4PE
https://magculture.com/

Charlotte Street News

“You can get magazines in supermarkets, at major online retailers and of course on tablets and phones,” says Perry Thaker, “so we look to stock different and special magazines, the sort of niche publications that won’t be available everywhere and work best in print.” And that’s exactly what you will find at Charlotte Street News in Bloomsbury. This place is one of the originals in the game, celebrating a 30-year anniversary this year, and while the store is still alive and well, Thaker admits this business isn’t easy, “Shops are suffering badly for many different reasons, you only have to look at the closure of Wardour News earlier this year after three decades of service. Rents in London have gone up so much in London that many retailers are struggling to break even. And particularly for magazine stores the internet has made a big impact. Because if you can sell these products without the overheads then that’s a huge advantage.”

66 Charlotte St, Bloomsbury, W1T 4QE
http://www.charlottestreetnews.co.uk/

Good News

While many of us still mourn the closure of Wardour News, for others it was a prosperous moment, at least business-wise. One in particular is Good News on Soho’s Berwick Street, located only around the corner and a few steps away from Wardour News which has in a way passed the torch to Good News to be Soho’s go-to place for magazines. Those are some big shoes to fill, however, Good News has shown to be up to the task.  The shop is small or perhaps it only looks it because every space available is filled with magazines. The shelves are stacked all the way up to the ceiling with many rare titles, it has one of the biggest ranges of Vogues for example. Good News is also one of the few that surprisingly hasn’t embraced the digital world in any way and doesn’t have a website, Instagram account or even an email address.

23 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 8RB

Shreeji Newsagents

Probably the only place in London that can trump Wardour News in longevity is Shreeji News. Supplying the whole of Marylebone with the best mags since 1982, something else happened recently that might have brought this newsagent to your attention, and even the founder Mr Sandeep cites this event as one of the highlights of his career. “Virgil Abloh and System Magazine having their launch here and having queues of happy people waiting in anticipation outside the store.” Indeed. Last December, Chiltern Street, where Shreeji Newsagents is located, became Virgil Abloh street for the day when System Magazine launched their 10thissue here with the Off-White and now men’s Louis Vuitton designer on its cover and present for signing. What an event.

6 Chiltern St, Marylebone, W1U 7PT
https://www.shreejinewsagents.com/

Artwords Bookshop

If you find yourself in East London, don’t pass on the opportunity to pay a visit to the Artwords Bookshop on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. As East London-ish as it can be, Artwords houses a varied range of magazines on topics of fashion, design, art, architecture and photography and is accompanied by an equally impressive range of books on the same subjects. This is the graphic designers’ heaven for sure. The space is very modern, bright and visually pleasing and the staff always know what they’re talking about.

69 Rivington St, EC2A 3AY
https://www.artwords.co.uk/

Sara Hesikova is a writer and journalist based in London. She runs an Instagram account @MagFanatic where she reviews the latest magazines and gives tips where to find the best ranges of mags.