Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MONOCLE Issue 01 Volume 01 March 2007
A briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design.

I lost last weekend to this exciting new magazine which I blogged last Thursday.
It is divided into three broad categories - Affairs, Business & Culture. I read the magazine from beginning to end, all 250+ pages, there was nothing in it that failed to interest me.

Some particular mentions from the book world:

A whole page given to Barter Books. Here is an excerpt:

"The traditional Independent British bookshop might be fighting off assaults on all sides (store numbers declined 6 per cent in 2006) but Barter Books thrives.
Launched in 1991 by Mary Manley and her husband Stuart in the third class waiting room of the disused Alnwick railway station, it was inspoired by a summer Mary spent in an antiquarian bookshop in New York, and the sort of overdraft that inspires entrepreneurship.

Since starting with 75 sq. m of space, 10,000 dusty romance novels and a staff of two, Barter has spent 16 years growing an rxtra 650 sq m and stacking 350,000 titles on its shelves, and now employs 26 staff, including artists, linguists, and the Mayor of Alnwick. Employees' ages range from teenagers to an old-timer named Dot, whom the Manleys hope to persuade not to retire on her 70th birthday.

The last time a steam engine was seen at the station was in 1968, but ever since they sold their first Agatha Christie, the Manleys have dreamt of getting the Alnmouth-Alnwick branchline re-opened: at the current rate of progress, Barter Books might just need its own fully functioning railway station after all. "

Here is a pic of Barter Books taken from their most interesting website. To check out the website, and belive me its worth a visit, click on the Barter Books link in the previous para.

One especially fascinating feature on the website is their " Famous Writers Mural" which appears in black and white but when you run your mouse over it that panel turns to colour. You can then click on the panel for enlargement and information, names of authors etc. Great fun.

Barter Books is a second-hand bookstore by the way. Monocle omitted to say that in their piece.

Further on in the magazine there are brief reviews including "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" ,(surely the most reviewed book this year!), "Metropolitan World Atlas", "PA&Co", the story of one of Stockholm's most famous and revered restaurant.

Monocle comes with a cover price of UK5 pounds, US$10, Aust$12.95 so it was a shock to have to pay NZ$34.90 for my copy. Magazzino explained it was an airfreight edition and that all their copies in future would be airfreighted. So I went on to the Monocle website and signed up for a suscription at UK pounds 75 (approx NZ$209 ) so now it will arrive in my po box 10 times a year.
I can't wait for issue # 2 !!

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