Time well spent

Elizabeth Peyton

Observation: When you buy a book or a magazine, what you’re really buying is time. Time to get away from fast information, time to get lost in stories, ideas, theories or just idle page-turning.

I find it harder to get into books these days – the lure of the phone is too strong! But I realise that’s because the apps are designed to be as addictive as Las Vegas slot machines (it’s the apps, not the phones*). So I’m trying to ween myself off screens and spend more time with print. (Um, sorry Graydon Carter…)

The print magazines that currently get my attention are the ‘bookazines’ that aren’t time-dependent. So the bi-annuals and the less frequent zines that come when they come. I like Apartamento, The Gentlewoman, Self Service and Upstate Diary. They’re expensive and that’s because they’re good.

The men’s magazine Jocks & Nerds has come back after a hiatus with a higher cover price of £25. But there’s not a single ad therein, which means no compromise. I’m not sure how sustainable it is as a business model, but I think it’s worth paying the price to support the culture of print. Plus the content and production values are excellent; you learn about interesting people, the paper stock is lush, the photography is beautiful. Compared to an average monthly, you’re paying for a luxury experience. I mean, you’d pay the same for a highly forgettable lunch in a London chain restaurant.

And then there are the news supplements. It was revealed this week that the FT’s How To Spend It magazine has a new editor. Jo Ellison (currently fashion editor and associate editor) will be taking over from Gillian de Bono in September and I expect it will see a huge shake-up. Luxury newspaper supplements are big business and for me, How To Spend It has always been one of the best. I actually based my interviews for The New Garconne on The Aesthete section. I’m sure an afternoon paging through HTSI will continue to be time well spent.

*I recommend this podcast if you want to learn more

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Elizabeth Peyton

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