Feed your Magazine Habit.

Another post from William Smith of Hang Fire Books


I’m a magazine addict. I have a perpetual 2-3 foot pile of semi-recent mags in every room. I like to let them build up and then read 5 or 6 issues at once.

Since becoming a bookseller I’ve expanded my magazine reading list quite a bit. Now I include academic, art and special interest journals that I previously couldn’t/shouldn’t afford. These periodicals have a much longer shelf life than your typical People or EW, so when I’m finished with a careful read, I resell them.

In the listings I include: titles of feature articles, books reviewed, staff writers, and anything else of note. I tend to price them at slightly more than the per-issue subscription price, but slightly less than the cover. They frequently sell to overseas regions where the magazines aren’t on the rack.

True, I don’t make much by doing this, but I do offset the cost of my addiction and I frequently discover authors, artists, personalities that I should watch for while bookscouting.

Good subject areas for this practice are: high-end architecture, pop-culture history, single author/artist studies, film journals, mags with in-depth interviews/career retrospectives and more (fiction and poetry journals…not so much). If you’re serious about making a return on your investment check back issue prices on ABE (a year or two back) before committing to a subscription.

A couple of William’s other posts: Worthless Books in your Inventory | Keeping Shipping Expenses down

9 thoughts on “Feed your Magazine Habit.”

  1. please list in detail your method for finding time to read. i have been a bookseller 30 years and never find the time to finish reading all the magazines that arrive in my house. they just provide insulation

  2. I know what you mean, I’m a couple of issue behind in FineBooks & Collections, still..I think I’ll try out William’s idea with an architecture mag I’ve had my eye on.

  3. What older I become, the less time for reading.
    Restriction of other cases. Here’s my way to find time to read. I will not sleep or thumb, but will read. Sorry for my english…

  4. I’m an information junkie: blogs, podcasts, magazines etc. I find if I subscribe to a magazine I have a hard time keeping up to date, but if I buy them one at a time I am finished and anxiously awaiting the next one. Maybe the subscription makes me take it for granted. Anyway, where/how do you sell these? Do you mean like on ebay?


  5. Ahhhh… It’s refreshing to meet a fellow magazine addict. I’ve been collecting magazines in much the same way, and the only way my wife was going to allow this obsessive magazine hoarding to continue, was if I at least attempted to sell some of them.

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