When I/we first moved to Spain, one of my many priorities was, ‘Am I going to find my American magazines’. Learning Spanish was high on the list too. Ironically it was a trip to Prague where I first encountered and started reading USA Glamour magazine. I remember Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the cover during in her Buffy days. Back then few places in London aside from Borders sold international magazines. Now most WHSmith’s throughout the UK do, however even now I prefer to read American magazines to British magazines.
I needn’t have worried. Along the upper part of Las Ramblas near Placa Catalunya are quite few few kiosks selling international magazines as does FNAC in El Triangle. However one of the best magazine shops was/is literally around the corner from our then apartment.
Located in El Borne in one of the smaller most picturesque squares in the city, Placeta de Montcada is the ‘magazine shop’. 10 years and I still don’t know it’s name! Family run, with a very patient, but loves the attention golden retriever (sadly he passed last year. Golden retriever Junior is gradually learning the ropes), stock a large a selection of English language magazines. US and UK Glamour, Instyle, Shape, Cosmo, National Geographic, Elle, Vogue, Harpers, the artsy fashion magazines which few other places do and a whole host of other international newspapers and magazines.
International magazines here are about a month behind. Every month around the same time, I’d pass by for a few days to see if any had arrived. I think I became known as the ‘La nena de revistas americanas’ (American Magazine Girl). I’d prop my bike up, smile and be told ¡Mañana! or ¡Si, creo que si!! The owners are also very patient!
They sell ice creams, soft drinks, water and postcards too!
Last year when we came back to Barcelona for a ‘see how it is to move back’ trip, I popped by to say hello. 2 years I hadn’t passed by and they welcomed me with the biggest smile, asking where I’d been and how am I. There was me thinking they wouldn’t recognise me!
Sadly now, I get most of my magazines on line via Zinio. It works out cheaper and saves trees. I started Zinio in France as the magazines there are way more expensive than here. That said, if you’re ever on the Côte d’Azur, the best international magazine shop is located in Antibes, just past the Arch in Port Vauban as you start the sea wall walk. You’re welcome!
US Instyle Magazine however is the only magazine of the ones I read currently unavailable on line in Europe. So once a month around the same time I pass by when I can, ask, to be told ¡Mañana! or ¡Si! Some days though I wake up with a feeling it’s arrived and it has! The lady, who I think is starting to learn English, likes to say the prices in English to see if she got them right. In return, I learn a bit of Catalan and I always ask how the dog is. If he’s around they call him over so I can say hello.
I could get the magazines from other places and if even Instyle was to become available on Zinio, I think I’d say no. I don’t get to say hello to a cute golden retriever, have bike ride through El Borne or learn a bit of Catalan and it’s history.
Do you like to support small businesses? Magazines on line or paper? I like on conivence of on line, it saves trees, but I never read them as quickly as traditional paper. I’m more likely to pick up and read a magazine lying around!