The Magazine Shop

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.The Magazine Shop, Placeta de Montcada

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.Placeta de Montcada

Placeta de Montcada

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!

The Magazine Shop, Placeta de Montcada

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!Palm trees Placeta de Montcada

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!

19 comments

  1. Well I feel lucky I guess, they sell a lot of American magazines where I live. Only there is no place with the cool welcoming Retriever or Lab. I like the idea of saving trees ( and rubish landfills) but there is just something about the hard copy magazine…..

    1. Lucky you living where there’s lots of American magazines! You can always recycle them or repurpose them for drying out shoes and other repurpose magazine uses! I prefer paper magazines too, but they can get expensive. Zinio’s a little cheaper. This year I think I got a years subscription of Shape magazines for 2 issues.

      I’ll say hello to Junior from you when I see him next!

      1. Hola mi amigo junior? How is that? Can I send him a Gatorade too? It’s gotta be hot there…. I remember, they do get expensive…too much

    1. That’s a great idea! It also gives you an idea of how the locals dress so you don’t scream tourist so much. I find it fascinating that fashion trends are universal, but every county adopts them differently!

  2. I love the name you’ve been given. That’s so cute! I just can’t get used to reading online (other than blogs). I couldn’t get used to a Kobo and always go back to my traditional books.

    1. I’m known to most people as Nena (catalan for little girl. Never girl, always nina or nena!). It bugs me sometimes as I’m in my 30’s but then again, I like it as they think I’m in my 20’s!

      I prefer paper for reading, especially books. Zinio magazine have extras such as videos, instant links to websites which is cool. Books I prefer paper. That said, I find it easier to study on line than books. I fall asleep studying books!

  3. Haha I loved this post. It’s funny how a small interaction can make your day, and even make you a returning customer! I never heard of zinio but sounds very interesting. I like to buy magazines every now and then, and in the paper form. There’s just something about sitting on the couch and spending the afternoon flipping through the pages. I sounds so corny haha anyway the streets of Barcelona look beautiful this time of year! but then again I’m sure barcelona looks beautiful all year long

    1. You’re right, there’s something about flipping through a magazine. I think it’s because it takes us places elsewhere in the comfort of our own home! And you’re right about how small interactions can make our day.

      Barcelona this time of year in the old town is very pretty. All year round the old town is beautiful!

      1. 🙂 They’re on the only ones that whinge less about weight, the size of ‘celebrities’ or what botox to have!

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