(Inter)National Magazine Day

Little White Lies

You’ve got to hand it to him. My good friend Kevin Smokler is like a one-man cheering section for the publishing industry. Throughout all their travails over the past few years, Kevin has been in the midst of things, shouting encouragement and (often) exhortations. His day job (CEO of Booktour.com) involves helping authors and publishers find ways to connect with readers in real space, and now he’s doing the same thing for magazines. Sort of.


Kevin’s organizing the first annual “National Magazine Day,” to be held Saturday February 27, 2010. There will be an “official” event in San Francisco, held at an independent bookstore. Readers will congregate and read to their hearts’ content all day, followed by a lively panel discussion. But you don’t have to be in San Francisco, or even in the USA, to participate. Kevin’s encouraging all of us to “attack the stack” of unread magazines we have lying around, and I intend to take him up on the offer. I’ve always loved magazines, and subscribe to quite a few:

Iceland Review
The Big Takeover

I also have loads of issues of Film Comment, Cineaste and the latest Oxford American to get through. There’s no way I’ll get through all my unread stuff, but by encouraging us to set aside some time just for magazines, Kevin’s helping us reconnect to what made us fill our houses up with this stuff in the first place. With the advent of the iPad, who knows how many magazines will survive in printed form. Let’s show our magazines some love this weekend.

Oxford American

By the way, all this has me curious what magazines other people read. Jump into the comments and let me know what mags you’re reading these days on paper. And here’s an idea. If you’re coming to South by Southwest in a few weeks, as I am (for the 10th year!), bring along an issue of something unusual that you’re finished with and let’s have a swap. I’ve already promised Kevin a copy of Canadian magazine The Walrus, and am hoping he’ll bring me something unique as well. Let me know in the comments if you want to participate and I’ll try to find a few things you might not have seen before.

The Walrus