As a copywriter and a creative, I cut my teeth on print and it holds a special place in my heart. But there are many who believe that print is dying, especially when it comes to magazines.
So perhaps it is a beautiful irony that Magazine Heaven is the name of the latest retail addition to the small Northamptonshire town of Rushden. An unlikely shop in an unlikely location seeking success against the odds.
Maybe that is exactly why I am willing it to succeed. That, and because it hosts such an unrivaled and diverse selection of magazines it leaves me almost breathless. This is so much more than off the shelf shock an awe. I cannot think of anywhere else in the UK that can boast such a varied and impressive collection of titles, even the iconic Wardour News in London which has long been the mecca for magazine junkies from all over the world.
Its founder, evangelical about print, takes the view that location is irrelevant. His philosophy appears to be of the Kevin Costner variety — build it and they will come — and there is not a flicker of doubt in his mind nor in those of his small but enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.
Aside from providing a vast vault of magazines, which he hopes will draw customers in from far and wide, he plans to attract additional footfall and reputation by staging a range of world-class events involving the great and the good of publishing. Magazine Heaven will be a veritable print experience.
Row upon beautiful row of perfect-bound titles catch the light in this open-plan church of the periodical. More than 2,500 magazines call for attention along both sides of the space, all 2,729 square feet of it.
There are magazines for every discipline and every disciple — alongside comics and graphic novels are tiles on surfing, photography, art, food, music, architecture, design, fashion, cooking, beauty, dance, philosophy and more…so much more.
In addition to the specialist, luxurious and rare, such as Purple, Another and Doc!, there is also a vast range of traditional weekly fare, such as TV Times, Auto Express, Women’s Weekly and Bella.
The space does what it should — it lets the titles take centre stage without any unnecessary distraction. Even the artisan café is tucked away upstairs, provides a mezzanine from which to better marvel at the journals below.
Inside these hallowed walls, print is anything but dead. Long live print.