I ♥ Anthology Magazine

July 25, 2015

I discovered Anthology Magazine during grad school in Australia. School has always exposed my inner procrastinator and this was no different. I found myself spending time at mag nation, an amazing store that stocks shelves and shelves and shelves of reading material. In other words, a procrastinator’s dreamscape: spend time procrastinating in the store while scanning the shelves for materials you can take home to procrastinate there. Not brilliant. Please tell me I’m not the only one for whom an essay deadline means the space behind the fridge is suddenly desperately in need of cleaning!? Anyway, that’s how I found Anthology.

I have every issue beginning with #2 (still searching for a copy of #1!). The sad thing I should say before raving about this magazine is that…it’s ending. This is its last year of publication and I’m gutted. The last issue is in October, which makes my raving more like eulogizing (sorry, that got dark). I think it only fair to tell you.

Anthology looks and feels different. At 7.5 x 10 inches, it’s smaller than the average magazine. It’s printed on matte, thick paper stock – you can literally feel the quality. Especially when we consume so much through a screen, the tactile experience of a print magazine counts. I love my Next Issue subscription, but it can’t give me the palpability of paper. The magazine is published four times per year and proves that quality over quantity is a winning strategy.

With the aim of “living with substance and style” each issue has a theme with coverage on decor, travel, entertaining, food, and culture. I love that the magazine isn’t focused on a single topic. One issue satisfies all my cravings. Nothing feels too precious or contrived. You get the sense that a person’s home would look and feel pretty close to how it appears in photos if you knocked on their door on a Tuesday morning. It’s inspiring without being judgmental. Aspirational yet approachable. Similarly, the travel features are full of places you can stay, eat, and shop without breaking the bank. The best part is that everything is told as a story. Instead of just including recipes and photographs of beautiful food, Anthology embeds them in a narrative: someone is entertaining – this is the host, these are the guests, this is the location, this is what they’re eating.

I also appreciate that I don’t feel the magazine wants me to buy everything I see. There are four pages in each issue showcasing products ranging from Etsy sellers to Ikea. And that’s enough. A magazine can feel more like a catalogue when every sofa, plate, skirt, or painting has a corresponding caption telling you how much it is and where you can buy it. Sometimes it’s helpful, for sure, but it also generally means it’s not unique. A lot of what Anthology features is one-of-a-kind: it’s been found on the side of the road, or in a charity shop, or passed down from a grandparent or made as a DIY. If you admire the look of a space, for instance, you have to kind of channel the spirit of it rather than recreate it exactly. And GODDAMN if it doesn’t give you hope that you, too, will someday find a mid-century modern coffee table at a rummage sale for $40…

At the end of October, when my collection of Anthology is reluctantly complete, I’m not sure how I’ll fill the gap. It sounds dramatic, but it really is lovely to have something you look forward to arrive in your mailbox every few months. No matter how busy life gets, I always give myself a pass to make a cup of tea and read Anthology cover to cover. It deserves it.

Do you have a magazine you find as satisfying? Please tell me what’s worth obsessing over next! And if you’d like to receive blog updates, please visit Bloglovin ♥

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