November '19

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114 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2019 T he king is dead; long live the king. Magazines are dead; long live magazines. No doubt because I grew up in the glory years of the 1960s and '70s, I love magazines. Indeed, I got my start in this business delivering newspapers in England and one person on my route took HOT ROD Magazine. Sadly, I was never smart enough to find out who or why that customer took HOT ROD, but I'd sit on the curb under gray skies surrounded by gray cars and gray people, reading about red and yellow cars under blue California skies. No wonder I was hooked on magazines. Indeed, my buds and I would take a couple of buses to Gillingham, Kent, to visit the Anglo American Bookstore where they car- ried thousands of unusual titles. Those days are long gone and for the past 10 years industry pundits have been pre- dicting the death of print media. I admit, the industry has taken a Shakespearian stabbing worthy of Macbeth, but as Mark Twain said, "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." What prompted this investigation was a small, passing mention of Magazine Heaven at Rushden Lakes, near Santa Pod Raceway, the UK's only remaining dragstrip. In 2018, I attended the annual Dragstalgia event at The Pod and figured I'd stop by and see if it really was magazine heaven on earth. A TREND TOWARD NICHE PUBLISHING It goes without saying that the consumer magazine business and, indeed, all pub- lishing, has changed dramatically over the past decade or so since the iPhone was released in the U.S. on June 29, 2007. Like it or not, that wee device revolutionized Read 'Em & Weep? Things are changing in the automotive magazine business, but don't call print dead yet. By Tony Thacker Magazine Heaven (MH) is billed as the UK's premier magazine destination store.

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