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Luxurious independent magazines from around the world: Art, Fashion, Design, Music, Culture, Travel, Literature

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

Posted on August 17 2017

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum is a delightful treasure trove of books and magazines, nestled in heart of the literary centre of Amsterdam



Describe your shop, what makes it unique and where is it based?

We’re Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum - located on the never-dull hub that is the Amsterdam Spui square in Amsterdam – a square known for its fabulous offer of various bookshops and its historic character. For 48 years now we’ve been known as magazine specialists. Our team consists of various individuals with a specific expertise – making up the content, as well as the individuality, of our store. What we do is, in theory then, simple: we sell magazines. We search for, are on the lookout for, hear about, get offered, the best new titles and promote them to the best of our ability. We often invite magazine editors and/or publishers to talk about their titles in informal Q&A’s, or to launch their new issues. A platform for paper, a centre for creatives who love print and who believe it’s nowhere near dead. Yet historically, and presently still, we’re also as our name implies: a centre for news (Nieuwscentrum literally translates as newscentre). We sell a wide arrange of newspapers and have been a place for people to pick up or discuss the latest goings-on for almost five decades.

Who do you think your loyal customers are. And what would you like to say to potential new customers?

Independent zine lovers and fashion mag readers – we’re proud of our unique selection of independents and, fortunately, our loyal customers agree. But we also put a huge focus on fashion related titles (our largest magazine wall is dedicated to fashion), and yearly we get thousands of students of fashion colleges in to browse for inspiration and pick their favourites.

And to potential customers that don’t know us already: The concept of the “Nieuwscentrum is to display magazines, papers and journals as you would at a green grocer: half of our stock is displayed outside. In concept, as well as design and feel, the street flows into our shop as if it’s one. Magazines are stacked in huge piles outside, displayed in racks on wheels, and papers are folded into a large cart, complemented by current affairs weeklies. Each morning we open at 9am, carrying magazines outside, rolling carts onto the street, greeting fellow colleagues across the square opening up their café or shop. At the end of the day, 8pm, it’s the same story only backwards. We offer a wide range of magazines in all sorts of genres: fashion, photography, art, independents, music, design, urban culture, current affairs, culinary, movies, travel and interiors. We sell a select number of commercial titles, including fashion magazines from various countries, newspapers, and many historically, politically, or otherwise specifically oriented weekly magazines. Our growing offer of independent publishing, as well as our extensive array of hard-to-get fashion magazines, the international stock of interior design mags, are completed by our zines section, travel guides and Amsterdam specific titles. Other than magazines we sell a large amount of - niche and commercial - design, interior, and fashion books.”


What’s been your favourite new magazine launch in the last year?

Fluffer! Straightforward, sexy and witty at the same time.

What’s been your favourite front cover in the last year?

Might not be all too original, but Adbuster’s Trump ISBN joke. So straightforwardly clever.

Whats your favourite established magazine?
Benji Knewman! Life that you can read about sums it up: it’s got everything you need in a magazine and stuff you didn’t think you’d need until you read about them.
How do you think publishers should support the stores that stock them?
Some of our favorite moments are when magazine makers or publishers drop by our store and tell us what they’ve been up to. We love to hear the news, hear about new emerging trends and talents, and are always in for a good debate on what makes a magazine a great one. Take Euan Monoghan for example, our friend and editor of British literary journal Structo, and always pops by to ask ‘What’s new?’ – we hand him a couple of fresh titles and discuss them. For both parties a learning curve and great way to get to know the business. So if you’re the creative mind behind a small independent mag, come in and ask us to stock your new publication! It’s always nice for us to get to know you, and perhaps we can work together in the future for a Q&A, launch or other typeof event!

Where do you see luxury magazine publishing going in the next 5 years

What we have seen the last years is that luxury magazines look very closely at the independent publishers and what they are doing with their magazines and content.  It’s interesting to see how smaller magazines deal with (non)advertisement & content. Only few magazines succeed in creating a feeling of luxury, sophistication and content, The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man succeed in making such a combination! Made by Jop van Bennekom en Gert Jonkers both Dutch guys and friends of the store.



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