The Best Magazine You’ve Never Read

Thanks to Amazon.com, I don’t go to bookstores that much any more.

And that’s too bad. Because while nothing is quicker than “Buy Now With 1-Click®,” shopping online doesn’t ignite my curiosity in the same way as a store full of books.

So I’m less likely to discover new voices—and new ideas—just by wandering the aisles.

(Hmm, not a bad platform for a marketing campaign: Rediscover your local bookstore. You’ll never know who you might bump into.)

All of this came rushing back to me earlier this week, when I had an hour to kill at a Borders store. Among my finds: Monocle magazine, published out of the U.K.

Billed as “a briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design,” the British pub has the intellect of The New Yorker, the puckish wit of The Economist, the what’s hot/what’s not attitude of New York, the graphic chops of Seed or Good, all written in tapas-sized articles, factoids and columns (ala USA Today).

You can read Monocole online. But invest the $10 instead, because 200 pages never felt so good in your hands. Looks like the perfect “plane read” for a trip I’m taking next week. And I can’t wait to find out what—or whom—I might bump into inside.