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As humble booksellers who watch the holiday season unfold from behind a cash register, we here at do you read me?! would be among the first to agree that the holidays have become less about celebrating religious or social events and more about the arrival of a certain rotund figure in a pretty far out red suit. Indeed, each passing December seems to reaffirm the free market’s unfettered socio-cultural ascent–which is good news for fans of money, stuff, and the pursuit of money to buy stuff; and bad news for fans of, say, the planet or human rights. After all, society can’t be too social if we are all collectively staring into the void of Black Friday sales on our non-fair trade iPhones. More
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We all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover. A book’s design, though, is an entirely different matter. Everything that goes into the physical creation of a book reflects its contents to a certain degree: romance novels are printed on trashy paper with even trashier imagery for good reason; and it is by no means arbitrary that gilded pages are found in Bibles or that lush paper and fine ink are used for the exhibition catalogues one finds at museums like the Louvre. The medium is the message, or at least a key part of it. This is certainly the case with isolarii–our November Surprise Subscription pick. More

On the surface of a red-figure Attica vase, some thousands years ago, an inscription reading “ο Παῖς Καλός” had been engraved. Translating as The Boy Is Beautiful this intricate detail transforms a common vessel into a declaration of homoerotic affection; echoing the sexual liberation of a bygone era.⁠ ⁠ The Boy Is Beautiful took this as an inspiration to investigate into queer Greek chronicles, from myth and history, to contemporary life. A quest with the question what happened between the time of Zeus and Ganymede, Apollo and Hyacinth, Achilles and Patroclus, the Band of Thebes and the Lesbian Sappho, Harmodius and Aristogeiton and the contemporary society full of sexism, homophobie and straightwashed history.⁠ Buy...

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One of our very favourite things about contemporary print culture is that there really is a magazine for everything. From bathing culture to modern witchcraft, the creativity, breadth and diversity of the magazine world never fails to amaze us.  That’s why we’ve chosen to bring you SICK magazine for your October Surprise. SICK began life as a zine-style pamphlet, produced by editor-in-chief Olivia Spring, and since its first issue, it has been a unique presence in the magazine world, dedicated to elevating the voices and experiences of chronically ill and disabled people. More

We find that magazines are either obsessed with the new or nostalgic for the past, but Epoch brings the two into conversation and shows how culture is connected to and can be repositioned through history.⁠ ⁠ The 400-page first issue is set somewhere between fiction, research and fantasy and explores a myriad of topics including archaeology, visual arts, science, anthropology, fashion, technology, music, architecture, psychology and language.⁠ ⁠ We are in love with Epoch and its transhistorical approach!⁠ Buy...

[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] Let’s be clear: summer is overrated. The sun glares down from the sky, insects swarm in the air, the beaches heave with crowds; everywhere you go there is the palpable feeling that you should be out “having fun” and “making memories”--which is honestly a tall order to fill when stuck on a crammed train or plane with 100 kilos of luggage in tow. And to top it all off, it is too hot to enjoy our favorite foods! No soups or hearty stews or thick steaks or quiches or deep red wines; far from that, we find ourselves cornered and subjected to the humble pleasure of…salad. So now, as September makes its grand appearance after months of estival inferno, it is time to fire up our stoves and get cracking on the good stuff. Which brings us to Fare–this month’s Surprise Subscription choice. More
[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] In a time when everything looks so flawless and shiny on our backlit screens, an imperfect, experimental and raw aesthetic is on the rise again as a counterculture. Zines have retained this character since the 60s until today. The thin booklets in simple photocopy style are the original form of self-publishing - fast, selfmade and niche. Usually monothematic and with small print runs, they print the part of culture that is absent from mainstream publications. Because profit is not the goal, but representation and participation in shaping culture. Their simple, analogue charm leaves room for experimentation with visual language. And so they are and always have been an uncut a constant source of inspiration. No wonder, then, that they are making a comeback! More

We've loved FatBoy Zine since the first issue! It's packed with delicious and unusual recipes, beautifully wrapped in incredible graphic design and served with gorgeous photos! An absolute gem!⁠ ⁠ FatBoy Zine describes itself as a greedy attempt to document Asian food and Identity. Founder Chris O’Leary takes himself and his various-countries-calling-home upbringing as the starting point. Through recipes, he shows how food naturally transcends all distances and borders. And how it can tell the story of a multinational identity through its mix. ⁠ ⁠ Issue 4 focuses on the chefs and creatives who have left Asia, but have decided to recreate it in their own way in Europe and the US. The issue includes three interviews from established chefs, Lucas Sin (Shy Boyz Club & Junzi Kitchen), Erchen Chang and Shing Tat Chung (BAO) and Rahel Stephanie (Eat With Spoons / Linda From Accounting). Each interviewee gives their opinion on process, representation and what drives their food and conversation outside of the kitchen. The issue of course has the staple 5 recipes, from Chilli Oil to a Burnt Cocon.⁠ Buy...

[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] At a time when the borders created by language and culture have never been so porous, and when the idea of distance seems to grow smaller with each passing year, it is surprising how few truly international literary magazines can be found in the world of printed matter. Of course, most literary reviews feature occasional pieces from around the world; but if you happened to be in search of one whose primary goal was to establish a cosmopolitan community through the medium of a magazine, you would be hard-pressed to find it. Until now!   

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[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5'] Here at do you read me?!, we are blessed with all sorts of interesting customers. Tourists from all over the world in search of unusual publications (and lots of tote bags); awkward couples on obvious first dates searching our shelves for books as well as a basic thread of conversation; the occasional gigantic dog roaming in with its owner and promptly sprawling over a sizable section of our little shop. But in the end, nothing tops the simple pleasure of seeing a customer derive visible, almost tactile joy, when they finally hold the latest issue of their favourite magazine in their hands. This month’s installment of our Surprise Subscription is a prime example of this particular phenomenon. We are excited to share with you… Real Review!  

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