Why give a magazine at Christmas?

How often are you asked at Christmas, ‘Please don’t buy me anything’. Or you’re invited to an occasion where you feel you should offer a token gift to the host. But what? Food is dangerous because we’re now much more allergy-aware. Alcohol is awkward if the hosts don’t drink. And the safe bet, the book, can come with the slightly oppressive obligation to read it.

Anyone can find something to read or look at in a magazine, whatever their interest. They can pass it around the household for others to read as well. Magazines usually have many strands, so regardless of the general subject matter there’s always something to intrigue a range of interests. There’s no pressure to display it or own it forever. For £10 or less they provide a solution for a thoughtful and practical present.

But magazines make an impressive offering too. While our prices start at a few pounds, they can range to over £100. Many people remain unaware of what a lush, exquisite and seductive object the modern magazine has become. They won’t have experienced the intoxicating aroma of fresh ink on art paper, while those who’ve forgotten will enjoy nostalgic thoughts of a time when we didn’t read everything on our phones.

Magazines are full of ideas. They’re written and designed to not only inform but often to inspire us. Whatever your passion – art, fashion, food, travel, poetry, sport – magazines are agile things, perfectly calibrated to supply you with the current and considered take on what’s happening.

For all this, magazines continue to be ephemeral, get-them-before-they’re-gone desirable objects. Many of the pop-culture and fashion magazines passing through Magalleria this year with must-have celebrity covers (even the venerable Rolling Stone) now sell for ten times their original price – if you can get your hands on them. Today, when everything is mass-produced or digitised, the print magazine remains a limited edition, analogue sensation.

Finally, of course, as well being a practical, thoughtful, beautiful, inspiring, tactile and limited edition gift, to give a magazine is to do something that’s, well, just a bit different.