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Meet the stockists: Rare Mags

Independent magazine shop Rare Mags is a labour of love, from the handmade shelves to the carefully curated titles sitting on them. We spoke to Holly and Martin about how they built their shop with their local community in mind, and how Stockport is the centre of their universe.

What inspired you to open Rare Mags?
We (Holly and Martin) both love magazines and when we moved to Stockport we realised that we wanted to be part of the town and part of a community instead of just owning a shop in a big city. After working for other people all our lives we wanted to try and run our own business, promoting and selling things we love. Since opening five years ago we’ve grown and expanded into books, coffee and stationery.

What’s the indie magazine publishing scene like in the Stockport area?
There is a great local artists’ scene which produces risographed poetry zines, and there’s a great network of like-minded creative people who are inspired by publications. Proper, Filler, Wax Poetics, Counterpoint, The Lemming, Nightjar Press, The Modernist and Teese Magazine all have links to Stockport and the surrounding area. Stockport is the centre of the universe.

What makes Rare Mags special?
I guess the personal attachment we have to it. We built our shelves, we design and print our stickers in house, we pick and choose pretty much every item we sell and we absolutely love it. We host a monthly baby book club; there are loads of events in the shop as well as our selection of magazines, zines, books, kids books and poetry. We hope that our selection is different to everywhere else and that each item compliments another.

How do you choose the magazines that go into the shop?
We try and select a mix of new things coming out internationally but also make sure that our selection is diverse in every way so that it’s as accessible as possible. We hope that a five year old with pocket money can pop in and buy a pencil, sketchbook or zine in the same way that someone who’s really into Japanese fashion, queer poetry or the best new and historic food writing will find a magazine or book for them.

What are your current favourite magazines?
That’s easy. Ton, Apartamento, Other Means, Flagrant, Swill, Midnite Snack, Slanted, We Jazz… the list could go on. Obviously we love Delayed Gratification too!

What does the future hold for Rare Mags?
We’re building up a series of events in the shop and around Stockport. We hope to build this area, our area of the world as well as continue to push fantastic magazines and books.

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”
Creative Review

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”
Creative Review

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”
The Telegraph

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”
El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”
The Telegraph

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”
Qi podcast

The UK's second-best magazine” Ian Hislop
Editor, Private Eye
Private Eye Magazine

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme