What do I do with all these magazines?
August 9, 2015 2:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm on a mission to purge unwanted objects and things from my life. A substantial chunk of these things comprise of print magazines, mostly architecture, design, music and technology related. So what do I do with them?

It's been so long now that the historian in me can't just sling this stuff into the recycling bin. We're talking UK music papers from the tail end of the 80s to the early 90s, the first UK run of Wired magazine, Blueprint, Abitare (Italian) and many, many more. I'm resigned to not necessarily selling this stuff, but does anyone want dead tree media any more? In bulk? Are there any universities or antique dealers or specialists I should be looking for? Or should I just face up to the fact that this is an unwanted resource and junk the lot? I'm in southern UK and at this point would happily deliver anywhere in the country.
posted by srednivashtar to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you can't find anyone who wants them for their content, instead of junking them, give them to a local school. Art teachers are always looking for magazines with good images.
posted by JannaK at 2:47 PM on August 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

List them for free on Craigslist in batches (bundled by topic or just name of magazine, rough years of publication) and see if anyone comes for them?
posted by amaire at 2:56 PM on August 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

You could try offering them on Freegle.
posted by jeri at 2:58 PM on August 9, 2015

I collect magazines and am always scouring flea markets and estate sales for them. What I often see is people taking apart magazines and selling individual pages with interesting/famous/anachronistic ads or articles for $1 - $5 each, to be framed as artwork.

The era you are talking about is just beginning to be thought of as vintage (depressing for those of us who lived through it as adults). Maybe check with vintage clothing stores in your area to see if they would want them, either to sell or to have in the shop for decoration? Put a moderate price on a box - enough to cover your trouble in getting them there - try it once and if there aren't any takers, then Freecycle/Freegle or recycle and be done with it, knowing you tried.

(I'm in the US and would gladly take them off your hands if we could put them on a slow boat that wouldn't cost a fortune in postage...)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2015

For the music-related ones, try Goldmine Magazine.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:32 PM on August 9, 2015

Another option is to check with a library to see if they take old magazines.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:55 PM on August 9, 2015

In the U.S., at least, people sell old magazines on eBay. And list them for free on Craigslist.
posted by three_red_balloons at 4:04 PM on August 9, 2015

I got rid of a bunch of magazines via a combo of freecycle and giving to schools. The schools in particular were thrilled to have them.
posted by kitten magic at 4:37 PM on August 9, 2015

Maybe contact a local hospital? Years ago, a friend of mine would collect old magazines from everyone she knew and pass on to her sister, a nurse in a chemo unit. Patients there (or in any kind of long-term infusion/dialysis unit) were desperate for something more interesting than Time.
posted by thenewbrunette at 5:45 PM on August 9, 2015

Magazine Literacy is the organization for you!
posted by teremala at 5:47 PM on August 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I go to an art school (which specializes in fashion, but also has programs in interior design, graphic design, merchandising, etc.). We have a HUGE magazine library going back decades, and what isn't good enough for the library, is put out for art supplies and tear sheets, and the students go through stacks of them.

Magazines like the ones you described would be very appreciated!
posted by inertia at 5:48 PM on August 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've been buying up back issues of Smash Hits on eBay and bitterly regret throwing out my collection all those years ago. I'd recommend putting them up as bulk lots by year and offering free shipping in the UK -- at least they will be going to good homes!
posted by vickyverky at 5:53 PM on August 9, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you for these suggestions. The art school one is a good avenue to pursue.... Sadly Magazine Literacy looks US-only. The thought of eBaying this lot gives me the fear, but if I ever have more time on my hands. Thanks again for all your answers.
posted by srednivashtar at 4:40 AM on August 10, 2015

An organization I work for received kids' material from Magazine Literacy last year, and they definitely had boxes with foreign shipping labels lying around and offered plenty of publications from the UK. If it's something you're interested in, I'd recommend contacting them directly and asking. I have the founder's e-mail address if you need it.
posted by teremala at 11:13 AM on August 15, 2015

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