Friday, April 25, 2014

Reading English Magazines in Germany

Thankfully, there are many options for reading English magazines in Germany.

The expensive way(s):

Most Bahnhof newsstands, airport newsstands, and larger bookstores will sell them. They are usually a few weeks late, and terribly expensive. I believe I paid €9,50 for an American Cosmopolitan. The UK versions are a bit cheaper. The selection is also limited.

Subscriptions: Also, expensive, and late.

The free way: Libraries! Many libraries carry some English magazines. Ours has Elle (UK), and Ladies Home Journal.

The middle ground- the electronic way(s):
In my opinion, the only way to go. There are several sites out there that allow you to read magazines electronically. Reading magazines online DOES take some getting used to, but it is fast, efficient, cost effective, and you can keep them electronically for virtually forever.

The two most comprehensive sites (that was able to find) are:

Zinio:  Large selection of international magazines in over 30 languages. Most English magazines are around $20USD per year, though there were some bargains when I searched (More and Fitness are both just $5USD per year as of today!).
Apps compatible with iOS, android, win 8; desktop readers and Kindle. Online reading with any Flash enabled browser. NOT compatible with Windows mobile, Blackberry, Sony Reader or Nook. Magazines can be downloaded and read offline (perfect for a long plane ride!)
Magazines can be kept forever.

Downside: This is just the paper version, so you are just turning pages. No bells and whistles here. Note also, be careful when ordering especially when using language: English as search criteria. Many other editions (Singapore for example) are in English- which is great, if that is what you are looking for.

Magzter:  Large selection of international magazines. You can view them on up to 5 devices with one login. Compatible with Apple products, Android, Kindle, Win 8, desktop browsers. Free app available on Google play, apple app store, amazon, samsung, and huawei app stores.

Preferred (by me) over Zinio because of click throughs to video, additional information (on some, but not all magazines). If you are not in a hurry, check out their "Deals" page and bundle offers. Some are more than 50% off the regular subscription price. Prices similar to Zinio (approx $20USD for a 12 month subscription to most magazines).

The Kindle way!: I love, love love my Kindle Fire. It´s also my preferred method of reading magazines. Note: some magazines do their subscriptions through apps, which MUST be downloaded in the US (unsure about UK, and other English speaking countries) to use it elsewhere, which is what I did. However, more are moving to their product page only, making this unnecessary.

Why is it my favorite? Large selection, an email when a new magazine arrives, you can keep them forever, the bookmark function makes it easy to start where you left off, loads of click throughs to video, additional information, etc. (most magazines). Magazines can be downloaded for offline reading.

Cost? Very similar to the others. Again, look for specials. I got Health and Fitness (US Editions) for $8USD together. What is different is that many publishers allow access to the Kindle version for free for paper subscribers. So I ordered a few magazines to my parent´s house, and can access them here in Germany!

Downside: One must own a Kindle, also, the magazines are not available on other devices. The way you read the magazine varies by magazine, which takes some getting used to. For example some require you to scroll down (like a web page) to view an entire article, others, you turn the page as if it was paper.

How do you read your magazines? Tell us in the comments!

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