Innovation That Matters

Magazine on vinyl LPs features short stories read aloud

Publishing & Media

We’ve already seen the expansion of magazine publishing well beyond the worlds of web and print and into t-shirts, objects of art and beyond. One we hadn’t seen until recently, however, is a publication for which vinyl is the chosen medium. Sure enough, UK-based Underwood: Stories in Sound (named for the old typewriter company by the same name) is a twice-yearly publication produced on vinyl LPs. The journal comes out every May and November, and each limited-edition issue features two writers reading one of their own short stories. Underwood’s first issue appeared this past May with the works of British writers Toby Litt and Clare Wigfall. Further enhancing the publication’s collectibility, Underwood commissioned LA-based comics artist Jordan Crane to illustrate its cover, according to a report in Publishing Perspectives. A thousand copies of each Underwood issue are produced, with per-issue pricing of GBP 25. “A vinyl record is a combination of unique sound and beautiful packaging — quite the opposite of digital,” Publisher Nathan Dunn told Publishing Perspectives. “Records are all about the experience: you’ve got to lay them down on the turntable, drop the needle and then change the side when it’s done. A record makes you slow down, sit back and pay attention to the words.” Indeed, in a world currently dominated by podcasts, e-books and other instantaneous-delivery offerings, it’s intriguing to see the LP brought back as a means of restoring a sense of experience and occasion in story-telling. Reminds us, in fact, of the “slowness” trend we’ve observed with the emergence of anti-energy drinks. One to be inspired by! (Related: Analog instant film, brought back for Polaroid fansBedtime story events for grownups in pajamasAn online address for the offline worldIn web videos, kids read stories for kids.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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