Independent magazines are one of my favourite travel souvenirs. It’s no surprise then that in my year of growing roots, I’m smitten with Paper Planes, a subscription based service for indie mag enthusiasts.  

Finding quality international magazines in India has generally been a struggle, and is usually limited to overpriced back issues of popular commercial titles but Paper Planes founder Nupur Joshi Thanks intends to change that. A former corporate lawyer, Nupur discovered the independent magazine on her sabbatical, and found herself “placing orders for one magazine after another, fascinated with the passion driven content and really high production value.”

“The rest is history.” says Nupur, who simply had to find a way to share magazines with like minded people in India. She launched Paper Planes four months ago. By sourcing the magazines directly from publishers (as opposed to through distributors) and by using a subscription model (which helps in subsidising the cost), Nupur dispatches one new title to subscribers each month, a surprise based on stacks of their choice which include interests as far ranging as travel, food and world affairs to pop culture and sports and recreation.

Though the rolling monthly fee of Rs. 1000 for a magazine fix might still seem a little steep, Paper Planes offers quality titles at upto half the cover price, and that if acquired independently would cost far more, especially when one considers shipping costs.

So far she’s sent out an assortment of cool foreign titles from Beiruti bi-annual The Outpost, NYC recipe-based Gather Journal, to British mag The Gentlewoman (one of my faves) and FAT, a Finnish art publication.

Paper Planes also recently introduced a shop feature where anybody (including non-subscribers) can purchase back issues, interesting reads and collector’s editions. A special mention goes out to their blog where they aim to introduce you to the teams and stories behind these indie pubs and keep readers updated about what’s new in the publishing world, both on foreign shores as well as here in India. to subscribe.


Images: Indie mags from my own collection for reference only.