As I am the biggest magazine fan myself, I am interested in the magazine itself and the ones who are doing them and loving them as much as I do. With this new format, I want to shine a light on people that tend to hide behind magazines and see what role magazines play in their daily lives and everything around it.
With the release of the latest issue by Zeitmagazine International – highlighting the most exciting reports, interviews, portraits and the most beautiful photo series of the past months by German Zeitmagazin in the English language – it seems like the perfect timing to start with Christoph Amend, editorial director of Zeitmagazin and publisher of Weltkunst.
I love to read magazines on my sofa or at a café. Where do you prefer to read? Do you have a favourite spot for it?
I have a few, in my kitchen, on my sofa and on the balcony, as long as the sun is shining in Berlin. And, of course, on the train. Actually, I’m on the ICE from Amsterdam to Frankfurt right now. We launched the International Issue last night in Amsterdam. I did a q&a with Jaap Coverjunkie Biemans and Gert Jonkers, the magazine legend who founded The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man.
Is there a specific time you prefer to read during the day?
I love reading in the mornings, before my daily work for our newsletter starts, but most of the time, it’s the weekend afternoons. I always have a small number of new books and magazines I’m looking forward to reading.
Do you have a particular stack or place for those new books and magazines so you do not forget about them?
I wish. But we have a new glass table in the kitchen. It’s big enough to leave some new stuff without dominating the room.
Apart from that glass table, do you have a coffee table at home? If so, what does it look like? What’s regularly on it?
I do, it’s a small one in my living room. I keep changing the objects on it. There’s always one book or magazine in the mix.
How do you display magazines in your home? Do you sort them in any way?
One room in my apartment is dedicated to books and magazines. I try to trick myself a bit that way to avoid too many books and magazines in the other rooms.
Do you like coffee, tea, or even an alcoholic beverage while reading?
I love the idea of having tea while reading, but to be honest with you, most of the time, I’m having a cup of coffee or two, Americano, no milk.
Obviously, coffee is also my favourite companion while reading magazines. Do you have a favourite coffee origin or roastery? Or aren’t you so picky in your choice of coffee?
I love Barcomi’s beans in Berlin; they don’t have too many citrus notes, which I’m not a big fan of.
How about music while reading? Is there a favourite record?
Oh yes, music is always on. I’m constantly editing my Spotify playlist Amendisco.
Do you have a current favourite song recently added to your playlist?
Oh, too many! Let me just pick “Last Night in Sant Celonie” by Payfone & Jaz James. You can’t beat its relaxed, funky vibe.
What do you love about (reading) magazines the most?
These days the most relaxing aspect of reading a magazine is, having to put away your phone.
Does this mean you even put your phone on flight mode or do not disturb or just far enough away that you can focus on your reading?
Just far away enough, I guess. But when I like a cover, I can’t stop posting it on my Insta. Blame it on the boogie of our times.
Is there a magazine you’d most likely pass on to everyone you know?
I just discovered the new history magazine Epoch from Paris. It redefines the concept of history magazines — Très cool and very smart.
Are there any magazines you’ll be tucking into in the coming weeks?
I can’t wait to read Gentlewoman’s cover story on Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir Barney, the 19-year-old actress from Iceland. She also happens to be Bjork’s and Matthew Barney’s daughter.
Do you have a favourite newcomer in 2022?
Cyber Atelier from Amsterdam. So fresh!
Is there a magazine that inspired your work (the most) or brought you to work in magazines?
As a teenager in the late 1980s, I adored i-D, The Face, Vanity Fair and the early years of Details. Their elegance and mix of high and low inspired me a lot when I started working in the magazine world in my early 20s. And, of course, the first generation of ZEITmagazin, my parents used to subscribe to DIE ZEIT.
Did you ever dream about working for ZEITmagazin one day while living with your parents? Or how did you end up being the editorial director of Zeitmagazin?
I never thought about it at the time. But I started editing a class newspaper when I was 12 or 13 and launched a radio programme in school when I was a teenager. I was also DJing at parties and in local clubs with my friend Daniel at the time. Crazy when you think about it. Magazines, podcasts, newsletters, hosting parties, events and conferences: I basically do today what I did when I was 16.
Is there any magazine or issue of a magazine you are desperately looking for to complete your collection?
I’m very happy to have a copy of the inaugural issue of 032c, which was only supposed to be a PR tool for a website, but then the magazine took off and lived a life of its own. Great ideas often come from the sidelines.