Zinio – An Affordable Way to Read Asian Magazines!

A few popular beauty magazines from Hong Kong and Taiwan available on Zinio for a nominal fee.
A few popular beauty magazines from Hong Kong and Taiwan are available on Zinio for a nominal fee per issue or subscription.

It’s really just a matter of time before magazines go digital. For years, I had been paying US$15+ (plus 13% taxes) per issue of Biteki and VoCE; an exorbitant amount considering these are just magazines, which cost considerably more than books due to the shipping costs from Japan. I have enough copies to make my eyes roll – the money I spent on mere magazines is enough to feed a village in Africa!

Enter Zinio. I discovered it late last year by accident; I didn’t seek it out. I received a link to win a free subscription to a new magazine called Watch, and to my surprise, though I didn’t exactly win it, they had been sending me free Watch magazines online once every other month. I didn’t do much with Zinio, until I discovered that one of the beauty magazines I usually pay US$12 – $14 per issue for, Elegant Beauty from Taiwan, is available. For less than US$3 per single issue or US$27 for a year’s subscription, I can save 100+% than spending US$12 per issue (plus cost of gas, to have to drive to an Asian mall to buy it; or buy online for US$20 per issue including shipping)!

First of all, I don’t know how many people really keep the magazines after they read them. Especially when it comes to trends like cosmetics and skincare, Asian ones are upgraded almost every season. I hardly flip over old issues of VoCE. I couldn’t bare to throw the old issues out only because I paid so much for them. By reading them electronically, we save trees, and space on my bookshelf. Don’t worry, if you like a particular article or picture, you still have the option to print the page. It might work out better for some of the photos anyway, because you can print them instead of clipping the page out of the magazine, which usually is pretty see through, not archival quality. You can preview each of the magazine to see whether you want to buy the issue. In the preview mode you can’t print of course, but once you purchase it, you can print anything and everything from the issue. It generates a lot less waste.

For us living in North America, Zinio is a Godsend, imagine paying the same price you would pay a local (US or Canadian) magazine for these imported ones which are usually 3-4 times the price! Unfortunately, Biteki and VoCE are not available through Zinio, though many popular beauty magazines are available. You can choose from different languages to search for magazines in languages you can read. A great innovation and more earth friendly!

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