Would you judge a man by what he reads?

By Andrew Glenn

Judge a man by what he reads. Photo / Thinkstock
Judge a man by what he reads. Photo / Thinkstock

If the adage "you are what you eat" rings true then I'm some sort of pickled mollusc given my penchant for clams, mussels, oysters and a crisp chardonnay.

But I suspect "you are what you read" is more to the point, and if this is the case New Zealand men, thanks to the digital age, have unlimited access to what they can read, so it's important to filter that selection to ensure we are well read, and therefore, well informed.

Pre-internet we were really shut off from the rest of the world. When my partner Jonathan and I decided to move to Auckland from London, the internet made the decision to move all that much easier. I knew I could still read the same newspapers, surf the same sites, troll the same blogs and shop the same stores to keep me current on culture, fashion and opinion.

I'd love to say that I'm an uber intellectual and only read The Spectator, but I am the first to admit that I need a fair amount of internet trash to get me up in the morning, along with a good double-shot flat white. If Jennifer Aniston's wedding plans are as important as the impending North Korean nuclear crisis look no further than the Daily Mail.

Scarily the UK's most trafficked newspaper site, it has great coverage of global affairs (Kim Kardashian's impending birth) and human-interest stories ("Nepalese man born with two heads").

For real news I look no further than the New York Times, the Independent or the Telegraph.

It's not all about clicking for information; I still believe in old fashioned magazines and there's one title that every man shouldn't live without: Monocle. Started by Tyler Brule, the wunderkind who created Wallpaper, it's really an edited eye on the world through an intelligent, stylish lens.

While the world is moving to digital everything, Brule has taken Monocle down the more traditional route and launched Monocle Radio, which airs great playlists, as well as informed shows and forums to make you think and connect on culture and affairs.

Monocle is really a one-stop-shop when it comes to a manual for the modern man to live by. It features great clothes, necessary (and sometimes trivial) world information that all makes a great read. While other magazines are losing revenue, Monocle's keeps growing.

Speaking of good reads, Brule's column in the Financial Times' weekend edition, The Fast Lane, has a cult following. He recently visited Auckland and dedicated his entire column to our great city and how much he loved it. So pat yourself on the back guys, we do big small city pretty darn well.

Also in the FT stable is its magazine supplement How to Spend It. Flooded with luxury brand advertising, this is the definitive read of the Upper East Side/ Belgravia/Geneva hedge fund set that celebrates all things we can't afford, don't really need but really, really want. Great food, travel and features.

For more mainstream reading the best men's magazine all-rounder is British GQ. Editor Dylan Jones packs in a good punch of editorial and manages to feature hot women on the cover without making them look like, well, a Kardashian! For those into fitness, Men's Health (US edition) gives a wealth of information online, including free workouts you can follow.

And another magazine that gets my thumbs up is Fantastic Man. Started in 2005, it caused a small revolution in publishing given that all its images were black and white, all names were politely prefaced with "Mr", and sometimes would feature the most mundane of features (instructions on how to tie a bow tie). It's a big hit with the fashion set and had the likes of David Beckham, Tom Ford and other "fantastic" men clamouring to be featured. Fantastic Man celebrates fantastic men we'd all love to be.

I could go on but I hope this gives a few insights into cosy autumn reading.


- VIVA

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