If you are like most stamp collectors, you are consumed by the philately bug. You cannot get enough news, tips, pictures of stamps, or classified ads related to the stamp collecting hobby. The U.S. newspaper, Linn's Stamp News, may be a present surprise to collectors who crave information about all aspects of the hobby, even for those not based in the U.S.
The newspaper (currently in a glossy format much like a news-magazine) was started by stamp aficionado George W. Linn. The first issue, Volume 1, Number 1 was dated Monday, Nov. 5, 1928. Throughout its long publication run, it has weathered the up-and-down markets, especially through the Great Depression and World War II, and slowly reached an all-time high subscriber base of 91,000 in 1978. Since that time it has slowly retreated, going just under 50,000 subscribers in 2002. The decline is not due to any changes at Linn's, but in a general and prolonged decline in the stamp collecting market.
Linn's Stamp News is printed in full color, a recent introduction. No longer do collectors have to use their imagination to see the splendid colors of new stamp issues ... they appear in all their glory. Even though color is used throughout, Linn's doesn't just rely on pretty pictures; their journalists are top-notch, and frequently amaze you with their research and knowledge of a particular stamp collecting topic.
The front page covers breaking news of the philatelic variety. On the first page one typically sees a stamp that went for a high auction bid, a rare postal cover, a major stamp error, or perhaps, a picture of the latest new stamp to be issued. News that is important to stamp collectors takes top priority.
Inside each issue one finds a wide variety of regular columns that can greatly expand the knowledge of a stamp collector. From the Refresher Course column that helps to explain all aspects of philately from the beginner to the advanced collector, to the Stamp Market Tips column that points out stamps that you might want to collect today that might go up in value, Linn's has it covered. You'll learn the technical details of stamp issues, how they are made, the estimated numbers in publication and schedules of upcoming or recent issues. From A to Z, Linn's Stamp News covers the hobby.
A favorite column of many collectors is Kitchen Table Philately. The writer of this column, who goes by the pseudonym of E. Rawolik ("kiloware" spelled backwards), anonymously purchases stamps that are offered in the classified section and reports back on to his findings. There are several statistics that this column contains, such as the number of low-value and high-value stamps, the countries that were represented by the stamps, and the number of faulty stamps in his purchase. Advertisers that get good ratings from Kitchen Table Philately can see a major boost in future sales. If you like to buy mixtures of stamps to sort through, this column along is worth the price of the magazine, as it will steer you toward bargains.
Another area in which Linn's excels is in its classified ads. There are pages of classified ads relating to packet sales, mixtures, kiloware, approvals, and many other topics. There are also display ads throughout the magazine with some incredible offers.
There are three types of subscriptions that are available, printed version, online version, or a combination of both versions. The print subscription is for the physical newspaper and it is mailed out every week. The online issue is available for reading online, and is a great way for non-U.S. subscribers to reduce their subscription fees .... you pay for the content and electronic delivery, not the international postage rates.
As of this writing (March 2008), the table below lists the subscription prices for the magazine for a 6-month subscription.
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I heartily recommend this magazine; I have been a subscriber for a number of years. I may sound biased, but I have found the magazine to be a great way to stay current on my hobby.
You can find more information about Linn's Stamp News, including their subscription forms, by visiting them at www.linns.com