Simon Garfield in The Observer

I dropped into Quinto, the second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road. Granta was about to celebrate its 100th edition, and I wanted some early copies - those classic ones with writing by Richard Ford, John Berger, Martin Amis and Angela Carter. The man at the counter wasn't impressed. 'What's Granta?'

I could have given him the usual: about how it was a river in Cambridge, or the upper part of one, and its name spawned a student magazine that began in 1889 and was revived in the late 1970s. I could have said that this magazine became home to some of the best writing in the English language, and was edited for half its life by a man, Bill Buford, described to me as 'a crazy, inspiring, absolutely absurd lunatic'. But instead I said: 'It's a literary magazine, but it looks like a book.'

Via Arts & Letters Daily.