Stories from around the web that found our fancy

At Paper Planes, we love to read — and we’re consistently drawn to great stories centred around design, books and culture. With ‘Things to Read’, we share with you the best stories, from around the web, that we’ve read recently. Enjoy.

How our Home Delivery Habit Reshaped the World
In this story for the Guardian, Samanth Subramanian dives deep into “the story of the explosion of home delivery — a story in which we have all been willing participants, since it is our clicking and swiping that has powered the boom.” It’s a long read that’s wonderfully researched and well worth your time. Read it here.

What’s Left of Condé Nast
This one took the publishing world by storm (on Twitter, at least) and is a must-read for those interested in the workings of media companies. Now that Condé Nast’s fate lies largely in the hands of a new CEO and a new generation of benefactors — while a few of the old guard (like Anna Wintour, Vogue’s iconic editor) remain steadfast — this story in New York Magazine looks at the company’s trajectory over time, if it is still the extravagant global trendsetter it once was, and why it could just be another media company trying to get by. Read it here.

The Diver Who Brings Up the Bodies
This story is fairly morbid and comes with trigger warnings (for suicide). Journalist Sunaina Kumar spotlights Gurbaksh Singh, a diver in Punjab who’s called to retrieve the bodies of people who have committed suicide by jumping into the Sutlej River, most of whom are debt-ridden, desperate farmers. The Narratively piece delicately details the emotional toll this sort of suicide extends on the families of these farmers and others involved. Read it here.

This Is an Indian House, According to One Architect
For T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Aatish Taseer meets architect Bijoy Jain and writes about his work to bring back an architectural style that looks back at India’s precolonial building traditions — “how to break past the layer of nonporous rock that is British rule in India in order to creatively engage with a decayed but living tradition of Indian building, masonry and craftsmanship.” It’s a gripping read, especially for those interested in design and architecture. Read it here.

My Own Private Iceland
We’re great fans of Vox, especially The Goods. This piece looks at the phenomenon of ‘overtourism’, a term coined to describe the barrage of tourists in Iceland. It questions what counts as ‘authentic’ tourism and looks at how travel trends have changed over the decades, with social media being the main driver behind the commodification of tourism. It is a long read, but worth it for anyone who enjoys travelling for more than just the likes. Read it here.

Cult of the Literary Sad Woman
In this personal essay in The New York Times, Leslie Jameson writes about the allure of the relatable “sad woman” in literature — beautiful, glamorously depressed heroines — and critiques this romanticisation of female vulnerability. Read it here.