Today, my mom and I made our six-monthly trip across the line to buy snacks at Trader Joe’s. The exchange rate on the dollar isn’t even that bad right now!

But before this turns into a regular old blog post, it’s actually a review of No Smoking at the Zoo, a mini-zine I picked up for free at the Bellingham Alternative Library. Turns out, they’re just down the street from Trader Joe’s, in a historic church, currently under renovation.

While there are hundreds of books on the shelves to read and a tiny store with zines, cassettes, and T-shirts to buy, I picked up this zine at the front door, from the shelf with the flyers, postcards, and newspapers. There’s no contact information, though the front is signed “Sheep.”

No Smoking at the Zoo takes advantage of the two-page spreads the mini-zine fold offers. The centre has a can of Pringles with a smug face on it and an asterisk that points to the previous page: “*An example of what will happen to branding when Jeff Bezos buys every last molecule in the universe.” I love the drawing of a cherub inside an internet browser window with way too many tabs open.

Mini-zines like this are such a good way to publish a bunch of little ideas without putting too much pressure on yourself. Instead of writing a tweet, you can save it for the page. Collect seven, add a cover, sign your name, and you have a zine.