No, not a magazine swapping club.
They're all trade magazines or catalogues - or 'trade literature', to use the proper term.
(*That's Building and Construction Design Magazine, in case you don't work in, er, building design and construction).
Nisbets, for example, is a trade catalogue for the catering industry. It's a fascinating (and massive) array of the products and items you need to run all kinds of catering businesses - from bib aprons to prep stations, cake fillers to fly killers.
Okay, so reading about the latest developments in grill cleaning won't normally get your juices flowing. But if you're working on a particular brief or topic related to a sector, do yourself a favour and find a trade publication or catalogue on that particular industry. Failing that, there'll be a website talking about it somewhere. Then read a few articles.
They might talk about a piece of legislation, or a product, or a new service. You might not understand all the industry terminology. And the publication probably won't tempt you to switch away from your subscription for National Geographic. But the point is, it's likely to be so significantly different from the stuff you normally read, that your brain is automatically taken somewhere new.
Then the unconscious mind can get to work, making connections between what you're seeing on the page, and previously unconnected things already knocking about inside your skull.
When you've got a creative problem in a particular area of business, immerse yourself in that world. It may seem dull on the face of it. But it's more likely to fast track your brain towards those elusive ideas. If nothing else, you'll gain a better understanding of your audience, their language and their needs and concerns.
And you might just find a new nerdy obsession.
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