Have you noticed the change at grocery store magazine racks? Regular magazines are being replaced with special editions that are undated and can be sold for months at a time. What started, perhaps, with Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition, is now evolving into special editions featuring Elvis, John Wayne, and Bigfoot. Those three, incidentally, produced by Newsweek! Click here to vastly enlarge the photo.
While commemorative editions have always been with us: the Kennedy Assassination, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Sandyhook, perhaps, these high priced special editions are not so ephemeral and fleeting. Lacking time-sensitive content, they can linger forever on the shelf, displacing other periodicals and even other publications put out by the same house.
I may not be able to find January’s National Geographic or Nat Geo’s Traveler, but I can find a National Geographic special edition on the brain or the universe. These special editions conspire to give us less selection at the rack, fewer magazines to choose from. Not a good trend, unless you want to pay $10 for a special edition on The Duke that says he liked to play chess.
01/09/2017 Update: They’re called a bookazine! It’s a real thing. Read up on these book/magazine combinations at this link (external link).