The Magazinist
Critical Thinking for Publishers

Passing Thoughts

A Hodepodge of Vintage Whimsy...

Long-Haul Publishing

Here at the Magazinist we look at both the past and the future of publishing.  Not surprisingly, we’re often asked whether events from the past can be used to predict the future.  The honest answer is... Continue...


The Queen’s English Society has died at the age of 40.  The goals of the QES were…  Continue...

My Weekly Reader

All of us here were saddened to learn of the death of the Weekly Reader, a victim of terminal impatience on the part of its latest owners, Scholastic Corporation... Continue... 

Borrowing to Buy Advertising

dvertisers currently spend about $300 billion annually to influence American purchasing habits, and there are roughly 300 million Americans.  The cost of advertising is part of the price of goods and services.  The math is simple—the average American buys roughly $1,000 worth of advertising per year.  Here’s the kicker—lots of it is paid for with borrowed money.... Continue...

Libraries, Cyber-Kids, Etc.

Lately we seem to be talking a lot about public libraries here at the Magazinist, not from an informed perspective… more from a simple appreciation that continues to rise as time passes.  Besides, we always root for underdogs...  Continue...

Thomason's Tracts 

Broadly speaking, British journalism was born in the English Civil War, starting around 1640.  This was when the forebears of modern newspapers—the first corantos, newsbooks, and mercuries—began to appear in quantity...  Continue


On Saturday afternoon we visited our favorite used book store, a rabbit warren of little rooms and jumbled shelves, with books stacked in every murky nook... Continue

Kids and Media

We rarely see stories in the media about the social effects of the media—and even rarer are stories that look at the issue in serious depth.  This absence of coverage is...  Continue

The Size of Mr. Wanamaker's Organ

We had originally planned to use this space to write deep profundities, but were pleasantly sidetracked by news from what used to be...  Continue

Civilization and Book-Burning

The word civilization literally means “living in cities,” which is something that humans haven’t been doing very long in the overall scheme of things...  Continue 

The Ad Tax

In 2006, the U.S. population reached 299 million and U.S. ad spending exceeded $286 billion. A quick calculation shows that advertisers spent about $954 per person... Continue...

Handwritten Newspaper

Here’s something to pause and consider as we debate technology’s impact on media.  The Wall Street Journal has found a 23,000-circulation daily newspaper... Continue

Circulation Directories

Although it’s sometimes hard for publishers to live with circulation auditing bureaus, it’s almost harder to imagine life without them...  Continue

Artifacts and e-Books

In a 1959 essay, literary historian William S. Charvat referred to old books as artifacts.  Charvat chose the word purposely.  His point was that the object of a book can tell us a lot...  Continue