Things Placed In Front of The Magazine Rack: The Wayback Machine Edition

Like many people, I’m a collector of non collectable collectables. Most of them land on my desk, in my desk, in my desk drawers, in desk drawers that rarely, if ever, get opened.

Earlier this week I found myself highly frustrated with the lack of work space in my office. The solution I came up with was to open up a few drawers to see if I could take some of the clutter from the top of my desk and put it inside my desk to deal with “later.” That was unfortunate.

It turned out that the drawers were already full of stuff that I had previously dumped into these drawers over the past few months. Out of sight, out of mind.

Cue the nursery school teachers singing “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…”

You can thank me for that ear-worm later.

To make a very long story slightly shorter: Here, in the middle of circulation audit season, right smack dab in the middle of “Is the promotion budget for 2013 the right size?” Just as the questions are starting to come in, “So how are we doing this year?” I suddenly decide to go on a “I gotta clean this up and make some space!” detour.

In the bottom of a drawer that will very soon be almost empty (Hey, paperless office! Sort of.), I came across a drugstore photo sleeve from 2004. In it were a series of pictures that I had taken at retail. I don’t recall having a film camera back then, but I must have because there were actual film negatives in the sleve with the pictures. But what was remarkable were a few pictures in the collection that could have been entries in last year’s popular “Things Placed In Front of The Magazine Rack” series.

Walking stick, Big Bird or a cool gift bag with your mag?
Walking stick, Big Bird or a cool gift bag with your mag?

If I were a Frenchman, right about now I would say,

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

But I’m not, and as I don’t feel like writing out any swear words, I will just say,


The only way we will ever slow the encroachment of our retail space (That we do actually pay for via RDA, enhanced discount, purchased check out positions and promotional incentives) is if we help our wholesalers and their merchandisers to more vigorously protect our space. The only way I see that ever happening is if our publishing community stops treating single copy sales as the third class citizen of the publishing community. Then maybe our retailers will catch on.

Will that happen?



Note: I’m going to keep the “Things Placed In Front of The Magazine Rack” series going. So please feel free to send me your photos from retail to joe.berger at 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: