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What is Wrong with Magazines

Updated on April 27, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

I was in a CVS store and happened to pick up a popular magazine called, Elle.It was frustrating for me to flip through the magazine and found there were few page numbers. It was hard to locate the story in the cover. Why is this an issue?

- Apr. 2017




Background

It has been the custom ever since the invention of the printing press to number all pages of books and magazine. The reason is simple and logical. That is how you find things?

In recent years, for whatever the reason, some publishers has taken upon themselves to change this basic format. There are magazines that will not number every page. In fact, some have very few pages with numbers due to the large number of full page advertising. This is just wrong.

A Prime Example

Elle is just one example but not the only one. It is almost a deliberate tactic to force the reader to flip through every page to find the main article. It is very annoying to say the least.

Why is the Table of Contents appear on page 42?

The sad thing is, after about 15 minutes flipping through the pages, I never found the article on the cover.

Page 28; First page number of the issue

Table of Contents (Page 42)

Table of Contents Continued Page 44

Summary

This page numbering issue is a point of contention with me. As someone who is big on preservation and archives and databases and ease of use, this deliberate act to confuse and deceive is unacceptable. It is almost like the tower of Babel, to deliberately confuse the people so that could not communicate. My advice to publishers is this. Don't message with tradition. Put back the page numbers, 1, 2, 3...

© 2017 Jack Lee

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