The Price Of a Single Copy Of The New Yorker

I was amazed when I recently noticed the price of a single copy of The New Yorker magazine: $8.99. I wonder if anyone has ever paid that much. I suppose if your grandchild had an article in one, you might pay that for a few extra copies to hand out.

I love their covers, and have been scanning those that especially appealed to me for a long time. The price is printed on each cover, so I can go back and see the rise over the years. It is not pretty. (This one shown is from April, 1965, and the price is coyly written out as “Price 25 cents.” The list below is of sample issues.)

Year   Price per single issue
1965     $0.25
1973     $0.50
1975     $0.60
1979     $1.00
1981     $1.25
2003    $3.95
2009    $4.99
2012    $5.99
2012   $6.99
2018   $8.99

Setting the price is their business, and I will not second-guess them. Perhaps it is only to claim what a bargain a subscription is, or perhaps purchasers of single-issues will pay any price, seeing it as only a one-time expense, or, most likely, the expense involved in handling individual issues is high. I have never purchased a single issue, and probably never will, so its price does not matter to me. I was just wondering.

(I started out just tearing off the covers I liked and storing them in a folder. I was a fan of those by Gretchen Dow Simpson and by cartoonist George Booth (and, of course, Saul Steinberg, who was still living then). Only later did I scan them and store them on my computer. I also kept a folder of New Yorker cartoons and another folder of their line art. All are now instantly accessible on my desktop computer.)


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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