Maybe this evening I'll relax by finally tracking down the last year's (or is it the last two years'?) issues of NarrowBoat magazine and putting them on the smart binder that I got 'free' in return to subscribing for another two years. Interesting, these binders. Whatever publication you buy, the binders are always really dear - eleven quid or so - when any stationer can provide you with a nice ring binder or lever arch file - with more sophisticated and substantial paper-holding technology - for a fraction of that. Does anyone buy these binders, I wonder, or is their price merely a nominal one to make you think you're getting something valuable for free. Or perhaps it's the goldette lettering. Anyway, I have one, and now I have two, but no space on the bookshelf for it, so this heralds another complete reorganisation.
I remember talking to Mike around the time the new wipe-clean shiny high quality glossy new connoisseur's mag was launched. How long, he wondered, over a pint in Reading, would the glossy quality be sustained before they went over to cheaper paper and less colour pics. I think I'm equally surprised that it hasn't happened yet, especially as it carries so little advertising. Being largely subscription though, and only otherwise being available from a small range of suppliers, I guess it's virtually print-on-demand.
Before you ask, no, I really don't know why I buy it. I know I can get terribly excited by the promise of 'Grand Union: Sixteen Liveries in Colour' (including at least one completely non-existent one, modelled by guess which boat...) but some of it is recycled articles from ancient issues of Waterways World (all of which I possess); some of it doesn't interest me (wide boats! What a swizz); some of it I don't understand (anything with maps)... But it does have nice pictures to drool over (hence the wipe-clean pages) and lists of things like health registration authorities. And above all, if I didn't buy it I MIGHT BE MISSING SOMETHING AND I WOULDN'T KNOW. And anyway, it's shiny. And you get a free binder.