Tyrades! by Danny Tyree
Did you get your copy of “Queen Elizabeth II: Reign in Pictures” in time for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee ceremonies?
As a bookazine fanatic, I certainly did.
Beg pardon? What’s a bookazine, you ask? (I promise I am merely making educated guesses about your inquiries. I do not have the ability to read your mind. And neither does that new co-worker you’ve been undressing with your eyes. But I digress.)
Bookazines combine the permanence of a book with the vivid images, pithy text and exciting layouts of a magazine. (If you grew up reading “Classics Illustrated” comics, you can probably appreciate the blend of formats. You may also appreciate how paper cuts from bookazines distract you from the trauma of your parents having THROWN OUT your comic books.)
The glossy paper and factoid-infused sidebars of bookazines make for compelling reading. (I’d still love to see the historical sidebar “10 People Who Were Hideously Inbred, Yet Aren’t in Line for the Throne Anywhere. Go Figure.”)
Perhaps you’ve seen bookazines in a bookstore magazine rack or on a website offering digital downloads. Surely, you’ve encountered them vying for your attention in grocery checkout lines. (“Hmmm…’Shakespeare: His Chaotic Career’ OR three extra Slim Jims. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous indigestion or…”)
Periodicals such as “Time,” “Life,” “All About History” and “All About Space” have created a cottage industry for these collectible one-shot special editions. Sometimes quite literally a cottage industry. (“Elvis Has Left the Cottage: Candid Photos of Smaller Venues the King Got Hornswoggled into Playing.”)
Some bookazines spotlight iconic perennial celebrities such as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe or The Beatles. Others rush to capitalize on trendy celebrities of less lasting impact. These are the “notables” who will someday wind up in the “Where are they now – and by all that’s holy, how can we keep them confined there?” section of the newspaper.
I know that snootier bibliophiles look down on bookazine aficionados, but they should be tickled that people are reading at all. Readers shouldn’t have to prove themselves by making a lifetime commitment to a single long-winded paragraph that (unlike the Great Wall of China) CAN be seen from outer space.
Reading doesn’t have to be drudgery. Curling up with a good book should be enjoyable, not the equivalent of eating your veggies while climbing the gym rope.
I admit it. Life coming at me fast has given me an abbreviated attention span. So sue me! (Brought to you by the publishers of “All About Ambulance Chasing.”) Longer attention spans aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, anyway. They just give you more time to savor the atomic wedgie you received for being a judgmental bookworm.
There is still much room for growth in the bookazine field, but it’s getting harder and harder to find new angles on well-covered topics such as Waterloo, the Titanic or black holes. (“Did Napoleon escape Elba via a rip in the time-space continuum? Nah, probably not. Ooookay…. just 95 more pages to fill…”)
Right now, I’m accumulating bookazines more than actually reading them; but someday I’ll play catch-up and be the life of the party, sharing scintillating tidbits.
Unless someone steals the show by inventing “podillies” – the cross between a podcast and a wet willie.
Stop undressing that co-worker with your ears! The law should throw the bookazine at you!
Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”