When Hurree Babu informed me that The Complete New Yorker (on 8 DVD-ROMs) is now available at The Book Shop, Khan Market, I bunked my two major assignments for the day, drove over and spent 45 minutes in the shop, turning the sealed box over in my hands repeatedly while the owners looked at me askance. It’s hard to believe. Eighty years of one of the world’s great magazines, available in a box no bigger than a breakfast cereal packet.
This from the Amazon page: “Every article, every cartoon, every illustration, every advertisement, exactly as it appeared on the printed page, in full colour. Flip through full spreads of the magazine to browse headlines, art work, ads, and cartoons, or zoom in on a single page, for closer viewing. Print any pages or covers you choose, or bookmark pages with your own notes.”
The user comments on Amazon make for interesting reading. Predictably almost everyone is gushing, but some of them have pointed out that swapping between DVDs is inconvenient (apparently the data can’t be transferred to your hard drive). As one user says, “Using the DVDs is not quite as smooth as using the Web. I guess we’ve been spoilt.” True enough; I remember how avidly I used to browse my “Cinemania” and “Great Books” CDs in the days before I got an Internet connection. But once I’d gotten online (even though it was a slow dial-up connection) the CDs were put away for good and forgotten.
Doubt that’ll happen with the New Yorker set though. I’ll probably pick it up this weekend; the whole thing’s available for just 78.5 dollars, or around Rs 3,600. Meanwhile, mini-reviews would be very welcome from anyone who's already tried the thing out. And Hurree has promised to put up a comprehensive post sometime, keep a look out for it.
(Also, via PrufrockTwo, here’s a related piece by Christopher Borrelli)