|May 17, 2010, New Yorker Cover|
Both of these magazines have since dropped the protective sleeves, presumably to save money in the increasingly cost-conscious magazine industry. When Trains began putting mailing labels directly on magazine covers, the editor explained that a special glue was being used that allowed the label to be peeled off easily. That system actually works. Even before I remove the various reply cards from inside the magazine, I peel off the mailing label that directed the magazine to my mailbox, a simple task that only occasionally requires me to rub my fingers across the two rubbery lines of glue that have held the label in place.
Alas, The New Yorker chose to eliminate its kraft paper sleeve in which I had always received the magazine in favor of gluing labels directly on the cover with what seems a particularly tenacious adhesive. It is virtually impossible to remove a mailing label from the lower right corner of a New Yorker cover without damaging the cover.
The May 17 issue reminded me of the label problem. The 12 cartoons on that cover were clearly meant to tell a story, but the end of the story was being obscured by the mailing label, which, in this case, was more obnoxious than usual. Some time ago, I wrote to The New Yorker and asked why the magazine did not use peel-off labels. The reply asserted that available technology did not assure that labels would not be lost in transit.
I have never failed to receive my monthly issue of Trains, and I have never again used covers from The New Yorker to decorate my walls.