New territory for 'Geographic'

November 07, 1998|By Linell Smith

For the first time in its 110 years, National Geographic magazine is for sale in stores, single issue.

In the spirit of the ever-adapting ecosystems it covers, the venerable magazine's November issue debuted this month on the same bookstore shelves as Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics and Vogue in about 80 cities in the United States and Canada.

Consider it evidence of a trend toward consumer-warming.

"This is a way for us to attract a new, varied, younger group and to introduce ourselves to people who might have known about us but didn't know how to put their hands on the magazine," says Barbara Fallon, spokeswoman for National Geographic, before now obtainable by subscription only.

The magazine is courting its first single-issue customers with a cover story about Maui's monster 50-foot waves. The issue, which sells for $3.95, also contains articles about Ernest Shackleton's 1915 Antarctic expedition, red colobus monkeys and the Cossacks of the Don River. Oh, and there's an update on the current state of Nebraska.

The first National Geographics arrived at Bibelot in Pikesville on Thursday. They've been at Borders bookstore in Towson for a week, but Borders periodicals clerk John Dunn says it's too soon to tell how they will sell.

"People have asked for the magazine often enough in the past," he says. "We'll have to see what happens after they know it's available."

With a current circulation of 10 million, National Geographic is published in six languages, including a Spanish-language edition for Latin America and Spanish-reading Americans.

Pub Date: 11/07/98

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