I love the New Yorker oddities out there in the world. This most recent addition to the Spill‘s collection is one of the most curious I’ve seen. Someone had various Talk of The Town sections professionally bound.
The only identification on the volume — getting right to the point! — is The Talk of The Town printed on the spine. There are no other markings. Other than the binding, the only other personal touch (not counting the material selected for inclusion in the volume) is the page below, included three pages in. Its thin, shiny quality suggests it came off a mimeograph machine.
The earliest Talk section included is April 28, 1928, the most recent, May 7, 1932. While the sections are chronological, they are not sequential, skipping, for instance, from June 13, 1931 to July 11, 1931.
Luckily, the person who put this together included the covers for each Talk section. At the top of this post you see a full page Peter Arno from the issue of August 3, 1929 leading into the issue of October 19, 1929 (cover by Rea Irvin).
The Ink Spill library has a number of bound New Yorkers; I take one off the shelves every so often, in the fashion of E.B. White, who wrote in the Preface to The Subtreasury of American Humor (edited with Katharine White),”my wife and I happen to own a complete file of bound volumes of The New Yorker…it would often be our custom to pull out a volume at random and dip up a nice funny piece…”; having pieces bound in such a way as this odd Talk volume is a little pre-fab gift of randomness.