Update, 6:15 pm: National Journal CEO Tim Hartman sent this email out to staff late this afternoon.

"You may have seen some Twitter traffic about the Almanac this afternoon.  The real story is we publish the print edition of the Almanac through third-party book publishers.  We are currently in discussions with a new book publisher to print the next edition of the Almanac, and we’re actively updating the online version now."

Update, 5:05 pm:  The Almanac print edition may NOT be dead after all! Huzzah!  Take this as my argument for keeping it around.

ORIGINAL POST

I  lost a friend today.

The print edition of the Almanac of American Politics, the quintessential (and biennial) compendium of, well, American politics (and assorted political nerd ephemera) will be apparently be no more.

It doesn't make economic sense to publish a 1,883 page book, you say.  It's still going to be available -- in full -- on the web, you say. What's the big deal, you say?

To which I respond with this:


That's my desk at the Post.  I have every edition of the Almanac from 1972 to 2014 with the exception of 1976, my birth year and the Almanac that has become my white whale. Some people collect coins. Some people collect guns. Some people collect Christmas ornaments. Me, I collect Almanacs.

Since I started covering politics way back in 1998, the Almanac has been my constant companion -- helping me to tunnel deeper and deeper into the world of politics that has become my passion and my profession. For me the Almanac was one of the seminal works of my growing up in the world. The first was "The Indian in the Cupboard", which, as a kid, I read into the ground.  In college it was "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren.  Once I entered the work world, it was the Almanac and "What It Takes" by Richard Cramer. Like a song you associate with a specific person or memory, I associate the Almanac with my discovery of a never-before-known love of politics.

I've made my love for the publication known  lots (and lots) of times over the years.

I even wrote an ode to the Almanac way back in 2008.

Yes, of course I will use the Almanac if it goes online only. And I will still love it. But it won't ever be the same.  At least I'll always have this: