catalogs logo logo

What happened to Reader’s Digest?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Remember? Here’s what happened to Reader’s Digest: it’s still chugging along!

When I was young, I loved staying over at my Aunt Dot’s house partly because she lived near the beach, and partly due to her shelves of Reader’s Digest magazines. As an avid reader, these were like honey to a hummingbird and I was the hummingbird!

At one time a staple on every coffee table in America, this little publication may be harder to find. It’s still chugging along, however, and we’ve found out what happened to Reader’s Digest.

Big Little Magazine

reader's digest magazine
Reader’s Digest was once a powerhouse of arts and culture in the United States.

It began in 1922 and was already translated into 17 languages by 1938. Not only could you read the magazine’s many interesting stories which read more like short stories than magazine articles, but you could buy interesting and helpful books with titles such as Family Handyman Whole House Repair Guide: Over 300 Step-by-Step Repairs!.

Before you continue reading about the What happened to Reader’s Digest? there is a special announcement we would like to share with you. has negotiated special medicare rates for our vibrant community of seniors. If you are over the age of 60, you can head over to our Seniors Health Section which is full of information about medicare. All you need is your zip code and a few minutes of your time to potentially save 100s of dollars on your medicare bills.

Get Free Catalogs When You Sign Up

Don't wait, sign up and get Free Shipping Offers, Discount Codes and lots of Savings Now!

And then there was the series such as I Am Joe’s Body, which was a favorite of mine. Each month, there would be a different section of the human body, presumably a guy named Joe’s, to learn about in-depth. I Am Joe’s Heart was one of my favorites.

Changes in American Reading Habits

reader's digest
So what happened to Reader’s Digest, this wildly popular magazine?

Quite frankly, the world happened. As it moved forward and the world changed, the readers may not have found it relevant anymore. Before, Reader’s Digest showed itself as the arbiter of taste and American culture. It provided news on the latest trends in an in-depth manner that taught the reader all he needed to know about one subject before moving on to the next.

When the Berlin Wall fell and the United States no longer had a mortal enemy, the world became almost vanilla and homogenized. Add to this the rise of the Internet where news and information are available all day every day no matter the holiday.

It’s easy to see how a monthly magazine, no matter how interesting or detailed, lost the interest of the masses.

Still Publishing After All Those Years

In an article on, The Rise and Fall of Reader’s Digest, it was said with the decline of print magazines, the rise of the internet, and the toppling of the Berlin Wall, that their audience either no longer had a mirror with which to reflect their American values or readers simply found their information elsewhere — namely the Internet.

It filed for bankruptcy twice, once in 2009 and most recently in early 2013. This would be for the United States magazine but never fear. The Reader’s Digest Association, the parent company of Reader’s Digest Magazine, holds several magazine titles and also publishes its magazine in other countries.

While Reader’s Digest works to get its debts in order, it continues to publish its magazine in the United States. Readers and magazine lovers can still pick up the latest issue.

Popular Savings Offers

As of this writing, the latest issue contains stories of the United States military and their families. In this day of military involvement across the globe, the magazine content continues to strike a chord with the public and strives to remain relevant.


Top Deals

See All

Recent Posts

Get Free Catalogs When You Sign Up

Don't wait, sign up and get Free Shipping Offers, Discount Codes and lots of Savings Now!


Saving Tools

Follow Us


Since 1996, has been considered the web's catalog shopping authority. Our trends experts have carefully reviewed thousands of catalogs and online stores and have featured only the most respected, distinctive, and trusted ones. From popular favorites to new discoveries, you'll shop and save with exclusive coupon codes!

Invitations for applications for insurance on are made through QuoteLab, LLC and Submission of your information constitutes permission for an agent to contact you with additional information about the cost and coverage details of health and auto insurance plans. Descriptions are for informational purposes only and subject to change. Insurance plans may not be available in all states. For a complete description, please call to determine eligibility and to request a copy of the applicable policy. is not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program. By using this site, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.