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What happened to Reader’s Digest?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

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

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

When I was young, I loved staying over 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 was once a powerhouse of arts and culture in the United States.

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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!.

And then there were 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

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 is 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 CNN.com, ?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 the Reader?s Digest?s audience either no longer had a mirror with which to reflect their American values or readers simply found their information elsewhere — namely the Internet.

Reader?s Digest filed 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 their magazine in other countries.

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

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.

 

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