Reader’s Digest has jumped the shark.

by Lori Dwyer on March 6, 2010 · 6 comments

Welcome comrades,

Something you need to know about me. I have, somewhere deep inside of me, a little old granny with a perm just busting to come out. I thoroughly enjoy knitting, I don’t understand GPS’s (read a map, people, it’s a dying art!), I find nothing more relaxing than a good cup of tea from a pot that hasn’t seen the kitchen sink in years. And I have a sad affiliation with Readers Digest magazine.

I blame my Nan. Not my Gran, my Nan- big difference. When she could read, my nan read Readers Digest, cover to cover. And when she was done, she passed them on to me.

I cackled my through Life’s Like That, All in a Day’s Work and various bottom-of-the-page fillers. I shed tears at emotively written, heart wrenching stories of house fires, heart transplants and attacks by giant anacondas. I blatantly ignored pages and pages and pages of ads for house insurance, vitamins and fish oils, and Metamucil.

Gone are the days of my Nan getting the RD delivered monthly by subscription- her eyes just aren’t up to the fine print anymore. And I’ve discovered it’s hardly a readily available commodity. Even Borders doesn’t stock it. In fact, the Borders lady reckons the whole magazine has gone into receivership and won’t be available for much longer.

Financial troubles would explain a lot though. There are more ads than magazine these days, and the Medical Breakthrough pages have expanded. You can be guaranteed at least one, possible two, stories about cholesterol, cancer or Alzheimer’s. Every insurance company in Australia advertises in there, and their adds are getting smaller- small enough to fit the space previously occupied by funny fillers. It seems the good people at RD are getting their money’s worth out of their dwindling audience while they still can.

The whole thing is just bloody depressing. and the saddest part of it is, I know the poor old staple of bathrooms and waiting rooms is on it’s way out, limping and probably should be shot. But I, like clockwork, show up to my local newsagent every month and line up with the other grannies to purchase one of the five copies they order in, then furtively stuff my purchase in the bottom of Bump’s pram (if I run into anyone I know, I’m buying Cosmo, OK?). What will I do for a fix when it’s all over???

By the way, I had a whole one vote to bring back Bad Humpty. He will return.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassondra July 19, 2013 at 7:04 am

I used to read Reader’s Digest too, my parents got it. In fact my sister taught herself to read on it, at something like age 3-4, but she’s the genius. It took me several more years to find it interesting, and I mainly paid attention to the Humor in Uniform and similar sections. I’ve not read it regularly in a long time, but when I do see it I pick it up and I’m saddened. However I’ve found a way to get a fix of the GOOD reader’s digests. In one of the local college libraries, way up on the highest floor in a back corner there’s shelf after shelf of Reader’s Digest that have been bound (like six months to each binding) in hard cover, going back at least to the 1960′s. When I was in school there that’s where I’d spend a fair amount of my spare time. I haven’t been in a while, but if you’re really craving the good ol’ days you might try your college library.
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Mee2 March 11, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I can't read a map. I've tried. Hard. Ask the people I was in the U.S. Army with.

My Grandma had only 1 tea pots the entire time I was born. The only reason she used the 2nd one is because her younger daughter bought it as a gift. She never washed her tea kettle nor her coffee pot. They were always being used.

I used to enjoy Reader's Digest, as well. For just the same reasons as you. I don't read it any longer. I have found it has changed way too much.


Brenda March 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Dude, I grew up inhaling Reader's Digest. My father (he's passed now) was a loyal subscriber. I remember I even submitted something to The Laugh Lines. It never got published though. Bastards.

PS. I vote for Humpty Part 2
PPS. Yay Sarah loves you.


Sarah March 7, 2010 at 4:48 am

Hi there! I found your blog through Mummy Time, and loved reading this post! I can so relate to this – I would get my Pa-Pa's leftover Reader's Digests, and really developed an attachment to them! Thanks for sharing!



Lori March 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Is this where I confess I'm dieing to do the next installment? I amuse myself…


Kellyansapansa March 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Who says one person can't make a difference? I got Bad Humpty back!


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