Pros: great articles, photography, comedy, information with modest ads. A Collection of the best!
Cons: Sometimes I don't get the jokes, but then what is unusual about that?
This was originally posted on July 25, 2000 and at the time of its post it marked my 200th review. I have since taken many reviews off, but as you can see, I am in the process of re-writing and posting once more. Enjoy.
When DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace founder Readers Digest all those many years ago, they were striving to bring together the best writing to be found in America in one small journal in order to give readers the opportunity to see Articles of Lasting Interest.
Today Readers Digest has a circulation of 25 million and is printed in 19 languages. The magazine has become an enduring American institution and treasure. With its insightful blend of serious essays and sometimes-hilarious stories, the magazine covers a wide gamut of topics.
But one thing always is constant about the magazine: it contains some of the best writing being done in modern America. With its consistent format and well-spaced advertisements (which are not annoying), Readers Digest is the old faithful of periodicals.
The Departments sections contain great shorts on Everyday Heroes, Word Power (which I find very helpful), and Laughter among others. These give great information or just make you smile.
The Features in Readers Digest can have some remarkable materials. For example, the issue under review (August 2000) has an exclusive interview with George W. Bush, the Texas governor who went on to become President and then re-elected in 2004. Charlie Rose conducts this interview in his characteristic get to the point manner. There are also articles about a man who has been accused of killing two of his infant children (by two different wives) after the doctors had concluded the deaths were SIDS deaths, a dramatic adventure in the Congo to try to stop poaching, and a sad, but true, tale about the crash of the Amtrak train City of New Orleans and the human toll it took.
The magazine is peppered with comedy, short anecdotes, and challenging thoughts. This truly is one of those rare magazines requiring a reading from cover to cover. (I love to read it while riding a stationary bike. Try it. Youll be surprised how much longer you can ride.)
The photography and art work in Readers Digest is always first rate. This particular issue has good graphic design of the front cover (featuring Kathleen Dudzinski standing in front of the Oceanshe is the one who swims with dolphins) and that classic back cover art collection piece (this issue featured a painting entitled Homoa Beach by Sally Gall.
It just doesnt get any better than Readers Digest. RD is Americas King of Magazines.