Reader's Digest Magazine

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Back in 1920, De Witt Wallace was recovering from injuries he had sustained in World War I. As he was confined to bed rest, he finally had all the time he needed to read all those magazines and great books he'd never had time to enjoy. It occurred to him that most people would have the time to read a such a wide variety of material, if only it were collected and edited in such a way that would allow readers to have "one stop shopping" for all the best recent writing.

With this idea in mind, De Witt Wallace, in partnership with his wife, Lila Acheson, began collecting and editing the finest articles and prose they could find. The first edition of Reader's Digest was published in 1922. Needless to say, it was a hit.

Their first printing was for 5,000 copies. Today, Reader's Digest reaches nearly a hundred million readers every month. It is published in 48 different editions, in 19 languages. It is one of the greatest successes in the history of publishing.

Tales of Heroism, Humor, and How To Lose 10 Pounds

Readers' Digest today continues to pull together a collection of both fiction, non-fiction, and helpful, informative articles every month. In terms of tone, it is decidedly conservative, and relies heavily on stories of optimism and spiritual faith. It is most popular among senior citizens, but millions of readers of all ages and backgrounds enjoy reading it cover to cover each month.

Reader's Digest, with its highly engaging, non-confrontational tone, is also a great tool for young people just learning to read for pleasure. With its wide variety of reading material, it allows new readers to pick and choose among fiction, non-fiction, investigative journalism, how-to articles, and humor pieces to hone their sense of what pleases their "reader's palette" most.


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