Reader's Digest is a household name that has been around for almost a century, and it has had an immense impact on the publishing industry. The magazine is famous for its condensed articles, humor, and inspirational stories. Over the years, it has also been known for its contests, quizzes, and trusted advice. However, there are still some fascinating facts about Reader's Digest that many people may not know. In this article, we will explore some of the things we didn't know about Reader's Digest.
1. It all started with an article in the Saturday Evening Post
Reader's Digest was founded by DeWitt Wallace and his wife, Lila Acheson Wallace, in 1922. The couple got the idea for the magazine after DeWitt, a former freelance writer, had an article published in the Saturday Evening Post. The article, titled "The Digest of Interesting Reading," featured a collection of short, condensed articles. The response to the article was overwhelming, and it gave the Wallaces the inspiration to create their own magazine.
2. The magazine has over 30 million readers
Reader's Digest is one of the most widely read magazines in the world. The publication has over 30 million readers in 21 languages and 50 editions around the world. The magazine is read by people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from all corners of the globe.
3. It was one of the first magazines to offer sweepstakes
In the 1960s, Reader's Digest was one of the first magazines to offer sweepstakes. The magazine offered a grand prize of $50,000, which was a significant sum of money at the time. The sweepstakes were a huge success and helped to increase the magazine's readership.
4. Reader's Digest has a history of supporting charitable causes
From the beginning, Reader's Digest has been committed to supporting charitable causes. In the early days, the magazine supported organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. In more recent times, Reader's Digest has supported organizations such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
5. Reader's Digest has a large social media following
Although Reader's Digest is primarily known for its print publication, it also has a significant social media presence. The magazine has over 6 million followers on Facebook and over 1 million followers on Twitter. The publication uses its social media platforms to share inspiring stories, interesting facts, and engaging content with its readers.
6. The magazine has a team of fact-checkers
Reader's Digest is known for its accuracy and reliability, and this is due in part to its team of fact-checkers. The magazine has a team of editors and fact-checkers who carefully review every article before it is published. This ensures that the magazine's content is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
7. The magazine has a long history of publishing original content
Although Reader's Digest is known for its condensed articles, it also has a long history of publishing original content. The magazine has published the works of some of the world's most celebrated writers, including J.D. Salinger, Arthur C. Clarke, and James Michener. The publication has also published original short stories, essays, and poetry.
8. The magazine has a reputation for promoting health and wellness
Reader's Digest has always had a focus on health and wellness. The magazine has published countless articles on topics such as healthy eating, exercise, and stress management. In recent years, the publication has also focused on mental health and mindfulness.
9. Reader's Digest has a significant impact on book sales
Reader's Digest has a book division that publishes condensed versions of popular books. These condensed versions, known as Reader's Digest Select Editions, are sold in bookstores and have had a significant impact on book sales. Many readers who may not have picked up a full-length book otherwise have discovered new authors and titles through these condensed versions. In addition, the book division has published numerous bestsellers, including John Grisham's "The Firm" and Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code."
10. The magazine has faced controversy over its business practices
Despite its popularity and positive reputation, Reader's Digest has faced some controversy over its business practices over the years. In the 1990s, the magazine was accused of using deceptive marketing practices, such as sending out subscription renewal notices that looked like bills. In 2009, the publication was fined $8 million by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly misleading customers about the terms of its sweepstakes. While these controversies have undoubtedly tarnished the magazine's reputation, it has taken steps to address these issues and maintain its integrity.
11. Reader's Digest has a publishing empire
In addition to its flagship publication, Reader's Digest has a publishing empire that includes other magazines, books, and digital media. Some of the other publications under the Reader's Digest umbrella include Country Living, Taste of Home, and The Family Handyman. The company also owns and operates several websites, including RD.com, which features articles and content from the print publication.
12. The magazine has adapted to the digital age
Like many print publications, Reader's Digest has had to adapt to the digital age to stay relevant. The magazine has launched a digital edition that can be read on smartphones, tablets, and computers. The publication has also expanded its online presence with a robust website and a significant social media following. While the print publication remains the flagship product, Reader's Digest has shown that it is willing to evolve and embrace new technologies to reach new audiences.
In conclusion, Reader's Digest has been a beloved publication for almost a century, and it has had a significant impact on the publishing industry. While many people may know the magazine for its condensed articles and inspiring stories, there are still many fascinating facts that people may not know. From its charitable contributions to its controversial business practices, Reader's Digest is a complex and multifaceted publication that continues to evolve and adapt to the changing media landscape. Despite the challenges it has faced over the years, Reader's Digest remains a trusted and respected source of information and inspiration for millions of readers around the world.