Thursday, August 11, 2016

Reader's Digest

This periodical was always something to look forward to when one had to visit a doctor or a dentist.  As an adult, I can see it was perfect for waiting rooms of all stripes - short articles, easily finished before your name was called.  Sort of a monthly "bathroom book," if you will. 

Due to the happy coincidence of discovering that a California dba is ripe for the plucking by what seems to be every periodical in the United States (and "British" magazine as well) the Reader's Digest people added me to their list.  Subscription rates are considerably cheaper for dbas because the magazines figure it will be exposed to three, four and more people in your place of business.  Los Angeles magazine is $6/year, as an example. 

It only comes out 10 times a year, but those 10 months must keep them busy as it is published in Braille, digital, audio and large print in something like 40 countries with 10.5 million subscribers.

Founding honors go to DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace in 1922.  DeWitt was wounded in WW1 and spent four months recuperating in a French hospital where, to amuse himself, he read American magazines.  It occurred to him to condense various articles and put them out in a shorter, more easily read version.  Upon discharge, he returned to America and spent the next six months mulling over those that he wanted to use.  He was helped in this by Lila Bell.  They married in 1921 and lived happily until DeWitt died in 1981, age 92.  Lila Bell followed him in 1984, age 94.

Like a great many other people, I love the humor columns and would cherry pick them to read first before I got called in to be seen.  I gleaned a few for you from the September edition -

My IQ test results came back.  They were negative.

Snails have a five-day rule for food that has fallen on the ground.

How many (fill-in) does it take to change a lightbulb?
Special snowflakes - only one.  The student holds the bulb and the universe revolves around him.

Chiropractors - only one but it takes six visits.

Apple vice presidents - That's proprietary information.  The answer is available from Apple on  payment  of a license fee.

And back in 1922 they didn't even have special snowflakes or Apple.  Reader's Digest did the seemingly impossible and has stayed au courant.

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