Classic and Timeless
Editor's note from March 2018
When DeWitt and Lila Wallace started Reader’s Digest in February 1922, several publishers predicted it was destined to fail. Wallace was a born reader, devouring every line of print he would set eyes on. He was not exactly academically accomplished, however, he was hungry for knowledge and marked out passages he loved while reading. That later became the basis for his obsession to start a digest, a publication halfway between a magazine and a book.
He knew readers would appreciate condensed versions of selected articles—after all, not everyone had the time or money for multiple books and publications. These articles would reflect universal values—bring hope to readers, inspire them, enrich and stimulate their minds and offer practical advice. Our little magazine—that is a big read—was powered by this vision. It is the faithful reflection of these values that has made RD the most successful magazine in the history of publishing.
Today, Reader’s Digest in India is thriving: The current Indian Readership Survey shows that our average issue readership has grown by 159 per cent since 2014. We are on this journey together, dear reader, and wish to share our sincere gratitude to you for placing your faith in the Digest and the values it stands for.
We marked this occasion with our Classic Issue, showcasing a selection of some of the most celebrated archival material from RD. This special collector’s issue is virtually a 20th century Hall of Fame, featuring Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, M. K. Gandhi, Groucho Marx, Pablo Picasso, Sir Alexander Fleming, Harry Houdini, Bill Gates, Katharine Hepburn, Thomas Edison, Clement Attlee, Walt Disney, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Henry James, Marlene Dietrich, Igor Stravinsky, Queen Elizabeth II, and others.
It was an absolute delight dipping into our rich archives to work on this issue. Honestly, we were hard put to coming up with a final selection. I must confess I often lost track of time reading article after article, as I found myself immersed in the compelling narratives.
So grateful I get to do this work.