Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reader's Digest sold for Rs 1.6 bn

Reader’s Digest Association, publisher of the pocket-sized magazine read by 80m people around the world, agreed to be bought by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings for $1.6bn. Started in 1922 from a Greenwich Village apartment, Reader’s Digest is the world’s largest magazine by circulation, selling 18m copies a month. The company has had to confront sustained drops in advertising and newsstand revenue at the US edition of the publication. (Read more)

This is one magazine you can talk about anywhere in the world. Generations have grown up reading it. From Quotable Quotes to Life is Like That, from Humour in Uniform to Book Special; from Drama in Real Life to articles on subjects that affect our daily lives: the magazine has it all.

It was one of the first to popularise direct mail advertising and sales. Subscription cost is much lesser than what one will have to pay on the stands. If one wants to stop the subscription, one can do it any time and the remaining amount will be refunded. We had a few occasions when our copies had got lost in transit. Always the replacement arrived in a couple of weeks. The customer care has been extraordinary.

Another remarkable feature is the language. It’s always concise, crisp, and to the point. In journalistic terms: most well edited. My English teacher used to tell us to read Reader’s Digest to learn the art of writing concisely and effectively. Obviously, the copy/ sub-editors have exemplary editing skills to bring out such a digest of articles printed elsewhere.

As times changed, Reader’s Digest also changed. This transition also reflects that. Hopefully, the commendable attributes that have made RD a unique institution in the book world would remain intact.


  1. One of my favourite magazines. And always makes you feel positive about life!

  2. Readers digest is a unique instituetion in itself. It has a lot of variety to cater to all kinds of readers. Hope it retains its character.

  3. Usha:
    O yes, whatever positive attitude towards I have, I owe it to RD.

  4. You can read any issue any time. Never out of date.

  5. Hiren:
    Yes, the concept of a "digest" itself allows it to have lots of variety

    And, you can also pick up back issues from pavements for as little as Rs 10.