Farewell Reader’s Digest

One of the most iconic publications in Canadian households is calling it quits this spring. Reader’s Digest, a staple in doctor’s offices and washrooms everywhere, has decided to end its run thanks to declining revenue, changing reading habits, and rising production costs. I don’t think it’s any secret that the RD will be missed by a lot of people.

Reader’s Digest Canada started in July, 1947, with the French edition launching a year later. Nearly all of the articles/stories included in the magazine were 100% Canadian by Canadians. Several stories were condensed to make the magazine even more interesting. This gave way to a new expression, “the Reader’s Digest Version,” which meant to simplify or condense a story or answer.

We all known where most copies of the Reader’s Digest would end up, don’t we? The bathroom! Next to the newspaper, it was the premiere bathroom reading literature and we all experienced “numb legs” occasionally from reading it a bit too long. You know what I’m talking about. As a kid, I remember opening our bathroom cupboards and seeing a massive volume of old Digests, some dating back as far as the early 70’s. It was fun to go back and read what people were talking about in the 70’s and 80’s.

One of the things I’ll miss most were some of the quizzes they’d include, especially “Word Power.” This was the section of the RD that helped grow our linguistic capabilities. Every month, a multiple choice quiz was added with new words that tested how well we knew the meaning of them. Let’s just say, I was lucky if I scored 60%. I think a lot of us will miss many of the jokes and cute stories that readers would submit from across the country as well.

“Another one bites the dust” seems to be the trend lately, which is sad. Over the years we’ve seen newspapers shrink and disappear, the Sears catalogue disappeared, Sports Illustrated massively downsized, and now we have to say goodbye to Reader’s Digest Canada. It’s another sign of how our reading habits have drastically changed thanks to the ever evolving world of technology. Thank you Reader’s Digest for being a friend of Canadians for 77 years.

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