Hi. My name is Joe. I’m 45 years old and I read, Reader’s Digest. I love it. I’m so hip I call it RD! It is the only reason I still have a mailbox. I don’t tell many people about it, but now that it’s on the Internet, I might as well expound upon my love of the little 7.25” x 4.24” glossy cover and newsprint paper innards.
Why do I love it? Well, it really is in the spirit of Some Is Enough. It provides just enough information on a topic and then you can move on. Even though much of its current content seems to be curated from the Internet, it’s lack of links keep you from going down an evening of useless black holes. With such fascinating topics such as, “How a Tinder Troll is winning over ladies, by stealing Forrest Gump’s Life Story” or “Plushy Minions act as faulty cover for Cocaine deliveries.” I know you wish there were links to those, don’t you? Me too. But, nope. You’re welcome!
What I love is how it creates conversations, topics for family dinners. It educates. It makes you laugh, cry, think, smile, and feel grateful. It endorses family. It encourages being a good neighbor. It promotes adventure. It lets you into the lives of people you would otherwise never meet. It is not filled with unsolved murders, like most nightly television news shows. It is sincere. It rarely, if ever, editorializes. Its brevity disallows for such transgressions and allows the reader to have their own opinion. Many of us, who have grown up in a FOX/CNN news world, don’t even know what it means to hear news without editorial. A world where only THE ONION, (Warning Black Hole!) with its no-nonsense reporting and thoroughly researched stories can be a reliable source of water cooler one-upmanship! RIP in Walter Cronkite.
Because I am older than the Internet . . .
Sidebar: Now that I have become the old man who walked to school in the snow, up hill, both ways, even in July, I keep telling my kids, “Yes, there was a time before the Internet.” They simply laugh, roll their eyes, and say, “Silly Daddy” and return to building virtual Minecraft on their iPads, without any snow!
Where was I? Oh yes. Because I am older than the Internet, I remember loving Reader’s Digest stories and wondering how I could learn more. I sometimes felt cheated when the stories ended. There was no way to Google anything. Googling wasn’t a thing. AOL? Nope. Does anyone remember eWorld? No? If you ever visit the Apple Graveyard, its tombstone reads 1994-1996. It wasn’t around when I was a kid either. Additionally, there were no links to fat busting products that could save me from my treadmill. Ok, that is both a pro and a con. My point is, instead I could just turn the page and a new story would come along and peak my interest. Sure this could be reason to indict DeWitt and Lila Wallace of serving up ADD sized portions of content, back when “content” was still called a “story.” But brevity-be-damned. I am a fan and I am grateful that they created Reader’s Digest and that it continues to this day!
Did I mention that it could be read it in the bathroom? Bonus! Yes, you can do the same on mobile devices. But everyone once in a while, I like to take a break from the family (or give them a break from me) and head to the lavatory, or as my girls call it “Daddy’s Reading Room.” Like an old friend, the Reader’s Digest is waiting there waiting for me. I slide the DIY toilet paper bookmark out from the pages and pickup where I left off, comforted by the fact that I can multitask in my library.
FREE STEP BY STEP DIY TP BOOKMARK
Side note: My girls have taken to using the tissues next to their bed for bookmarks. They call them “Daddy Bookmarks.” I am so proud. No I am NOT crying! Just Keep Reading.
One of my favorite areas of the RD is the LAUGHTER section. I like to take a quick look right before I pick my girls up from school. I memorize a short little joke. Then when I pick them up, I amaze them with how funny I am. Sometimes I even catch them repeating it to one of their friends. Take that Minecraft!
I love the RD because my kids can pick it up and I don’t have to worry about what they will be exposed to. I think the show Sunday Morning is pretty wholesome, but nothing beats Reader’s Digest for good clean family fun. Anyone who knows me, my kids included, will tell you that I am pretty loose about filtering. When strangers apologize for accidentally swearing in front of my girls, one of them will always offer up, “Don’t worry my daddy swears all the time.”
“For the record they learned their first curse word from their mother. I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with SIP”
I would rather be open and discuss topics with my girls as opposed to overprotecting them. However, as I have matured, slowly but surely, I have come to appreciate that all 8 years do not need to be exposed to Rated-R movies. Even though I didn’t always believe that. I was probably exposed to sex, drugs and alcohol way to an early. This gave me a false sense of being a grown up. My brain wasn’t ready for it.
It’s funny what’s no longer embarrassing as we get older. I can admit now that as a kid, when I wasn’t reading RD that I sometimes attempted to view scrambled adult TV channels. On occasion I even tried to pry open rain soaked pages of a playboy left behind by a friends older brother in the woods. Perhaps this is not more honorable than discovering free adult content on the web via the click of a button. Perhaps, but I’d like to think because I worked harder, that I really did earn that peek at a picture of something that just might have been a nude body part.
The RD harkens back to a simpler time, a more innocent time. White picket fences, family picnics, lemonade instead of beer, and many other things I used to, and at times still cringe at. But I have come to appreciate hanging on to childhood a bit longer and enjoying the more wholesome side of life. Every couple months the RD helps me find the simple pleasure in such things.
A savvier poster would have linked to some referral link to Reader’s Digest, but I’m too lazy. So here is a really long direct link to their site offering 82% off a 2 Year subscription. Only $15 Bucks! In other words less than a Moscow Mule at some swanky bar!
By the way . . . next weeks post is on “My favorite Swanky Bars with the Best Moscow Mules!”