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Discussion in 'Personal' started by yodaami2, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    I've just been reminded by something on the telly of how much I used to love "Reader's Digest". I also liked borrowing encyclopaedias. I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of many things; mostly beginning with A B and C. Anyone else?
    agathamorse and sabrinakat like this.
  2. gargs

    gargs Star commenter

    I didn't have any of their encyclopedias but every holiday cottage we rented in the 70s and 80s had a large supply of their magazines (usually in the toilet). Loved them at the time - wonder what I'd think of them now?
  3. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The thing I remember most about the Reader's Digest is the Laughter is the Best Medicine feature. I agree with the sentiment, but you'd have thought they'd have put something worth laughing at in it, wouldn't you?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  4. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I like to think that I have a decent general knowledge. I think that this comes from avidly read Readers Digest when I was about 9 or 10.
    Grandsire, agathamorse and yodaami2 like this.
  5. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    There was a section on vocabulary, I learned some very high level words aged 9-12. I loved the condensed book or biography at the end of the mag.
    Grandsire, agathamorse and Laphroig like this.
  6. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    Extraordinary to see the love here for such a right-wing publication.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    When I was young, my sense of political nuance wasn't quite as well developed as it is now. In addition, most of the articles were not particularly political.
    yodaami2, agathamorse and Jesmond12 like this.
  8. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Lead commenter

    It was US propaganda through and through.
  9. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I read somewhere that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a copy on his bedside table and that he contributed articles to the magazine.
    And who could forget series such as "It pays to increase your word power" and "I am John's spleen". Less savoury were the mailings sent to vulnerable people assuring them that they were guaranteed a large cash prize in a sweepstake they had never entered.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    sabrinakat likes this.
  10. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter


    I discovered a few in a static caravan on the aisle of Wight aged about 9, and collected the entire set over the next three or four years, spotting them in charity shops and car boot sales until I’d built up the whole collection. I read them over and over again, and can still recall some of the articles (including “Into battle with a screwdriver!” and a heart-breaking piece called “Goodnight Alex” about a child with Cystic Fibrosis).

    I’m sure that some of the articles weren’t entirely suitable at that age, but I’m also sure my broad interest in all sorts of things, and pretty good general knowledge comes from the Reader’s Digests I read.
    yodaami2 likes this.
  11. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    When it comes to encyclopaedias, the one you used to see all the time in the charity shops was “London to Moss” - given away in bulk as a free sample. We saw them so often in the car boots and charity shops growing up that the phrase “London to Moss” became a verbal short hand in our family for boxes full of old rubbish and containing nothing of interest.
    yodaami2 likes this.
  12. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Some years ago, my sister in law gave us a year's subscription to the Readers' Disgust. We hated it. When she did it again the next year, I rang and told them we didn't want it again. I told them why. Then I made them send the money to a charity of my choice.
    Hated it as a child when my grandparents had it, and if I see a copy now, I still hate it.
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    As a child I was given an old reference book called "How Much Do You Know?". It had questions like "Who Invented the First Steam Engine?" and that sort of thing - useful facts for a child to find out.

    In later life I found the book, flicked through it out of nostalgia, and was horrified to find on one page "Why is the white race superior?"

    It should have been subtitled "My golden treasury of racist propaganda". I can still remember the phrase "enervated by the heat of the tropics" being used to claim why one racial group wasn't quite up to white standards. Another skin colour was said to be synonymous with a 'slave mentality', according to the book, thus condemning a quarter of the world's population.

    Every publication has an agenda, even so-called reference books.

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