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Reader's Digest
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Reader's Digest

Reader's Digest is a general interest family magazine published monthly by the Reader's Digest Association. As of 2004, the U.S edition of Reader's Digest prints 12.5 million copies and reaches 44 million readers each month. It is also published in a large-type edition called Reader's Digest Large Type, and in a Spanish language edition called Selecciones.


DeWitt and Lila Wallace published the first issue on February 5 (some sources say February 7), 1922. It was available by mail for 25 a copy. The magazine first became available on newsstands in 1929.

Circulation passed the 1,000,000-copy mark in 1935. The 10 billionth copy of the U.S. edition was published in 1994.

What's in the magazine

Reader's Digest includes original articles, condensed articles reprinted from other magazines, book excerpts, and collections of jokes, anecdotes, quotations and other short pieces. The magazine's mission as set out by the Wallaces is to include one article for each day of the month, each of "enduring value and interest."

Articles in Reader's Digest cover a range of topics, including politics and government, health, international affairs, business, education and humor. Articles tend to be short to allow busy readers to keep up with a variety of topics without investing too much time.

Regular features include "Word Power," a vocabulary-building quiz; "Life in These United States," a collection of humorous or profound reader-submitted anecdotes; and "Laughter, the Best Medicine," a collection of jokes submitted by readers.

International editions

Although Reader's Digest was founded in the U.S., its international editions have made it the best-selling monthly magazine in the world. The magazine's worldwide circulation including all editions has reached 21 million copies and over 100 million readers.

The first international edition was published in the United Kingdom in 1938. Reader's Digest is currently published in 48 editions and 19 languages and is available in over 60 countries.

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