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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On The Readers And Haters Of " Reader's Digest"

According to the writer Jefferson D. Bates, "If you want to find examples of clear, tightly edited prose, you'll look a long way to hunt down anything better than you can encounter in any issue of the much maligned Reader's Digest." The people who hold this popular, mainstream publication in such low esteem are the the intellectual elite made up of academics and the literary and journalistic intelligentsia. These smug, self-righteous blowhards detest anything that smacks of God and country. And they ridicule anyone professing so-called "middle class values." Because the Reader's Digest carries stories featuring patriotism and faith, it appeals to middle class, "middle-brow" readers who also demand writing that is straightforward, unpretentious, entertaining, informative and accessible.  The high-brows who snicker at the Digest, also turn their noses up at genre fiction, instead preferring "literary" novels, a brand of fiction that to the general public is essentially unreadable. None of this would matter except for the fact that these pretentious show-offs have taken over the university, literary journals, and perhaps even worse, schools of journalism. To be sure, no professor would be caught dead with a Reader's Digest in his Volvo.

Thornton P. Knowles 


  1. The Reader's Digest was the US version of the USSR's Pravda so it wasn't considered trustworthy. That was it's main flaw.I believe Reader's Digest went bankrupt after the cold war ended.

  2. Since my wife subscribes to the Reader's Digest and reads it every week, this will be shocking news to her. And wait until I tell her she is a Communist!