Stranger Than Fic­tion

Reader's Digest (India) - - Editor’s Note -

What is the most in­cred­i­bly funny thing that ever hap­pened to you? I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced so many, I can clas­sify them un­der Friends, Col­leagues, Neigh­bours, Fam­ily, Me. I’m not re­lat­ing any here—that’d mean trou­ble. But the many in­ci­dents we’ve com­piled in “That’s In­cred­i­ble!” (page 48) are in the pub­lic do­main and pretty safe to pub­lish.

Our last Hu­mour Spe­cial sold more copies than any other is­sue in 2012, which re­veals a lot about how Di­gest read­ers also like good, clean fun. And since we can en­joy Di­gest jokes even af­ter many years, we are reprint­ing vin­tage hu­mour from the 1920s, when The Di­gest started, right up to the 1990s. Also in­cluded are favourite ar­ti­cles on two peo­ple who never fail to make you laugh: the ver­sa­tile Walt Dis­ney and co­me­dian Ray Ro­mano.

Th­ese past few years, we’ve cel­e­brated Teacher’s Day, 5 Septem­ber, with sto­ries about ex­em­plary teach­ers, sent by ded­i­cated Di­gest read­ers. We re­ceive all kinds of ar­ti­cles from read­ers, but the best ones have been those about teach­ers, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to pick and choose. I imag­ine this is not just be­cause the teach­ers de­scribed are unique, but it could be that those who were in­spired by spe­cial teach­ers grew up to be­come sen­si­tive and think­ing adults who write well. Just my own pet the­ory.

Since Fe­bru­ary, read­ers and friends have asked me an in­cred­i­ble ques­tion: “Is Reader’s Di­gest clos­ing down?” It fol­lowed news re­ports that our US par­ent com­pany was fil­ing for “Chap­ter 11 bankruptcy.” In Amer­ica, this doesn’t mean that a com­pany is liq­ui­dat­ing (that’s “Chap­ter 7 bankruptcy”). Far from it. It only meant that Reader’s Di­gest was, wisely, try­ing to re­struc­ture fi­nances and re­duce debt. The US busi­ness did have high debt as a re­sult of some events of about six years ago, when it was bought out by a new owner with bor­rowed money. Then came a re­ces­sion and fall­ing rev­enues every­where. Any­way, happily, the re­struc­tur­ing has, since July-end, made Reader’s Di­gest debt-free and fi­nan­cially sound once again. And, thanks to your sup­port, The Di­gest re­mains the world’s high­est-sell­ing mag­a­zine.

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