A magazine for general readers, Reader’s Digest was founded in 1922 and for many years was the best-selling consumer magazine in the U.S. In the summer of 2012 it had a U.S. circulation of 5.5 million, but with 49 editions going to 70 countries in 21 languages, that number almost doubles, and it reaches an estimated total of 40 million readers around the globe. Thus, it is the largest paid circulation magazine in the world.
Reader’s Digest samples, summarizes, and rewrites articles from many other sources, and had a longtime reputation for a politically conservative and specifically anti-communist orientation. Instantly recognizable by its “pocket” design – roughly half the size of most American magazines and two or three times as thick – the parent company has reported a net loss every year since 2005 and filed for bankruptcy in both 2009 and 2013.