Thursday, October 30, 2008


Every couple of months we publish a new volume of Select Editions, and I go through the process of updating our blog to include the new selections. I just did it for our new October volume, and realized as I did so that this was Volume 300. 300! That’s a lot of books.

There is something magical about round numbers with lots of zeroes at the end of them. They speak to importance, to meaningful anniversaries, to moments worth remembering. In the case of 300 volumes going back to 1950, they speak to longevity. You could say that we’ve published a lot of books over the years, but I’d rather say that we’ve put out a lot of entertainment, and I’m happy to point out that a lot of people have enjoyed this entertainment, allowing us to stay in the business of providing it. And I do see it as entertainment. Books can do a lot of things. They can move us and inform us and in some cases even change our lives, but they are also one of the best forms of entertainment. Reading a story gets it into your mind in a way different from any other. It is a captivation that is total. It had better be good if you’re allowing it so much control over your brain! It had better be entertaining.

You’ll decide for yourself whether the latest stories in Volume 300 rise to the test. I’ll just say that from the perspective of longevity, they’re an interesting mix. We’ve published Mary Higgins Clark since the beginning of her spectacular career right up to the latest. We’ve just begun using books by Patrick Taylor and Peter Pezzelli, and while their books in Volume 300 are repeat performances, these two are still new to the literary scene. (An Irishman and an Italian. Sounds like my own family.) Finally, we have our first title from the popular writer Marie Bostwick, and we get a chance to introduce her to the Select Editions audience. So we have a mix of names familiar and not so familiar, but mostly I think we have entertainment: a baffling mystery, a warm country doctor tale, a crusty old professor, a woman making a new life. Great stories to settle down with, to let take over your brain.



Dean Boutilier said...

Congratulations to Reader's Digest for publishing the 300th volume of Select Editions! I've been a subscriber for the last few years and have been very pleased with the presentation and the book choices so far! Keep up the great work with the 'great works'! ;)
Dean Boutilier

Beth Taylor said...

Congratulations on this milestone! I am proud to say I own all 300 volumes (plus a few of the extras you published years ago)! Number 300 is one of your best collections ever -- so now you know the kind of books I like most! Thank you for years of pleasure, both past and future!