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Monday, March 29, 2004


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Pak Adib,
Reading the Digest isn't considered cool nowadays, but I grew up on loads and loads of it - the US edition, which was fatter and better. My late uncle left me what must've been tons of back copies, plus Wide World mags, and various comics. I looked thru them often before I could even do the 'speaking', and pondered for many years the meaning of 'but' (seen in a bubble in a comic book, "The Prince & The Pauper"). My late father continued the US Digest tradition, copies of which he brought home from the Chee Seek bookstore. In the Digest I met writers I still enjoy: like James Thurber and Robert Benchley (father of Peter, who wrote "Jaws"). "My Most Unforgettable Character" was my favourite Digest series. I still remember words I picked up from "Increase Your Word Power". And I still have a headache now.

Pak Adib,

All four sections you mentioned are also my favorite! Basically I find the whole mag is fun (and worth) to read. And it's handy, too.

The sad thing is, I seldom buy it because the price is a wee bit high for a student like myself. I usually buy backdated issue, or borrow from others. Will someone give me a one-year subscription as a present? Hee hee...

You don't read Popular Science, Pak Adib?


I am also a subscriber since my campus days after my father stop subscribing to it. I started reading the Digest when I was in the primary school (my dad subscribe to Digest). It is an interesting piece of write up since it actually gives you the summary from various books/magazines and it has less advertisement!

The four you mentioned is also my favourite together with Book Section (now Book Bonus) and the new RD Living section. It pays to read the Digest since I believe it is one that help me with my English (for a kampung boy).

During my secondary days, to read the Digest is by going to bookstores in town. To Paksu, it is okay to read the back issues. Or you can simply sit at MPH or Kino and read the Digest. it is not wrapped. I have a few RD published in 1960's and 70's a present from my English teacher.

I agree with Paksu that is is expensive. IIANM, the price of Digest in the end of 70's is around RM1.50 to RM2.40. But imagine if you were to buy five or six other magazines? it will cost you a bomb. I still feel the price of quality magazines and books is quite steep in Malaysia. Lucky there are a number of second hand bookstores. :-)

Keep on reading!


Beta-Blogger: Now, I know why I always need a dictionary reading your blog(Jala-Jalan).You must e havread a lot more than I did;-)
Reading RD is not cool? No wonder my kids don't read the magazine.

Paksu:Yes, RD is not cheap for student at RM15 a month.I subscribed at RM148 per year and only read by my wife and me.
Btw, I don't read Popular Science but I read FastCompany and Wired magazines.

Pak Adib, here in M'sia the cheapest 'used' RD I've come across is RM2.50 (2-3 years old). In India they sell the used ones by the 'katis'. Ppl there read them to occupy their time while travelling long journey(min. half a day)on train.

Mysanc and all: I seldom see Malaysians reading books on the planes or on the trains.We haven't got that culture yet despites all the efforts to inculcate the reading habits.

How I love to see young people 'lepak' with books in their hands reading in groups along the esplanade at KLCC!

May be,I am thinking aloud here, a group of us booklovers,show the way.Let say ,a group of ten of us,go there on a weekend and sit on the steps at the entrance of KLCC(facing the water fountains) and just read books for one hour!

Can we creat an impact to passers-by??

y pak adib, i like that idea,us booklovers reading books at klcc. Anyway, i always love RD. In fact now i'm subscribing with the UK edition.. read it since my primary school days and i always read n re-read it,never get bored. Btw, most of the jokes in laughter the best medicine are from the old RD..hmm

Yes .. and after klcc, booklovers should set examples in lrt's. It's a pity to see many fellow malaysian in the trains prefer to stare into blank spaces rather than read a few pages while reaching their destinations ..

I prefer National Geographics, cheaper than RD but (oddly) it have more pages, more colors, & bigger in size. Really wonderful, feel like travelling the world from my own couch. :D

Yes Popcorn.It is indeed a pity:-( These people in fact donot know what they are missing.The question is how do we create the awaresness for them to start reading?

pak Adib,

I have been collecting RD ever since schooldays.
Masa Univ. dulu di Bradford asyik ke 'car boot sale' di Bingley and Halifax looking for old RDs. 1 lots cost me about few quids only. Of course UK version lah.

Now I have collection ranging from 1950s to 2000s. I like reading the old ones rather than the recent ones(circa 2000s), which I find the latter less interesting nowadays.Kalau ke KLCC this wednesday maybe I could ask that question to Mr. Dockrill.

I am now looking for 1940s to 1930s.

Iskandar and all,
After the event, I suggest we all go for Teh Tarik at Asian Flavours.You can recognise me easily with my white cap(kopiah);-)

My oldest RD was 1976 and that is older than some of the readers of this blog!

Anyone with RD September,1952?

I am an avid fan of RD. Been reading it since primary school. I personally suggest RD to my students especially for its wonderful articles, Word Power and Quotable Quotes. Although the price is gradually increasing, I still think it's worth every cent.

I love RD.
But so far have not subscribed to it yet - still minta belas kasihan orang yang bagi back issues to my family :(

Pak Adib, I think you were featured in RD once... when was it..... ;)
yeah I saw that you've got yourself into RD! :)

Pak Adib featured in RD? Wow, that's something.

Mysanc, I've found cheaper ones, up to 50 cents per copy! It's in Ipoh Parade. They even give them free if I buy other books (probably have to spend more than RM10)!

lupa pulak.. to MHI, I'd love to go to Kino and read the books there, but I just can't. why? because I'm living some 350 kms away in Perak! :)

I'd do it whenever I have the chance though.

I had a stash of v. old Digests in Trengganu, but a few years ago, when back in KL, my bro-in-law told me that he'd been to our old KT hse and burnt most of the old stuff there. My heart sank, but he was bigger than me, whattudu?
The Digest was a creature of the Cold War, created to showcase the life of plenty in free enterprise America. That was one front of the Cold War. Many magazines worked along this subtle propagandistic line, some surprisingly, e.g. Ramparts, Encounter. The Digests were cheerier and brighter, and I enjoyed reading them never mind the hidden persuader. Read my first O. Henry story there too. Try reading him Pak Adib, you'll enjoy the sting in the tale/tail.

Thanks Beta-Blogger for the tip on O. Henry.

Actually, I was not featured in RD but my letter was published in "You Said It".I can't remember what month/year was that? Fina,could you help me to refresh my memory.Thanks.


jauh nye duduk. Perak kat ne? i always travel to Penang visiting my branch office there.

in KLthere is a number of bookstore. the biggest MPHis in Jusco NorthWing. Two floors of books!

Firdaus, I also subscribe to National Geographic. It is not a subscription but a membership. That's why you feel its cheaper. Furthermore, advertisement gives the magazine the finance unlike RD. ;-) Agree with you that reading the magazine is like being round the world. Did you read about Mars?

Will try to attend tomorrow event in KLCC. No promise since I need to study the coming days.


Abedib, looking at the photo, I thought it was MY collection! ;-) I got my hands on RD since primary days. I always start by reading all the jokes first including all the one-liner. Apart from your list, I'd add "Life's Like That'. RD have grown up a lil bit, more organised now.

I wished all trains do something to promote reading among its commuters. I wish to see an advert on the train showing picture of local commuters (who stares at ceiling/walls/people), next to picture of overseas commuters (eg.Japanese) whose face always ducked in their books/papers.

How about posting those two contradicting pictures in this blog Abedib ;-) Probably Mr Beta-Blogger can send you a picture of a packed London train full with people reading Evening Standard.

I doubt the 'lepak reading' gives much impact to the public. I believe the habit must be cultivated from young. It starts from home and school. Schools and parents must be made aware the importance of reading. Just my humble opinion.

MHI; I do read about. Really fascinating. National Geographics never fail to fascinate me. Didn't mind the advertisement, which is mostly informative and pretty too. :-) BTW, do anyone know where to get VCD/VHS of the special NG Documentary about Hajj that followed a Malaysian from home till Mecca and back?

I attended the talk by Mr Dockrill but regret to inform that less than 10 persons were there to hear his briefing on the new features of RD. One of the reasons is wrong timing...

Firdaus, if you happen to get the VCD set do tell us. I want one too.

Abedib, I wish that I can come but as you said.. the timing is wrong.

Went to MPH Megamall yesterday. Only then I know that the COO is a lady. And while going back I saw a girl sitting at one of the bench in the middle of the Mall reading. As Pat Chen said, the reading habit is being inculcate in Malaysia.


Anyone with RD September,1952?

Hmm, let me check whether I have it back home. ni nak balik kampung ptg ni.

pak adib, try junk bookshop at Jalan Tun HS Lee. they might have it.

and another way, how about we travel by train during weekend to penang and find it at chowrasta?

You have suggested before but I have forgotten about a train ride and book reading.Let's do it at the end of April,2004.
Pls remind me in case I forget.

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