When first married, my husband and I lived in a cute little house in a small town. Our next door neighbor, Lottie, was well past 90. She was unsteady on her feet but she kept busy. Lottie knitted lap blankets for “the old folks in the nursing home.” She liked to sit on her front porch and watch the children walking to and from school.
One spring morning Lottie was nestled in her porch swing when the postman delivered the latest Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Four or five current best selling novels were printed in abbreviated form in one volume. Lottie started reading the first book.
When children began walking home after school that day, Lottie was sitting in her porch swing as usual. However, she had not moved from that seat all day. She had read that entire volume of books from cover to cover.
And what books did Lottie read that spring day? Volume 85 (Spring 1971) contained:
Halic: The Story of a Gray Seal by Ewan Clarkson
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Six-Horse Hitch by Janice Holt Giles
Bomber by Len Deighton
A Woman in the House by Wm. E. Barrett
Reader’s Digest Condensed Books were published for 47 years (1950-1997). The quarterly volumes usually contained five stories. By the early 1990s, publication was increased to bi-monthly. The popular series continues today as Reader’s Digest Select Editions.