The Happy Reader
A subscription to this unique magazine would make an ideal Christmas present for the cash-strapped. Published twice a year, it’ll set you back just £8 for two years worth of issues to send to UK addresses, a bit more beyond. The Happy Reader is hardbacked size, around 70 pages, and each issue comes with a matching bookmark. It has two parts:
The first half is an interview with a notable bookworm, together with supporting short articles, reading list etc. This issue the guest is Jarvis Cocker, interviewed by Simon Armitage – so you effectively get a twofer. Two Yorkshiremen, Jarvis and Simon get on really well making for a satisfying read. The second half is all based around a classic book – (a Penguin classic – natch!). After an introduction to the novel, the following articles explore some of the themes in the book – often in a very off-beat way. It’s a bookclub discussion in a magazine. Issue 10 is about We by Yevgeny Zamyatin and the articles go from a recipe for bread, to Will Self looking at appointments for sex. The whole is accompanied by super photography, art and is designed beautifully.
I got my copy on Thursday and read it from cover to cover on the train to and from London. Sadly there are no back issues available now – they’ve become rather collectable (and well worth reading if you come across one – the Kristin Scott Thomas one was rather excellent I seem to remember).
Visit The Happy Reader website to subscribe.