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World's best Reading- Reader's Digest

This topic was continued by World's best Reading- Reader's Digest.

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Edited: Oct 16, 2006, 12:30am Top

Does anybody have information about the World's best Reading series from Reader's Digest?

I have a few books in the series, and they are not the typical RD "condensed" books, but complete texts with good afterwords, and typically top notch illustrations in good quality hardcover editions.

I've googled this topic and searched for the books on Bookfinder.

It appears that they are more than 50 such titles.

I was curious as to what information (if any) was known.

Many Thanks (in advance...)


2Rule42 First Message
Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 1:23am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

3Railsplitter First Message
Nov 18, 2006, 1:46am Top

I have 77 books in the Reader Digest Worlds Best Reading series. To my knowledge that is all the books I have ever seen. I picked them up here and there over a 3 year period. The last 3 I needed, I had to order from 3 different booksellers in the UK.

Hope this helped.

Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 1:24am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 19, 2006, 11:33am Top

Hi Rule42 and montag,

Thanks for your responses.

Rule42, any chances that you're going to be tagging your WBR collection in LT?

I was pleasantly surprised to find out about this series from RD, which I assume has been discontinued.

The WBR series are NOT the typical RD condensed books, but I've found them to be high quality hardcovers with classic illustrations.

So far, I've only picked up King Solomon's Mines, Tanglewood Tales, Kidnapped, and The Prince and the Pauper.

An excellent used bookstore near me has about 10-15 additional titles, and I may be heading back for more.

Edited: Jan 28, 2010, 10:02pm Top

Hi mbahawk,

I have to admit I have never come across Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales in this series before. I would be very interested to know what the year of publication on that title is as well as the ISBN. I currently own 55 titles in this series, mostly purchased over the last 5 years from my local used book stores in the same manner that you are doing. Recently I have taken to buying titles I don't own over the web because they've never shown up in the book stores, or if they did, they were not in good condition. Each time I come across a new title I make a note of it.

WRT cataloging all my RD WBR titles on LT I don't see the point in doing that. I have over 2000 books on my shelves and I don't intend to anally catalogue them all here. I only joined LT so that I could respond to your post and I'm still experimenting with what LT can do for me. In terms of establishing connections to like-minded readers and personal libraries I suspect that entering a single title by a representative author does more in terms of furthering that correlation than entering all 50 titles that you may own by a single author. Nevertheless, I would be happy to continue this WBR discussion here.

WRT to RD discontinuing the WBR series I believe it may have done so in or around 1996 because I have never seen a WBR title published between 1996 and 1998, nor from 2000 to 2001 for that matter. However, my copy of The Three Musketeers dates from 1999, I believe. I also own WBR titles issued in 2004 and 2005 but they are not illustrated. I have been to the RD website a number of times but can find no mention whatsoever of the WBR series of books there, which I find rather curious.

I hoped this helped.

Message edited to remove all of the original author and book touchstones since they appear to no longer work.

7venture First Message
Dec 9, 2006, 1:21pm Top

Good Day to All

I have been collecting the WBR series by RD for many years and have amassed 93 of the titles and am aware of a total of 96 titles available (there are probably more). I have books that were published as recently as 2005 (as previously mentioned by other members), but (as also mentioned) these later editions do not have illustrations or even the author inserts. It's a bit tricky though as a few of the books are from the European and even Australian series'.

I have had tremendous success in the past by visiting a number of online used book search engines (addallbooks) every month or so to track down some of the more obscure titles as RD has been no help in providing me a list (even when I called).

About 90% of my books include the RD inserts about the author as well, which I find almost as interesting as some of the books themselves.

I have my list of books saved in a Word document (in alphabetical order) and would be more than happy to email it to whomever is interested.

I agree that this is an excellent series of books that look nice, but are also durable enough that you can actually read them instead of just look at them on a shelf.

I hope I was able to provide some additional insight into this series.

Good Luck to all!!

Dec 9, 2006, 8:44pm Top

Hi Venture,
I for one would love to have your list. I quit looking for any more books in this series when I hit 77 and thought I had them all. I paid anywhere from $3.00 to $10.00 for them, with most being in the $5.00 to $7.00 range at used bookstores. ebay and the ABE website

How do we go about exchanging our email address?

Thanks for posting.
Everyone probably thinks I am a SciFi reader with a screen name like that, but most of my books are Lincoln, Gettysburg, Civil War, and military history. I just happen to like Bradburys first book

Dec 9, 2006, 9:02pm Top

>8 Railsplitter:: I actually thought you were German. It never occured to me that your username is a reference to Fahrenheit 451. And I only read it a short while ago...

Dec 9, 2006, 9:57pm Top

Good Evening

I was happy to see that I had already received comments regarding my initial posting so instead of trying to send my list out via separate emails to individuals, I have decided to just include what I have and know of existing for the Readers Digest WBR series below. I figured by posting it for everyone to see, people will be able to add any additional books via new messages to continue this string of comments for everyone to see. I don't know if I'm breaking any LT rules by listing/posting books this way and I apologize if I am, but I think it will be easier this way and we may get more participation on the subject. I apologize also, for any spelling errors or partial titles as I began this list quite awhile ago and didn't really proof it. I can send anyone the Word file I have saved upon request (or if this format doesn't work well), and I would be happy to include author names as well, but that will take more time as they are not included below. I'm simply copying and pasting my document below so hopefully the format will translate...

1. 2000 Leagues Under the Sea
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
3. Adventures of Robinhood
4. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
5. Adventures of Tom Sawyer
6. Age of Innocence, The
7. Anne of Green Gables
8. Around the World in 80 Days
9. Barchester Towers
10. Beau Geste
11. Ben Hur
12. Caine Mutiny
13. Call of the Wild/White Fang
14. Captains Courageous
15. Celebrated Jumping Frog
16. Christmas Carol
17. Connecticut Yankee
18. David Copperfield
19. Dr. Jeckll and Mr. Hyde
20. Dr. Zhivago
21. Dusty/Man Shy
22. Emma
23. Far From The Madding Crowd
24. For The Term of His Natural Life
25. Further Adventures: Sherlock Holmes
26. Gift of The Magi
27. Good Earth, The
28. Goodbye Mr. Chips
29. Grapes of Wrath
30. Great Expectations
31. Heart of the West
32. House of Seven Gables
33. How Green Was My Valley
34. Innocents Abroad
35. Invisible Man / Island of Dr. Moreau
36. Jane Eyre
37. Journey to the Center of the Earth
38. Kidnapped
39. Kim
40. King Solomon’s Mines
41. Last of the Mohicans
42. Legend of Sleepy Hollow
43. Life on Mississippi
44. Life With Father
45. Little Women
46. Lord Jim
47. Lorna Doone
48. Lost Horizon
49. Magnificent Ambersons, The
50. Master of Ballantrae, The
51. Mayor of Casterbridge, The
52. Memoirs: Sherlock Holmes
53. Moby Dick
54. Moon And Sixpence, The
55. My Antonia
56. O Pioneers
57. Old Curiosity Shop
58. Oliver Twist
59. On Our Selection
60. Passage to India
61. Pride and Prejudice
62. Prince and The Pauper
63. Rebecca
64. Red Badge of Courage
65. Return of Sherlock Holmes
66. Robe, The
67. Robinson Crusoe
68. Roughing It
69. Scarlet Letter
70. Sea Wolf
71. Silas Marner
72. Song of Hiawatha
73. Study Scarlet / Hound Baskervilles
74. Tales From The Arabian Nights
75. Tale of Two Cities
76. Tales of Suspense – Edgar Allen Poe
77. Tales of the South Pacific
78. Tanglewood Tales
79. Tess of Urbervilles
80. Thirty-Nine Steps / Greenmantle
81. This Side of Paradise
82. Three Men in a Boat / Three Men on The Bumbel
83. Three Musketeers
84. To Build a Fire
85. To Kill a Mockingbird
86. Town Like Alice
87. Treasure Island
88. Tree Grows Brooklyn
89. Twice Told Tales
90. Two Years Before Mast
91. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
92. Virginian, The
93. War of The Worlds / The Time Machine
94. Wind In The Willows
95. Wuthering Heights
96. Yearling, The

I hope this helps everyone out, and anyone who can add to this... please do - we all appreciate it.

Thanks again and Good Luck!

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 11:16pm Top

Rule42 goes to the doctor ...

Rule42: “Can you help me, Doc? I just can't seem to stop singing 'Delilah'.”

Doctor: "Oh dear me, I'd best examine you then."

After giving Rule42 a thorough examination the doctor carefully removes his stethoscope from around his neck as he sits back down behind his desk. For the next minute or two he carefully rearranges his pens at the side of the desk top, before pensively shuffling then restacking some loose papers. Finally, he slowly leans back in his swivel chair and looks intently up at Rule42 over the top of his bifocals.

Doctor: “I'm afraid I have to inform you that you’ve got 'Tom Jones syndrome'.”

Rule42: “OMG. Is it very serious? Will I die before I ever get a chance to read Frank Dalby Davison's Dusty? Gee, Doc, I don't think I've ever heard of that disease ... is it some sort of rare condition?”

Doctor: “Well, it's not unusual ...”

Dec 13, 2006, 12:05pm Top

Hi Rule42

Thanks for your post and continuing this thread. Believe it or not I do have the works you mentioned:

For The Terms of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke
On Our Selection by Steele Rudd
Dusty / Man Shy by Frank Dalby Davison.

I was able to acquire each of these through an online used book search engine, and yes they are from the Australian series. The books I have been having trouble locating are as follows:

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

I have seen these three missing books on ebay in the past, but they were sold in a lot of 50-60 other WBR books, and I didn't want to pay the asking price for all the books for just those three figuring I would be able to track them down eventually... well, I haven't yet.

In regard to The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, I am aware of this book but can only find information on it as being part of the Readers Digest 'Best Loved Books For Young Readers' series, which I don't believe is part of the 'World's Best Reading' series. That's why I kept this one off my list, unless someone can confirm otherwise???

Thanks for the response and good luck!

Edited: Jan 28, 2010, 9:13pm Top

Well, the existence of that fourth Hawthorne was total news to me. I thought it was quite ironic that the OP came across it as one of his first four RD WBR books. As for the Kipling it definitely does exist as I have seen an image of it in an eBay auction.

BTW, there is technically another title you are missing. The two James Hilton titles in this series were released in Britain as a single book (again, I have seen an image of it). Personally, I think I prefer having these two titles as separate books, so I won't be tracking the British edition down any time soon. I feel pretty lukewarm about the Australian titles too. Have you read them yet?

Edited to remove touchstones since they no longer work.

Dec 18, 2006, 9:03pm Top

Good Evening Rule42 (and anyone else)

No, I have not read the Australian editions as of yet. They seem a bit different, but I will get around to them at some point... I'm sure.

Which WBR James Hilton titles are you referring to that are absent from my list? I have Good Bye Mr. Chips and The Lost Horizon listed - is there another book of stories??

I typically don't list titles that I haven't seen for myself either - Tanglewood Tales being the only one that I have done this with; however, I have seen it referenced in multiple locations as being a part of this series, and in this instance I guess I gave the individuals the benefit of the doubt. mbhawk (the individual above) said that he/she picked up four books from this series together at once, and it seems that he/she knows well enough that they are part of a series entitled RD WBR - I trust that they are all similar books. I guess that I will assume it's part of the series until I can confirm otherwise (one way or another). In fact, I'm quite certain there are still a number of books missing from this list.

However, the only other book that I still consider, but question is The Jungle Book. I have searched high and low for information on this particular book and have uncovered many hits for the Readers Digest 'Best Loved Books For Young Readers' series - copywright 1989, but nothing pertaining to 'World's Best Reading'. Are these two series' somehow one in the same for this particular book? I remain thoroughly confused on this one.

Edited: Jan 28, 2010, 8:57pm Top

venture, those two Hilton titles you listed were combined into a single book for the U.K. WBR series (in the same manner that the H.G.Wells and John Buchan titles are combined).

LMAO here. When mbahawk posted that Hawthorne title I, too, thought he must know what he actually has, but I also wondered if he might not have simply typed "Tanglewood Tales" instead of "Twice-told Tales" - that would be a very simple error to make. So I didn't add it to my list. I was hoping he would respond so I could specifically verify it with him.

However, I did add it to my own list when you also listed it because I thought it highly unlikely that the two of you could both be wrong. If I was a journalist looking to get a second independent source to verify my fast-breaking news story I would have been sh*t-canned for what I just did!

As for Kipling's The Jungle Books, read my friggin' lips - IT EXISTS. Also note that this RD edition contains the text of both the original The Jungle Book plus the subsequent The Second Jungle Book - hence the plural title.

Finally, I would be quite interested to know the RD copyright dates of the titles on your list that don't also have ISBNs.

Edited to remove touchstones since they no longer work.

Dec 23, 2006, 11:13pm Top


Yes, I suppose if you had been a journalist looking for a second independent source to verify a story, you may have been in trouble by your actions -- luckily we're just collecting books as a hobby so it doesn't really hurt to include it. I guess my mentality is a bit different as I figure I might as well include a book that someone says is part of the series until I or anyone else can prove that it isn't part of the series. You can always remove a book from a list, but if you remove it from your mind you are even less likely to come across it if it does happen to exist.

As for your inquiries:
How Green Was My Valley - 1997
Lorna Doone - 1995
The Mayor of Casterbridge - 1999
The Moon and Sixpence - 2004
Thirty-Nine Steps / Greenmantle - 1998
Three Men in a Boat / Three Men on The Bummel - 1998
A Town Like Alice - 1995
War of The Worlds / The Time Machine - 2005
The Wind in The Willows - 1993

In regard to Lord Jim and The Magnificent Ambersons -- per my previous posting, I do not have these books, but I have seen them, and I can confirm that they do exists as part of the Readers Digest 'World's Best Reading' series.

I was unable to locate any 10 digit ISBN number on these books.

Edited: Jan 28, 2010, 9:44pm Top

Hi there venture,

Merry Christmas. :)

As I stated way back in post #6 above, I do not own any RD WBR titles dated 1996-1998. The vast majority of my own titles are dated in the period 1983-1995, plus I have six titles from the period 1999-2005. Furthermore, I have NEVER seen any U.S. RD WBR titles attributed to the years 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001 - which is why I surmised earlier that RD stopped producing these WBR titles for that period.

Except in the period 1982-83, when RD initiated this series with just two titles, RD subsequently published in the U.S. six titles a year every year from 1984 until 1995. That's one new book title published bi-monthly (on a subscription sales basis) for a period of 12 years, plus the first two titles. Then, as far as I can ascertain, there were only two new WBR titles published in the U.S. for the period 1996-2002. Since 2003, it appears RD in the U.S. has resumed publishing new titles in this series on a regular basis once again. The total number of worldwide WBR titles (that I'm aware of) is currently 98 - your listed 96 titles (in post #10 above) plus the Kipling and Hilton titles I added to those in my subsequent responses to that post.

I was unable to locate any 10 digit ISBN number on these books.

All my RD WBR titles up until 1995 have ISBNs. The Dumas and Hardy titles from 1999 and 2000 don't have any ISBNs assigned. The later RD WBR titles that I own have ISSNs instead of ISBNs.

Have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Message edited to remove all of the original author and book touchstones since they appear to no longer work.

Dec 27, 2006, 9:28pm Top

Good Evening Rule42

Wow! Great work and research into this series. as a matter of fact, the five books that you inquired about:

The Wind in The Willows*
Lorna Doone*
How Green Was My Valley*
Three Men In a Boat / Three Men on The Bummel*
Thirty-Nine Steps / Greenmantle*

These are all UK issues. The following two books are UK issues as well:

The Mayor of Casterbridge*
Barchester Towers*

The following three books you are correct in that they are US issues:

This Side of Paradise*
The Moon and Sixpence
War of The World's / The Time Machine

The above books that I have asterisked all currently have multiple copies available for sale (at varying prices and conditions) through the following used book site:


Type in the title and 'Readers Digest' in the Keyword section.

The books I am missing are not currently available through this site.

Thanks for the input, research and help on this series.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

19hilly47 First Message
Feb 1, 2007, 10:20am Top

Hi Montag, thank you for directing me to LT. I have about 70-80 of the WBR series and we have shared these lists in the past as I recall. I even have a couple of the Australian titles and British titles but had to pay more for the shipping (found these on Ebay). I stopped looking daily for WBR several years ago because it appeared that the series had ended. However from reading the talk on this site I see there are several more titles I do not have so maybe I will have to get interested again.

The thing I like about collecting books is the "hunt" and then gathering them together on the shelf for display. The RD books are nice and are bound fairly well but if read alot I believe they will not hold up well. This is why I tend to buy them in "mint" condition and then put them away, and if I need to read the book I will find another example that I don't care if I spill coffee on it.

The other part of collecting this series for me was to acquire the insert describing the book that RD used for their members of the club who originally purchased these books. I have over half of the inserts but I am not satisfied with this number. I have contemplated making a good print copy of the inserts and finding someone who cared to exchange so that we could both come up with nearly all of the inserts.

Edited: Feb 10, 2007, 9:20pm Top

Hi there hilly47 ... unruly42 here! :) Let me be the first person to welcome you to LT. It would appear that of the six individuals that have posted on this thread to date, four of us (montag, venture, yourself and I) initially joined LT in order to be able to actually make those posts here. Ahhhh, the power and lure of the RD WBR series ...

Since I last posted on this thread I have accumulated more than 70 titles in this series, so I guess there are now three of us that are gold card-carrying members of the "RD WBR 70+ Club"; while venture alone still enjoys his elite platinum "RD WBR 90+ Club" status.

I stopped looking daily for WBR several years ago because it appeared that the series had ended.

As you state, the series does appear to have ended in the USA at the end of 1995. This first hiatus lasted from 1996 all the way through into 1999. The series was then briefly resumed with just two titles (the Dumas and the Hardy) before it was aborted a second time. However, after this second hiatus it was resumed yet again in 2003 at the old bi-monthly publishing rate of around 6 new titles per year. Only, this time around, RD no longer included illustrations in its new books - they are now just nice faux leather editions of classic titles.

The thing I like about collecting books is the "hunt" ...

Well, this is certainly not a book series that you can collect simply by going to the publisher and asking it to sell you everything it has issued to date. RD doesn't even advertise the existence of these books on its own web sites. That stance made perfectly good sense to me when I, too, believed this series was terminated way back in 1995.

I only came across the post 2000 issued titles in the last year or so, yet I have visited the RD web site a number of times over the last five or six years in order to try and find some kind of definitive bibliography for what was issued in this series. That RD gives no support at all for any of these books despite the fact that it was, and still is, currently engaged in actively selling the latest editions in the series makes no sense at all to me. RD promotes all the other crap that it sells (and most of it is indeed crap) and yet it effectively denies the existence of the one quality product line that it produces - and has produced for almost 25 years now! That's bizarre IMHO.

You might say the same situation also applies to, say, Franklin Library or Heritage Press WRT there existing today little to virtually no information about the complete index of titles that those companies produced. But the difference is that those companies ceased to be many years ago while RD is still currently producing product. So this is certainly a series of books that you really do have to "hunt" down without any support from the publisher - and consequently with no assurance as to when you are done.

The RD books are nice and are bound fairly well but if read alot I believe they will not hold up well.

I have to vehemently disagree with you there. These books are probably some of the tightest bound books I have come across and (individual exceptions aside) they are more sturdy and hold up better than virtually all of the mainstream HC books that were published contemporaneously with them. For me that is their primary attraction. It is rare to find attractively bound books that are also robust and will still appear pristine even after multiple readings.

... if I need to read the book I will find another example that I don't care if I spill coffee on it.

You know, there are not very many books produced that will survive being drowned in Java ... I really don't think this is a fundamental flaw with this particular series! Here's an experiment you might want to try at home, hilly. Take any leatherbound Franklin Library or Easton Press title that you own and pour a cup of sweet coffee all over it, then report back here how well the gilded edges, satin ribbons and silk moire endpapers hold up. Consider repeating this experiment with Folio Society or Heritage Press titles too if you are still not convinced. I think you might be quite surprised at the results.

I have over half of the inserts but I am not satisfied with this number.

And you shouldn't be. I'm missing just under 7% of the inserts and venture has reported earlier on this thread (post #7) that about 90% of his books have the original inserts. If as many as 50% of your titles are missing the inlays then I have some bad news for you ... your books are not anywhere as near the "mint" condition that you claim. The original owners of these books that took good care of them did NOT destroy or lose the original inlays. It was more likely to be the owners that had problems with repeatedly spilling coffee on them. Oh, wait a minute ...

21sgault First Message
Feb 6, 2007, 9:27pm Top

Hi. I have four books that are part of the Reader's Digest World's Best Reading series that are not on your list. They are:

1) Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
2) Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
3) Main Street - Sinclair Lewis
4) The Man of Property - (Forsyte Saga)
John Galsworthy

I do not have Lord Jim, Tanglewood Tales, The Moon and Sixpense or Farenheit 451. I rarely see them on Ebay. When I do, they are grouped with many other books that I already have. I will keep trying.


Edited: Apr 11, 2007, 11:02pm Top

Hi Sherry,

Let me also welcome you to LT. Oh geez, I'm now beginning to feel like the LibraryThing concierge! :( It looks like you too just joined LT in order to discuss this book series ... eat your heart out, Easton Press!

Is there any chance you could also post the date of publication here for those four titles? I already knew about the existence of the John Galsworthy but I wasn't going to post an update here until I could also state the year of publication. I think the Sinclair Lewis was published in 2004 - could you please confirm that? I am also assuming all four books are American editions.

WRT date of publication, if none is given on the proprietary page there is usually a copyright year printed at the bottom of the rear page of the insert. If the inlay is missing, the afterword that these books frequently contain is normally signed at the end with the afterword's author's name and the month and year that s/he wrote it. Of course, this doesn't definitively identify the actual publication date, but it does at least identify a date before which the book couldn't possibly be published.

As I stated in post #17, it would appear that since 2004 this book series has now been assigned the ISSN "1544-4449" while all the books issued in the period 1999 through 2003 have neither a book ISBN nor a periodical ISSN assigned. During my searches on the web for your four posted titles I kept noticing Main Street showing up with an ISBN of "0015444449" - which is simply the 8-digit ISSN now assigned to the RD WBR series with two zeros prefixed to force it into being a 10-digit ISBN. There is no such ISBN issue. It appears it was just a fluke that "9" is the correct checksum digit for this arbitrarily created ISBN otherwise whoever perpetrated that deed would not have been able to do it.

Also, can someone reading this please confirm that A Town Like Alice is actually a US release rather than being published by RD only in Australia and the UK? I'm having great trouble determining the ISBN of this particular title.

Finally, I believe mention of Fahrenheit 451 on this thread was only WRT the origins of montag's LT handle. I don't believe anyone is claiming this title to be part of the RD WBR series.

Edited to correct a couple of long-standing typos.

Feb 9, 2007, 11:39pm Top

Good Evening To All

It's good to see a number of new posts and contributors since I last checked up on this site. I, as well as everyone else, appreciate any and all input provided to build the 'World's Best Reading' list.

Back in Message #10 I posted the initial list that I had accumulated over the years and some have added to this over the past couple months. In the near future I will try to go back and revise this list with all the updates that have been added (as I have some to announce here as well). Per Hilly47's comments (welcome to the forum) I will also asterisk all the books on this list that I have the insert for in the near future.

Everyone interested in this series must visit the following link that I uncovered:


Wikipedia is a popular online encyclopedia site that provides some intersting information about the Readers Digest series and the history of the series -- I believe this was stated earlier, but the series was officially cancelled in 2006 (according to this site). However, most importantly it provides a list of the books in the series stating that this is the "official publication list held at Readers Digest."

They admit some discrepancies in order, date and ISBN numbers (Rule 42 - it has your ISBN numbers for a majority of the books listed), but they do list several books that have not been mentioned here before (including author and year of release). I can confirm I have now found several of these previously unmentioned books elsewhere (online used book stores that I have mentioned in previous posts). Several of the UK and Austrailian editions are not present on the Wikipedia list, but are listed above in Message #10.

Below I will list all the additional books that have been uncovered by the members of this thread as well as books listed on the Wikipedia site that do not currently appear on my list in Message #10:

Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
Daisy Miller / The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

I previously added Tanglewood Tales to my list as it was mentioned in a previous post; however, I cannot confirm that it is part of this series (and it does not appear in any list I've seen - including Wikipedia's). Unless anyone here can confirm otherwise, I will probably remove it from my list. Regardless, with the addition of these "new" books, we put the total over 100 (103 to be exact with the removal of Tanglewood Tales.

As I stated earlier - I have ordered several of these "new" editions to the list and should receive them shortly to confirm beyond a doubt that they are a part of this series.

Thank you sgault (Sherry) for your recent contributions as I was unaware of these four titles you mentioned - I have purchased several of them since and am awaiting there arrival.

Rule42 to answer your inquiry regarding A Town Like Alice - the copy I have is a UK edition/release (London).

As always, I hope this helps everyone out, and I look forward to viewing future posts and to see this forum continue growing in the days and months ahead.

Good Luck To All!!

Feb 10, 2007, 9:44pm Top

Hello. I'm sorry for not responding earlier, but the kids takeover the computers ususally. First, I just purchased Daisy Miller/Turn of the Screw. I had to send to London for it. I also found The Jungle Books. Biblio.com has it for sale. The owner wants $65.00 for it. That is too much for me to pay for one book, so I will keep looking for it. I have never seen Fahrenheit 451 or Tanglewood Tales or Gulliver's Travels. As Venture stated in message 23, Wikipedia has a list of most of the books in the collection, but not all.

The Man of Property was published in 2006 in the U.S.
Main Street was published in 2004 in the U.S.
Madame Bovary was published in 2005 in the U.S.

They all have the ISSN of 1544-4449.

I loaned Frankenstein to someone, so I cannot give you the info on that. As far as A Town Like Alice, this is what the book states:

The Reader's Digest Association Limited 1995.
The Reader's Digest Association South Africa (Pty) Limited 1995.
Reader's Digest (Australia) Pty Limited 1996.
Reader's Digest (New Zealand) Limited 1996.
Printed in the United States of America.


Edited: Mar 28, 2008, 12:57am Top

Hi venture,

Welcome back to the thread. I see you've had your own little hiatus much like RD in its publication of this series! :) Just about the time you made your first post on this thread I had gone through my own collection of WBR books and added the ISBN of each one into my own non-LT catalogue of them and by doing this I discovered that for the list of WBR works with ISBNs (and publication dates between 1982 and 1995) there were 73 titles, with exactly 6 releases per year except for the period 1982-83 (for which there were only 2) and 1995 (for which I only had 5 titles logged).

The information I had in my personal database for the first 73 WBR books when I made post #17 corresponds almost exactly to the information that was provided by the author of that Wikipedia page for the first 74 WBR book id. numbers (74 because he assigns two WBR book id. numbers to Wuthering Heights - thus WBR book ids. #1 through #74 cover ONLY 73 unique book titles!). My catalogue corresponded "almost exactly" because his Wikipedia WBR inventory contains a number of annoyingly niggling errors, plus my DB knows nothing about RD's WBR id. numbering scheme. Other than that, they match exactly. From the perspective of being simply an exhaustive inventory of the first 73 issues in the RD WBR series (i.e., all those titles with an associated ISBN up to and including Michener's Tales of the South Pacific) it is my opinion that (detail nits aside) the Wikipedia page appears to be definitively accurate.

The information that the Wikipedia author provides for the WBR books produced after WBR id. #74 filled in some of the gaps in my own database WRT publication dates of later issues, named the three additional later titles you identified in post #23, and informed us that during the period 2004-05 RD marketed some of its extant WBR catalogue in sets of threes and ten (which is really neither here nor there!). But it also introduced quite a few "facts" for which I would seriously question the veracity. For instance, the statement that the WBR "series was officially cancelled in 2006" is NOT obviously true if you happen to own The Man of Property. Of course this title may simply have been issued in 2006 before the series was "officially cancelled"! Yet even if no actual new WBR books were published in 2006 I would still question that statement since this series has already gone on lengthy hiatus twice (see my edited post #20 above) - the first time from 1996 through 1999, and the second time from 2000 through 2002. Cancelled indeed! With apologies to Monty Python, "this series is not dead ... it's just sleeping again!" :)

I would like to suggest that from now on we just focus our discussion on this thread to determining only what was issued in the WBR series from 1995 onwards since that Wikipedia page pretty well nails down the first 73 WBR titles issued. In fact we could actually make that threshold 1999 onwards, or what I call the end of the first hiatus. The only issue I still have with 1995 is the true publication date and country of the Nevil Shute title. In post #17, based on the information you gave me in post #16, I initially just assumed it was the missing sixth book that was published in the USA in 1995. (It was implicitly included in my "2 + (6 x 12) = 74 titles" summation).

But if it was issued in the USA BEFORE the first hiatus (like I assumed back in post #17) it should also have an assigned ISBN just like all the other pre-hiatus WBR titles. When I couldn't locate an ISBN to go with the title of this issue during my web searches for it I then realized my assumption was probably wrong - hence my inquiry in post #22. Now the answers to that question from both you and Sherry appear to be somewhat different. You, venture, state that your copy was printed in the UK (presumably because it identifies itself as being published by the "The Reader's Digest Association Limited, London"). Sherry states that her copy of A Town Like Alice contains the statement: "Printed in the United States of America." Yet the proprietary page information that she quotes does NOT include the statement: "Copyright © 1995 The Reader's Digest Association Inc." while my copies of the Dana, Beau Geste and Michener (the three previous issues in 1995 of the USA release of this series) all do contain this statement! Something is different about this specific title.

It would appear to me that the RD WBR series was terminated in the USA (for the first time) after the publication of the Michener. Perhaps the Dumas was originally scheduled to be the next issue (WBR id. #75) in the USA after the Michener but it never happened ... at least NOT in 1995. It is impossible to publish a book with an afterword written by Ian Ousby in August 1999 in late 1995. So the 1995 date of publication of the Dumas on the Wikipedia page has to be WRONG - it was published in either the second half of 1999 or even in 2000 with the other RD WBR title that Ian Ousby wrote an afterword for (in December 1999): Far From the Madding Crowd. But now I'm getting ahead of myself - I said I would correct all the post Michener issues in a subsequent post. I just wanted to state here why I consider the actual country and date of issue of A Town Like Alice to be still far from clearly established yet.

WRT removing Tanglewood Tales from our list, venture, you stated in your post #14 above: "... I have seen it referenced in multiple locations as being a part of this series, and in this instance I guess I gave the individuals the benefit of the doubt." So what's now changed? The fact that the Wikipedia page didn't list it? But it also didn't list either of the titles The Man of Property and Barchester Towers - are you also going to delete these titles from our list as well? You have overlooked that the Wikipedia page also listed as WBR id. #114: "unknown title" ... maybe that is the fourth Hawthorne in this series!

Or, just to stir the pot a little more here, maybe WBR id. #114 refers to the title Paradise Lost because I have also now seen photo images of that book on the internet. If you have indeed "seen it referenced in multiple locations as being a part of this series" as you claimed earlier then let's leave Tanglewood Tales on the list for now until we know for certain that it is not part of this series. The bottom line is this: I would NOT take the information provided on the Wikipedia page for any of the post Michener titles to be any more definitive than what has already been posted on this thread.

This post edited to remove the forward reference to post #35 below.

Feb 11, 2007, 9:06pm Top

Also, there is a copy of Main Street on Ebay right now. It is 'Buy it Now' for $5.52. It does not say that it is from the RD WBR collection, but I e-mailed the owner and she verified that it was.


Feb 11, 2007, 9:25pm Top

Hi Venture. I read your post and decided to look at A Town Like Alice again. Everything I posted before is accurate, but on the previous page, it states:

The Reader's Digest Association Limited, London

Madame Bovary, Main Street and The Man of Property state:

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
Pleasantville, New York Montreal London

Feb 11, 2007, 9:41pm Top

The Ebay item number: 8397135190.


Edited: Feb 12, 2007, 9:25pm Top

>26 sgault: & Sinclair Lewis listing on eBay.

>24 sgault: & >27 sgault:

Based on what you have posted WRT your copy of A Town Like Alice, it would appear that you have a copy of this book that was actually printed in America at a later date, but that was first introduced as a WBR series title outside of the USA - i.e., it was initially published and marketed in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This makes it VERY different from all the preceding 73 titles (i.e., the ones that have ISBNs) which were all initially published and marketed in the USA. If you care to check you will find that all the earlier 73 titles state on their title page (or combined frontispiece and title page):

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
Pleasantville, New York / Montreal

Or some close variants of that - the later editions usually abbreviate New York to N.Y. and the "/" might be replaced with a black dot. The fact that RD added London to New York and Montreal on the title page of your A Town Like Alice may not, in of itself, be very significant; for instance, it might merely have been an acknowledgment that the UK side of the RD worldwide operations was now a more consequential financial contributor. However, since all of the 2003 and later WBR titles (i.e., the ones not illustrated) released in the USA still only put "Pleasantville, New York / Montreal" on the title page it is indeed significant!

On the proprietary information page (on the reverse side of the title page) those earlier WBR titles were also carrying, by 1995, four copyright lines as follows:

Copyright © 1995 The Reader's Digest Association Inc.
Copyright © 1995 The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd.
Copyright © 1995 The Reader's Digest Association Far East Ltd.
Philippine Copyright 1995 The Reader's Digest Association Far East Ltd.

Thus the proprietary information that you provided in your post #24 indicates that this particular WBR title was initially targeted at a completely different set of countries (that excluded Canada and the USA) than the pre-hiatus bunch. So A Town Like Alice is NOT a 1995 WBR release in the US WBR series (which is also confirmed by its lack of an ISBN). 1995 was the year it was introduced and published in one (if not all) of those other international markets covered by the copyright statements on the proprietary information page. The fact that this title is as hard to find in the USA (if not harder) than many of the 2003-2006 titles suggests to me that it was only "Printed in the United States of America" during that later timeframe, in a similar manner, say, that many of the US/Canada WBR pre-hiatus titles that were initially released in the 1980s were only published for the first time in the UK after 1990.

I'm assuming a similar argument also holds true for those other two (initially) non-USA WBR titles:

87 Lorna Doone - R.D. Blackmore (published outside US/Canada in 1995)
88 How Green Was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn (published outside US/Canada in 1997)

Could you (or venture) please verify here that your copy of those two books have similar title page locations and copyright statements as the Nevil Shute? More importantly, do they both also claim to be printed in the USA?

Next, I know for sure that the date of publication information provided for the following 3 post-hiatus titles on the Wikipedia page is wrong because I own all 3 WBR titles:

75 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas 1995 - this not published until at least 1999
89 Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy 2002 - IMO this should be 1999 or 2000
123 Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe 2004 - my copy has a copyright date of 2005

Finally, those Dumas and Hardy books are somewhat special WBR issues. In post #20 I refer to a first and second hiatus for the WBR series. The first 73 titles were initially published between 1982 and 1995; then there was the first hiatus; then those two titles were initially published in 1999 and/or 2000; then there was the second hiatus; finally RD resumed the WBR series at its old bi-monthly publishing pace, but this time without illustrations. If you prefer, you can think of this as being a single 7-year plus hiatus (lasting from the end of 1995 to the beginning of 2003) in the middle of which RD, completely out of the blue, contracted out the publication of these two special WBR issues to R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company. Notice that on the title page of these two issues there is no mention of Pleasantville, Montreal, London or any other city. Also note that there is only a single copyright statement on the reverse of that page: Copyright © The Reader's Digest Association.

There may be more errors in the information given on the Wikipedia page for the post Michener WBR releases in the USA, but I don't own many of them so, as yet, I have not determined any others. You and venture are the ones with most of these later titles so why don't you both post back here whether all those Wikipedia year of publication dates do in fact match up to the copyright dates printed in the actual books that you own!

BTW, venture, the omission of WBR titles that were initially released outside of the USA and never subsequently released back here in the USA - such as your 3 Australian titles that were very specific to the Australian (and New Zealand?) market - is not necessarily another set of things wrong with that Wikipedia page. The author only seems to be striving to account for the WBR titles that were actually published in the USA, although he does not state that anywhere ... and that is what I would take issue with. The author either needs to expand his purview of this series to match the fact that it was published and marketed in lots of different markets and timeframes worldwide, or he needs to state categorically that his page represents only a Pleasantville-centric view of the WBR series.

However, even if it was meant to cover only WBR titles published in the USA that Wikipedia page should still have included The Man of Property. Finally, I have now determined that the previously mentioned Milton title is actually a book safe - U.S. Patent #4467920. In this particular case the book safe was designed to look like a copy of Paradise Lost in the WBR series. So I apologize if I got everyone worked up over that one!

I hope y'all found the foregoing useful.

30carton333 First Message
Feb 15, 2007, 4:47pm Top

What a great website.
I have been collecting RD WBR for years and have 77 books to date. I have been looking for a comprehensive list for a long while. From reading all of the above, I can only add "Hard Times" by Dickens in my collection (or have I missed it from the many messages / lists?)
Oh, I also have the Jungle Book so it does exist.

Feb 16, 2007, 11:37am Top

Hi Everyone,
I'm surprised someone hasn't brought this up yet, but do any of you have any duplicates of this series, that you would be willing to sell? I don't think I will try to collect the whole series, but there are a few titles I would like to add to the 77 I have.

At one time I had at least 15 duplicates, but they went to a local dealer along with 60 boxes of other books, that I wish I hadn't sold.

Also, welcome to the new members of this group, and to my email buddy hillbilly47. It's great to see all this info on this series. Thanks to all for the wealth of information.

Feb 17, 2007, 9:12am Top

Good idea Montag. I only have "Wuthering Heights" spare. Is anyone interested?

Feb 17, 2007, 12:18pm Top

I guess since most of us have the "easier to get titles", we are all looking for the same "rare" ones. My want list would include:
Hard Times
The Jungle Book
Robinson Crusoe
Gullivers Travels
Lord Jim
Main St.
Invisible Man, Dr. Moreau
Moon and Sixpence
Magnificent Ambersons

If anyone has duplicates of these, you can let me know by email which is on my profile page.

I wonder how many collectors of this series are out there. I've only known of one other collector who I met through email, and invited to this group. Hillbilly47, where did you go?

Edited: Oct 5, 2007, 8:53pm Top

Well, well, well ... let me resume my prior role of the LibraryThing concierge (the Keeper of the Candles *smiles*) for this thread and officially welcome carton333 to both this thread and the very elitist LT "RD WBR 70+ Club". :) WOW, a seventh Dickens title, eh! Who'd have thunk it? Thanks for adding that update here - which now brings our ongoing list of titles published worldwide in the RD WBR series up to a new high of 106. Could you please post back here with some more information about it? Just posting that you have a title that no one has mentioned here yet doesn't really help very much in reconstructing a definitive bibliography of the post Michener WBR releases. The information that would be useful is all of the following:

- Year of publication (from the proprietary info. page)
- ISBN (if published before 1996) or ISSN (if different from 1544-4449) or 'NONE'
- Name of author of the Afterword (if any) and date written (if given)
- All cities listed on the title page
- Whether you purchased the book in the USA or imported it from abroad

Addressing montag's request in post #31, I currently only have duplicate copies of the following WBR titles which are all in pristine condition and come with their original inserts:

1995: James A. Michener - Tales of the South Pacific
2004: Willa Cather – My Antonia

If anyone reading this is interested in obtaining any of the above duplicate titles from me, please contact me privately on my LT profile page and we'll take it from there.

Finally, are any of you 'RD WBR series' collectors out there familiar with the titles that RD is now issuing under the Impress Mystery label in the series "The Best Mysteries of All Time" (ISSN 1544-4007)?

Thanks to all in advance.

Edited to remove a number of book titles from the last version of this post because they are no longer available or sought after.

Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 1:28am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Apr 15, 2007, 1:35pm Top

I have come across Mansfield Park (2005) and Phantom of the Opera (2007) here in the UK.

Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 2:49pm Top

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38tressa First Message
Edited: Jun 6, 2007, 8:05am Top

This Side of Paradise does not have a ISBN# or a ISSN#. Frankenstein's ISSN# is 1544-4449 and Little Men's (2006) ISSN# is 1544-4449.

39Dawn7656 First Message
Jun 15, 2007, 8:48pm Top

I've been following this thread mutely for quite a while. I am a collector of the series. These are titles that I am not sure are really part of this series. Has there been confirmation as to their
actual existence as part of THIS series?

Charles Dickens – Hard Times
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Tanglewood Tales
John Milton – Paradise Lost
Gaston Leroux – The Phantom of the Opera

40lotofwhiskers First Message
Jun 15, 2007, 10:28pm Top

I've just discovered this thread and am thrilled to see this much information on the series. I have approximately 90 in this series and up until late last year thought it was discontinued. I had contacted RD and they weren't able to provide any information.

I've heard of books in the series through 2006. While I've been able to pick up a few at bookstores, thrift shops and auctions, I would like to see if there is one particular publisher that is producing the series. While it is fun to search for these treasures, I would like to be able to get onto a mailing list where I can purchase the book when it becomes available. One would have assumed that RD would be the source, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Does anyone have an idea of where these books can be purchased new from a publisher? Thanks much!

Jun 18, 2007, 11:24am Top

I am not sure if this issue is from the wbr series, because I have not received it yet, but if you go to www.rd.com and in the search box type in (war of the worlds) the first search result will be the editors pick which is war of the wolrds special collectors edition. If you follow that link it will take you to the order page for that book. The title is War of the Worlds / The Time Machine, but it doesn't say worlds best reading any where but it does say that it comes with a four page newsletter about H. G. Wells.

Edited: Feb 7, 2008, 6:54pm Top

Ha, ha ... I couldn't resist posting a message #42 on this thread!

>39 Dawn7656:

Dawn, all four of those titles have been posted here by LT members whose other posted info. is all valid. So why would you question the integrity of those particular titles? There have been a number of titles that I personally had never heard of nor seen when they were initially posted on this thread which I then later stumbled across myself thus vindicating (in my own mind) their addition here - for instance, see post #37 above WRT Mansfield Park. That post also explains the current status of the Gaston Leroux title in post #35 above. If someone confirms its here existence in the USA / Canada in addition to the UK I'll move that entry accordingly.

The fourth Nathaniel Hawthorne title has always been somewhat contentious (see, for instance, discussion in post #25) because it has never been confirmed by anyone other than the person that started this thread, and I really wish he would come back and confirm that it wasn't a mis-typing of, say, Twice-Told Tales. But the fact that you or I (or anyone else) has not also personally seen it is no reason to remove it IMO.

The seventh Charles Dickens title was first mentioned on this thread back in post #30. I personally do not own this WBR title but I have since seen mutiple online bookseller references to it in both the USA and UK, and as of early February 2008 I have now also seen photo images of it in a USA eBay auction. So this is definitely a valid title in the WBR series.

Finally, the John Milton title was introduced here by me in post #25. I found images of it on eBay but it subsequently turned out to be a book safe. Another LT member has confirmed privately that they have also seen that book safe in a US eBay auction. And a third LT member in the UK has confirmed the existence of this title as an actual book in the WBR series. I have no idea what the publication / copyright date is for this title.

>41 tressa:

tressa, that H.G. Wells book is indeed a valid title in the WBR series. It's one of the titles listed on the Wikipedia page - it has WBR id. 127 and was released in 2005 (see post #35).

>40 lotofwhiskers:

"I would like to be able to get onto a mailing list where I can purchase the book when it becomes available. One would have assumed that RD would be the source, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Does anyone have an idea of where these books can be purchased new from a publisher?"

Been there, done that. It is bizarre that RD does not do more to actively support this series as, IMHO, it is the best product that RD have ever produced (I have little or no time for most of RD's other literary output). RD does not support the WBR series on its web site despite the fact that it is still currently marketing this series via subscription (viz. book club) sales. Perhaps there is some legal reason preventing RD from supporting subscription sales from its main retail web site, although if I remember correctly, RD does support other products there that are also only sold via subscription. RD almost goes out of its way to put out misinformation about this series. The author of that Wikipedia page claimed he got his/her information directly from an RD source (and the id. numbers assigned to those books listed there would appear to confirm that) yet the post-1995 information given on that web page is fraught with errors and omissions. Go figure.

However, RD is the only firsthand source publisher for purchasing these books "new" rather than on the secondary market. Good luck! :)

Edited to update the information relating to the Hard Times title.

Jun 21, 2007, 2:43pm Top

Hi all,
I was rummaging through a Half Price Book store in Columbus, Ohio yesterday, and saw the usual amount of the older titles in this series. Suddenly to my suprise, out popped a copy of "The Man of Property". I have been to "alot" of bookstores, and this is the first of the later titles that I have seen. That brings my humble collection up to the 79 mark.

Take care,

44suit4u First Message
Jun 28, 2007, 9:17pm Top

I would like to add one more to the list I purchased today Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe - 2005. Thank you all for the information you have provided.My collection now has 95 titles.

Edited: Jul 16, 2007, 10:22pm Top


I was at a used bookstore rummaging through the usual titles and came across two titles that I didn't have, but have recently seen on this board. They are "The Man of Property" and "Little Men." I believe this brings my collection to 92. I also was able to find a cleaner title of one I already had.

Thanks all for the great information provided above.

Jul 22, 2007, 11:37am Top

Message 41

I just got a copy of the War of the Worlds/Time Machine book you mentioned. It is part of the World's Best Reading Series. Thanks for the tip.

Jul 29, 2007, 9:33pm Top

Ok , here is some more information that I found out. WBR is still being published. I seen The American by Henry James 2007. I also found a phone# to RD. 18003784722. I called and asked about the series and the customer service rep said they were still being published. I asked to signup which she did . I asked if I could get the books I was missing out of my collection and she said no. But I could sign up for the 7 book collection, which started with This Side of Paradise from 2003. She was very confusing. Hopefully when I get the book their will be more info that I can pass along. That is it for now.

48sjflan First Message
Edited: Jul 31, 2007, 4:46pm Top

I count 109 titles. Is that right? I have them listed if somebody wants to see.

49Wochek7 First Message
Edited: Aug 6, 2007, 12:12am Top

Hi there. I was excited to stumble upon this group while trying to find a definitive, yet elusive list for the RD World's Best Reading series. I currently own 85 of the titles or so, and have seen/heard of most of the other ones listed in this group. I would like to possibly add another title to your ever-growing total of 109.

Though it doesn't state its being a part of the 'World's Best Reading' series, I own a condensed bible that came with 70 or so other 'new' RD titles in an ebay auction a few years ago. The book's measurements are exactly the same as the other books, as is the gilt lettering on the spine. The only differences being that it does not state 'Reader's Digest' on the spine like the others.

Unlike the literature titles in the series, the bible's covers are 100% faux-leather rather than the usual 1/4.

For those interested. The bible is maroon in colour with 799 pages. The covers are embossed with names of different passages - Romans, Proverbs, Titus, etc . . . The isbn number is 0895771063 (one similar sounding to mine is listed on AddALL). The copyright is 1982 (perhaps this was the first release in the series? or a precursor?)

I'm not 100% sure, but given the look of the book's title page, fonts, layout, cover, binding, endpapers, and feel, I would say this bible is a part of the series. If it isn't, it sure doesn't look out of place next to the other titles. Hope this helps.

50Novak First Message
Edited: Mar 6, 2010, 6:43pm Top

Hi, Been struggling to collect a few of these books over past few years, I own about forty.
One aspect not mentioned in your wonderful thread is the guarentee! ...your guarentee is that when you buy one of this series, you have a well vetted, proven good tale in your hands. What more could you wish for?

Sep 20, 2007, 10:07pm Top

Response to Message 47

I also called the phone# to RD that you mentioned. 18003784722 and asked about this series. I also stated that I got one off of RD.com (War of the Worlds) and she seemed almost insulted. In any event, after getting some explanation, I signed up and had received My Antonia as my free book. More are to come every other month. And to verify your point made in message 47 YES SHE WAS VERY CONFUSING!!!!! We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Edited: Sep 28, 2007, 6:03pm Top

>50 Novak:

"Also have a few copies to exchange if anyone has Moby Dick or White fang."

I'm afraid I can't help you with your desire to have Moby Dick, Novak - but please be aware that I had to consult with a medical doctor here in the States in order to get mine treated. :(

However, I might still be able to help you with your other dark desire in this area ... I believe the item you are seeking is by Hot Chocolate:

I believe in miracles
Where you from
You sexy white thang
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy white thang

>47 suit4u: & 51

The reason I know the above is that I, too, recently called the Reader's Digest 800 number referenced in posts #47 and #51 above, and due to the heavy call volume (sheesh, suit4u and lotofwhiskers, could you guys please get a life?!) this was one of the many songs from the sixties and seventies I had to listen to while on hold. Personally, I thought it was a rather ingenious way for RD to promote its latest subscription products. :)

However, I'm still trying to work out which title in the WBR series the song "You Make Me Fell Like a Natural Woman" was subliminally puffing. I've also got a few calls in over at the Special Collector's Editions department of the Franklin Library as part of my effort to track this one down! My current theory is that it may have simply been a plug for RD's World's Best Aretharing series instead! Either that, or it was subtly promoting sales of the Marcus Clarke title in this series.

Sep 28, 2007, 10:35pm Top

"...this was one of the many songs from the sixties and seventies I had to listen to while on hold."

Hey, at least you had the pleasure of hold music....I had to listen to the RD mantra infomercial that told me about the exciting new titles like..."1001 Things To Do With Used Dental Floss... or An Ice Pick..." or something like that.

Here is another 800 number I came across. I spoke with someone in an attempt to find out what I really signed up for earlier. They stated that I would receive a title approximately every two months, and that title would depend upon availability. I took that to mean possibly a new title or if none are available or issued, then I would receive backstock, reprints, etc. That was about as clear as it got (out of the mud and into the heavy fog:(.....)

Here's the number and the details:

"For assistance with a product order our representatives may be contacted at 1-800-463-8820 anytime between 8:00 am to 11:00 pm eastern or on Saturday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm eastern."

This number might have been created solely to deal with any issues deriving from the first 800 number we called:(

I'll have to end here because now I need to find my Best of the 70s CD.

Oct 4, 2007, 5:28pm Top

Hey Lotofwhiskers. As I see it you have signed up for a lotobooks@$22.ashot. RD can now send you anything they like. (Or don’t like for that matter.) ☺

Now! To save a few bucks (as I have heard them called in the movies!) and get a better deal, if you send Rule 42 a modest $15 bimonthly he will let you CHOOSE which book you want. Further, when you have all 123 volumes you are free to cancel or start over. What do you say?

From the thread so far it appears not only RD but also Hot Chocolate released different copies of their products in the UK and USA.

ITMT if we UK collectors can throw any light on some of the WBR UK only editions please ask me and I will ask the other one.

Oct 5, 2007, 7:43pm Top

Technically, it's lotofbooks@$30ashotincludingtaxesandS&H.com and yes, I'm looking quite forward to the dental floss book with the holidays approaching☺ Your $15 bi-monthly offer is tempting......I'll have to get back to you on that!

Edited: Oct 5, 2007, 10:50pm Top

>54 Novak:

No. no, no ... I'm afraid Novak has completely misrepresented my "WBR_4U" business plan. I'm currently NOT offering all 123 titles in the WBR series - what he should have said was that I was offering either 1, 2 or 3 titles from the complete "WBR_4U" inventory as follows:

1. James Michener - Tales of the South Pacific
2. Willa Cather - My Antonia, Part I
3. Willa Cather - My Antonia, Part II

My CPA and I are expecting great things to result from this well tried and proven business model!

BTW, you do indeed get to choose which book you want, plus I also warranty that I'll never, ever send you the same book twice! However, it's not a $15 bimonthly fee ... Novak also got that wrong! It's a bisexual fee. If you're straight or gay it will only cost you $7.50. :)

But please note, I'm not officially open for business yet because I still haven't finished transferring over from vinyl to DVD all my old solid gold hits from Tamla Motown and Ronco Records so that I will able to play soothing "on hold" music to customers for those times when I cannot be bothered to answer the phone ... I'm sorry, I meant for those times when I receive high call volumes. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Oct 10, 2007, 9:24am Top

>52 Rule42:

Are you thor?

I don't think they thang that thong.

58jimmitchell First Message
Oct 11, 2007, 7:21am Top

Here's one that I have acquired in the RDWBR series - "Ivanhoe" - in German!! No I'm not kidding!
The publication details are as follows :-

Copyright fur die deutscheUbersetzung: Verlag Das Beste Gmbh, Berlin 1952
Copyright fur das Nachwort: Verlag desBeste Gmbh Stuttgart 1997
Erlesene Bucher aus fer Welt
copyright 1997 by Verlag Das Beste Gmbh Stuttgart
Printed in Germany
ISBN 3 87070 658 9

Hope that this puts the cat among the pigeons as far as the definitive list of titles is concerned!
Jim Mitchell, UK.

Oct 12, 2007, 4:34pm Top

>58 jimmitchell:

Yeah! That sounds like the one everyone is after!

Edited: Feb 8, 2010, 6:29pm Top

>53 lotofwhiskers:

Hey, I tried calling that other 800 number but I still got put on hold (due to heavy call volumes, I'm guessing!). It appears RD is now playing tracks from The Who's wonderful canon in order to coax folk into buying its latest offerings in the WBR series while they're on hold. Here is just a sample of RD's current play list ...

People try to put it d-down (Talkin' 'bout my publication)
Just because it c-can't be found (Talkin' 'bout my publication)
Some you buy all c-covered in m-mold (Talkin' 'bout my publication)
Hope to buy 'em before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my faux edition)

This is my publication
This is my faux edition, baby

Some titles have all f-faded away (Talkin' 'bout my faux edition)
And you can't read what they all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my faux edition)
I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my faux edition)
I'm just moanin' 'bout my f-f-flawed condition (Moanin' 'bout my flawed condition)

This is my faux edition
This is my flawed condition, baby

Got my last one on f-frickin' eBay (Moanin' 'bout my flawed condition)
Won't try to refund what we all p-p-pay (Moanin' 'bout my flawed condition)
I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Moanin' 'bout my flawed condition)
I'm just carpin' 'bout m-m-my indentation (Carpin' 'bout my indentation)

This is my flawed condition
This is my indentation, eBay

Why is dealing with P-P-PayPal (Carpin' 'bout my indentation)
Like f-fighting Japs at Guadalcanal? (Carpin' 'bout my indentation)
I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Carpin' 'bout my indentation)
I'm just lookin' for f-fair compensation (Lookin' for fair compensation)

This is my flawed condition
So where's my compensation, eBay?

And here's another song I had to sit through whilst waiting for one of RD's expertly trained operators to come on the line to assist me ...

You think your books look pretty good together
You think your books are made of leather

But they're a substitute for real leather books
They're all pretty slick but it's just faux looks
The leather boards you see are all fabricated
They look pretty real, but they're just fake-plated, yeah

Substitute your Pasternak
It costs little more than the paperback
It looks alright, but you don't know jack
That fine looking book is really made out of sack

You were born with an RD book on your shelf
'The World's Best Reading' pleasing you, each tome adding to your wealth
Now I'm here to tell you it's all a lie
Faux crocodile boards are what you buy
Since there's a genuine problem, you shouldn't try
To place a bid at all, you should pass it by, pass it by

Substitute a Verne for the Wren
Substitute a Twain with the Crane
Substitute your Buck with the Wouk
At least you'll get some reading done ...

Emma for Kim
Jane Eyre for Lord Jim
Ben-Hur for Ben-Him
Replace all your inserts on a whim!

( Edited to add links to video footage of the original songs. )

Oct 15, 2007, 7:58pm Top

RD has just called, no! No.........no not Readers Digest,..........Roger Daltry! Says he wants a word with you!! Something about CCCCCopyright.

Nov 7, 2007, 7:27am Top

Tut! Tut! Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
I was under the mistaken impression that this forum was serious about the subject.

Nov 7, 2007, 9:40pm Top

>62 jimmitchell:

"Tut! Tut! Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit."

Actually, I always thought punning was considered to be the lowest form of wit. To quote Frank Muir (someone that is known the world over as being totally humorless): "The bun is the lowest form of wheat!"

If the truth be known, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit ONLY to those who have never mastered the art of it, as well as to those who always fall victim to it. People who don't get much sex in their lives tend to become very puritanical in their views and point fingers at everyone else accusing them of being sex maniacs and perverts that should be locked away (on the basis that if they're not getting any then no one else should be allowed to get any either). Similarly, people that are truly witless are usually the first ones to make a statement like the one you just made.

"I was under the mistaken impression that this forum was serious about the subject."

First of all, this is only a random thread that just happens to be about RD WBR books - it's certainly not a forum. However, for the most part the posts on this thread have all been pretty serious and very informative on that topic. If some of the posters here have entertained at the same time as they informed then readers should view that as being simply an added bonus ... kind of like having an extra dollup of jam on their scones. Unless, of course, the reader is witless; in which case there was no extra pudding for him.

BTW, am I correct in detecting a note of sarcasm in that sneering statement of yours? Oh my … what should readers make of that?

Who exactly is your anger directed against and why? Or did you just post here to get some attention?

Nov 25, 2007, 8:16am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 29, 2007, 8:42pm Top

Been awhile since I posted a message so here goes, Rule 42 sorry you have had a hard time getting through to WBR. I called on a Sunday afternoon around 4: PM. I was never put on hold, maybe you can try then. My first book was My Antonia also, second book I received was The Picture of Dorian Grey. And the third book which I received today was The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson, 2007. I hope this helps and it is good to see WBR still printing these books

Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 1:31am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 5, 2007, 5:05pm Top

Great job Rule 42, I would like to add one more. Dracula by Bram Stroker 2007. I seen it on EBaythis weekend. It went for close to $35.00 including shipping. Brand new from RD is less than that!

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 10:05pm Top

Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas
Popular Expressions — What They Mean and How We Got Them

By Peregrine Pickle and Roderick Random

Paper-over-board hardcover | 176 pages | 5 3/8 x 8
US $14.95 | Ages: adult
Publication Date: 2010-10-01
ISBN: 9781606521717
EPUB: 9781606522844

"Make no bones about it" — here’s a "grand slam" for anyone seeking the meanings of catch phrases and quotes that enrich our everyday speech. It "rounds up the usual suspects" — hundreds of expressions that keep our language flourishing — and makes them easy to find in an A-to-Z format. If "all goes according to plan" you’ll soon know:

— The expressions "all that glitters is not gold" and "apple of the eye" have each been in use for more than 1,000 years.
— "To bark up the wrong tree" comes from the sport of raccoon hunting.
— "Tanglewood tales" are stories that are now widely known from having been repeatedly retold.
— "The big enchilada" was used to describe someone on the infamous Watergate tapes.
— "The hunt" is a term used by collectors of the Reader's Digest WBR series of classic literature and refers to the process of repeatedly searching the web pages of numerous online book-sellers in the forlorn hope of finding a title in that series selling for less than $5 that no other collector of this series possesses. Most of these collectors consider "the hunt" to be much more fun than the subsequent "read" and almost as much fun as the subsequent "brag"; in fact, for many, "the hunt" and "the brag" are the "be-all and end-all" of the collecting process, and they have no intention at all of ever indulging in "the read".
— "Flavor of the month" was a generic advertising phrase of the mid-1940s used to describe new ice cream flavors.
— "Baker’s dozen" is 13, one more than the standard dozen, and goes back to medieval times, when Henry III called for the severe punishment of any bakers caught shortchanging customers. English bakers developed the habit of including an extra loaf of bread when asked for a dozen to ensure that they wouldn’t be condemned.
— "Customer service" is a phrase often used by telephone-answering operatives of Reader's Digest to refer to the process of completely denying the existence of the WBR series and trying to sell you a subscription to "Select Editions" instead. Alternatively, it refers to the process of those operatives insistently denying that they really know which titles in the series you'll be receiving if you're actually stupid enough to sign up with them as a subscriber to the WBR series.
— "Drop of a hat" alludes to the frontier practice of dropping a hat as a signal for a boxing or wrestling match to begin, usually the only formality observed.
— "Sleep tight" dates back to when beds were made of rope and straw. Before going to sleep at night, people would have to pull the ropes tight, as they would have loosened during the course of the previous night’s sleep.
— If something has "gone to the dogs" then it has gone badly wrong and lost all the prior good properties and aspects it used to have; sort of like what eventually happens to this thread.

With this clever book on hand, you’ll never have to "throw in the towel" during a battle of wits and will sometimes be able to understand WTF RD operatives and fellow WBR collectors are actually saying to you.

Edited: Mar 6, 2010, 6:57pm Top

➢ Rule 42

Well! Now you’ve got me checking all those volumes to find the gaffs when I should an’ could be reading.

Edited: Dec 8, 2007, 3:16am Top

>69 Novak:

Well, although there may have been two actual mistakes for the proof readers to catch, there was only one actual mistake made - the interchanging of the illuminated letters. I have to admit, even knowing what I was looking for it took me awhile to see it. Even when I'm reading I never really pay much attention to illuminated letters; my brain contextually fills in the missing letter that is illuminated rather than it stopping to decode the actual illuminated letter.

I had originally interpreted your comment to mean that those two illuminated letters were inverted (= reversed) - like the "R" in the "Toys R Us" logo! When I saw that the two letters involved were an "I" and a "T" I originally thought: "Hmmm, very droll. That Novak, he's such a cutup!"

The inverting of illuminated letters reminds me of another RD WBR tome with an editorial screw-up ... The Old Curiosity Shop. The book doesn't illuminate the first letter of every chapter but the chapter number instead. The same illumination - depicting Little Nell and her grandfather leaving their shop after Quilp has taken possession of it - is used at the beginning of every chapter with just the number changed. The illumination is based on an original line drawing illustration that also appears in the WBR edition. However, the illumination - which is just a smaller, more simplistic rendition of that illustration - is inverted, as if the book copy setters had placed upside down whatever master it is they use to create the illumination. If the original illustration, on which the illumination is based, had not also appeared in the book, I would never have known anything was amiss.

It is also possible that the copy setters mistakenly inverted that particular source illustration in the book instead, and thus all he chapter illuminations are actually correctly oriented. It could also be argued that making the illumination the inverse image of the illustration was intentional. Not having another illustrated edition of TOCS to compare the WBR edition with, I have no idea which is the correct case here. All I know is that when you are used to seeing an image rendered with one given orientation - such as the illustration on the front of "Silas Marner" with the figure heading off into the bottom right hand corner of the page - and then you see that same image rendered backwards - with the figure heading off into the bottom left hand corner of the page - it just doesn't feel copacetic.

Edited: Dec 8, 2007, 8:57am Top

> Rule 42:

Yeah, but they are exchanged and in negative "as well". They are not, however, inverted.

Silas Marner would not be expected to walk from his house to Wal-Mart in the same direction as he would take for Toys R Us. ('less he was p*ss*d again):-)

Dec 18, 2007, 12:12am Top

Here are about 40 of them. I noticed that a Reader's Digest SEC filing states that...
"One of our series is The World’s Best Reading, which consists of full-length editions of classic literature. We publish six volumes of The World’s Best Reading each year in the United States, Canada and two other countries and in two languages. " (http://www.secinfo.com/dq6dh.v13.htm)

So there will likely be more to come. Unfotrunately, the Reader's Digest web site has no information on these! Silly.

Dec 18, 2007, 12:14am Top

The link doesn't paste well, but if you re-run the search it works.
(Or remove the
... from the end of the url's querystring.)

74dvdtherapy First Message
Edited: Dec 18, 2007, 12:01pm Top

Can anyone join in this discussion? First time in here, so I hope I'm posting this correctly.

I just discovered this series, and thanks to eBay, I have almost 60 titles. I'm very frustrated with Reader's Digest though. They will only start me off with My Antonia (which is almost 4 years old) and then move me through the list one by one. I have two problems with that. 1. I have to buy books (or send them back wasting two months) that I already have or did not necessarily want. 2. It will take years to get to the ones being released currently. Which, by the way RD customer service has no idea about new titles. Their list shows the series ended in 2006, but I have a 2007 edition of Dracula on my shelf.

How does one go about getting the books as they are released?

It's amazing to me that a company as big as RD would put together such fine books and them make them so unavailable for anyone to purchase.

There's a few I'm having trouble with. Does anyone know how to get a hold of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels?

Jan 2, 2008, 8:53am Top

I'm a long time LibraryThing member and own two books from the WBR series, found at a bookfair for $1 each in perfect condition including the insert (King Solomon's Mines and The House of the Seven Gables). I like them a lot. I found this thread via Google while trying to learn more about the series.

Looking over the list at Wikipedia, I hope the experts here will help fix it up (after #74), simply click "edit", it is a great common resource. I've made some changes to reflect the series is still in print as of 2007, per comments made above.

I'd caution that many of these books are best read elsewhere. Anything in translation most likely has a better version - for example, The Three Musketeers was recently translated by Richard Pevear and is considered the definitive edition, and The Arabian Nights is best read in the Haddaway translation. Some of the titles are easily and cheaply available in first (or near first) editions, such as Doctor Zhivago - anything from the 20th century, there is nothing like reading it in the original format. Ben-Hur was re-published in hardback 1909(?) by Sears and to this day remains the single largest print run over 1 million copies - it can be found everywhere for next to nothing and physically holding a period piece captures something that newer books can't. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde there are some excellent annotated editions to help with all the "strange" Victorian terminology. I could go on. On the other hand, some of these are well done and worthwhile. Of course if your interest is primarily collecting, then it would not matter so much. But if your aim is to read every title, a worthy goal with so many excellent works. I would suggest looking around at other editions as well.

Jan 14, 2008, 11:24am Top

There is a lot on eBay that just listed today (no, it's not mine), but it confirms the existence of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

77jefbra First Message
Edited: Jan 26, 2008, 1:14am Top

Two copies of Dracula for sale on Amazon.

Jan 23, 2008, 7:31pm Top

Received a new one from RD today. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence.

79lisajoy22 First Message
Jan 25, 2008, 2:10pm Top

I have 99 of the Readers Digest books, my collection includes The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. The copyright date is 2005 by the Readers digest. It is the complete text of The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book first published in 1894 and 1895. I also have a list of volumes that I would like to purchase that is 13 titles long. And I am still recieving books every 6 wks or so from RD because I've remained a member for many years.

Edited: Jun 3, 2012, 6:00pm Top

The Classics
All You Need to Know, From Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome

By James Earl Jones

Paper-over-board hardcover | 176 pages | 5 3/8 x 8
US $14.95 | Ages: adult
Publication Date: 2010-07-09
ISBN: 9781606521328

It’s no myth: this lively refresher course fills in all you need to know about ancient studies — from Zeus’s throne to the fall of Rome — in pithy little quips. It covers the impressive advances made by Greek and Roman societies, from language to medicine, from art to architecture, from prosperity to national bankruptcy. A fascinating introduction to the world that became the foundation for Sir Kennerh Clark's Western Civilization, The Classics puts the same information from stuffy text books at your finger tips in one quick and entertaining read. Whether you need homework help or simply want to win that trivia game, this book is an unparalleled trusted source for ancient fun facts. In this book you’ll learn . . .

— The Greek alphabet, from alpha to zeta ... and then on through iota, lambda, honda, mazda, toyota and cressida ... all the way out to omega.
— The history and characteristics that define Greek and Roman architecture and its influence on modern day court house, bank, savings & loan (U.S.) and building society (U.K.) structures.
— Greek and Latin words, which make up more than 30 percent of the words in the modern English language, and how you can develop your vocabulary and sound authentically American by learning to ignore most of these ancient roots.
— The Greek and Roman gods, all the mythology and legends surrounding them, and the part these famous figures now play in our modern day cinematic and television culture, such as Xena: Warrior Princess.
— Almost 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history, from the birth of democracy to the modern day Caesar salad.
— The exact differences between an amphora, a dinosa, a hydria, a kantharos, a krater, a kylix, a phiale and various other distinctive Greek vases and vessels. You'll even learn the answer to the famous music hall question, "What's a Greek urn?"
— The philosophies taught by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and what their imaginative ideas and unusual sexual proclivities have contributed to the world we live in today.
— How modern cultural staples such as the Olympics were formed by classical literature written by authors such as Homer Simpson (portrayed by himself), Virgil Tibbs (as portrayed by Sidney Poitier) and Paul "Paulie"Cicero (as played by Paul Sorvino).

Do you know any Latin? Is it all Greek to you? Odds are, you know much more Latin and Greek than you think. The influence of these 'classical' civilizations is incredibly widespread. As this new book by the author of the best-selling From Here to Maternity explains — without any stuffiness — the classics have left their mark on our language, architecture, history, and even our popular literature.

Even today, we still talk about a "Midas touch" because of the mythical character who asked the god Dionysus to make every chariot muffler he touched turn to gold. These days we tend to think of the Midas touch — a seemingly effortless ability to make tons of money — as a good thing. However, the original Midas of yore had to meekly crawl back to Dionysus and beg for mercy when he realized that everything he was touching was turning to gold, including his food, drink and (in some versions of the story) his own and his wife's, plus quite a few of his servants', naughty bits!

In the political world, the Athenians invented democracy over 2,500 years ago, when Cleisthenes of the Alcmaeonid family introduced the idea of giving Athenian citizens the vote, regardless of wealth or class. In actuality, you also had to be male, middle-aged and an owner of sizable estates — but let's not split hairs here and ruin a good story! From this time on, any reasonably rich man over the age of 30 was entitled to register with his local deme — which is derived from the word demos meaning "bleach" (from which we derive the modern day Demestos) — and have a say in every major decision made about the overall hygiene of the public lavatories of his day. If you take a look at today's popular literature, you'll find in the Harry Potter series some further examples of how modern day cleaning solvents have derived their names from people or events in ancient Greece or Rome. Most of Harry's spells are based on Latin words, while the evil Drano Malfoy is named after an extremely harsh Athenian lawmaker.

On the sporting front, the long distance race that today we commonly refer to as a marathon was initially named after the tremendous running exploits of the ancient Greek Pheidippides (who is sometimes alternatively referred to as Philippides). According to the accounts of Herodotus and Plutarch, Pheidippides was an Athenian herald or hemerodrome — which simply means someone from Rome with a bad case of piles — who, despite his obvious anal discomfort, managed to run all the way from Sparta to Athens to announce the Greek victory at Marathon to the awaiting archons who were anxious to learn whether Greece had managed to qualify for the 490 BC Euro finals. It is reported by Lucian that Pheidippides, after first pausing to take a bite out of his favorite chocolate bar, only managed to announce, "Khairate, nikomen" (which translates as, "Rejoice, for we are the Nike men's karate champions") before collapsing in front of his somewhat confused audience and immediately dying as a result of all his painful physical exertions.

In addition, the ancient Greeks also invented the Olympic Games and are thus ultimately to blame for the current glut of slightly-used ignitable gold-plated chair legs being sold on eBay, not to mention almost every problem you have ever come up against in P.E. class. In their turn, the Romans came up with a calendar that stayed in use until 250 years ago and gave us the current names of all our months. The Romans also pioneered the concept of putting glass in windows and built some of the best and straightest roads in the whole world — they were built by soldiers who went everywhere on foot, so it was in their own best interest to make the route from anywhere to anywhere as short as possible. Unfortunately, this is why today all roads lead to Rome, which can be extremely irritating when you get on the M1 at Hatfield wanting to visit your grandmother in Macclesfield ... unless, of course, she coincidentally just happens at that time to be on a Thomas Cook tour of the Vatican (a.k.a. the Holy See) in the hopes of wholly seeing the Pope, when it might indeed be very convenient.

Jan 28, 2008, 2:10am Top

I do own a copy of Hard Times, I have not seen the latter. Anyone have a copy of The Black Arrow?

Jan 28, 2008, 6:06pm Top

I have Persuasion the RD copyright is 2007 and also have Hard Times copyright 2006, I also recieved The Black Arrow a couple of months ago from RD.

Feb 2, 2008, 11:49am Top

This might be fun. Just in case anyone from RD ever sees this...If you could pick 5 books that you would most like to see make it into this collection, what would you choose?

Mine would be:

1. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexander Dumas)
2. Nicholas Nickelby (Charles Dickens)
3. Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott)
4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor Hugo)
5. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

I could think of a few more, but I'll leave that to the rest of you if you want to throw out some more good ones.

Feb 5, 2008, 8:13am Top

Hey this could be good (maybe it’s where WBR all started in late 70s)
Here goes, I’d part with my euros for the following:

East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Puck of Pook’s Hill, Rudyard Kipling
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Lives of the Hunted, Earnest Seton-Thompson.
Tales From the Hills, Rudyard Kipling.

Oh please! no “Bore and Grease” (Tolstoy)

Feb 5, 2008, 8:57am Top

No! wait a mo‘, may I have a rethink? Your right, dvttherapy, Readers Digest may be watching, so:
The two Kiplings above could be one volume, so I would add:

The Source, James Michener.

But you’d only get my money if you bring back illustrations and afterwords.

Feb 5, 2008, 1:49pm Top

Who are you kidding? Even without the illustrations and afterwords, you'd still buy those titles.

Alright, I'll concede that War and Peace might be bit much. Let's replace my choice with:

The Man in the Iron Mask (Alexander Dumas)

87ejcullen First Message
Feb 5, 2008, 6:08pm Top

I would go with these five I think.

1. Gone With the Wind (Mitchell) ~Loved this book!
2. The Hobbit (Tolkien) ~Also a favorite.
3. The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas)
4. The Building of Jalna (de la Roche) ~First in a series.
5. All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot) ~I love his humor!

I also agree that I would like to see the illustrations back. They're such a neat part of the books.

Feb 5, 2008, 6:17pm Top

Yes! your Dumas wins. I'd buy that.

You know, the Tolstoy would end up costing too much for RD to mail, it's so thick. I use my copy as a door stop.;-)

Edited: Feb 12, 2010, 3:48pm Top

>87 ejcullen:

"5. All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot) ~I love his humor!"

I love James Herriot's humor too. So perhaps I have some good news for you. Although there are no Herriot titles in the WBR series to date, RD did release a compendium / anthology of the following 5 Herriot tiles:

(1) All Creatures Great and Small. © 1972
(2) All Things Bright and Beautiful. © 1973, 1974
(3) All Things Wise and Wonderful. © 1976, 1977
(4) James Herriot's Yorkshire. © 1979
(5) The Lord God Made Them All. © 1981

I have a First U.S. Edition (with complete number line 1 through 10) issued in the USA in 1982 - which implies that it was issued by RD in the UK earlier than this (but, based on its contents, it certainly cannot have been issued any earlier than 1981 in the UK). The title on the boards of this book is: The Best of James Herriot: Favourite memories of a country vet ... note the English spelling on an American edition - whatever were the Pleasantville RD editors thinking?! It was printed by St. Martin's Press of New York on behalf of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York.

This illustrated selection of James Herriot's so-called "best stories" was chosen by the RD editors BUT it is also officially condoned in a signed foreword by Herriot himself. That is, it is Herriot's own selection of his best stories; the compendium was NOT put together behind his back by RD. The book has the usual RD quality of binding and paper and is exquisitely and lavishly illustrated with line drawings (artists not credited) and color photographs (photographers also not credited) of the buildings and countryside in which they are set. On a scale of 1 to 10, if the best WBR series illustrated editions are a 10, then IMO this one is an 11.

The ISBN of this book is 0-312-07716-5 and, having just checked, there are over 170 copies of this anthology work currently catalogued on LT. I don't pay much attention to the reader ratings on this site since many of the members here are total numbskulls when it comes to literature, but this RD edition has an average reader/owner rating of 4.63; which is extremely high as far as average book ratings go at LT. I believe the reason for such a high rating for this particular edition is due to the combined quality of the artwork / photos and binding in addition to the actual quality of the writing in the text.

The URL of the LT descriptions page for this book is: http://www.librarything.com/work/57002/descriptions/26625533

The first two of the following LT book images are respectively the dustjacket and the front board of the UK and USA editions of this book. The third book image is of the updated edition (see explanation below).

Note that the ISBN given in the Amazon.com description for which I listed the URL above is also an RD ISBN, but it appears to be for an updated edition of my version of this titles released circa 1998 that adds some more stories from James Herriot's 1991 title: Every Living Thing. A search on that ISBN on AbeBooks currently shows 13 copies of this later edition listed, priced from about $7 to $28. Given that a new Grisham or Clancy title will cost you $25 to $30 at Borders or B&N, this book would be an excellent buy at $28, and an extraordinary one at $7.

I don't personally like or advocate "best of" anything, which is why I despise RD condensed books or K-Tel Records "Greatest Hits" releases, etc. But if you don't own any of the original Herriot titles (which I didn't) then this book is a great way to get started, and even if you already own some or all of them it is still, at the used prices indicated, worth the additional purchase for the illustrations and photos alone. Knowing that it is the author's own choice of his "best of" stories - rather than some anonymous otherwise-clueless RD editor's choice - also alleviates my conscience WRT purchasing a "best of" anthology instead of the originals (which I'm personally still seeking).

I hope you found the foregoing useful. Two thumbs up from me for ejcullen's choice of RD adding some James Herriot to the WBR series roster, but I won't hold my breath for that to happen any time soon. And since I own this edition I don't particularly care. OTOH, the recent RLS Black Arrow and Gaston LeRoux WBR issues pleasantly surprised me, so who knows what the RD editors will decide to release next? I'm also all in favor of some more Kipling, Hugo, Steinbeck and Michener titles to be added to the WBR series rather than the more predictable Austen, Twain and Dickens - which I already owned complete inventories of (as should any serious reader) before I ever saw my first WBR title.

"2. The Hobbit (Tolkien) ~Also a favorite."

Oh puh-leeese ... no damn Tolkien! He's an abysmal writer, albeit imaginative, that IMO badly needed an editor. You'll be wanting more Herman Melville and some J.K. Rowling next! :( Two thumbs down on that suggestion. How about some C.S. Lewis instead? Since they are both considered to be children's stories, there are plenty of beautifully illustrated editions extant of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia so we probably don't need RD to add further editions to those. Plus the WBR editors are no longer in the business of producing illustrated titles ... sigh. But I'm up for a nicely bound edition of The Screwtape Letters or something equally witty, plus his contributions to intelligent and insightful science fiction are second to none.

Edited to add a new link to the three LT book images to fix the one that pointed to an image in an AbeBooks listing (which was presumably removed because the book was sold).

Feb 6, 2008, 11:32am Top

Thank you Rule42 for adding the info about Herriot. We appreciate your time and that was very thoughtful. Not sure I agree with your take on The Hobbit though. I didn't start this so we could fight about it. I got reamed for selecting War and Peace, and I kind of expected that I would. I thought it would be fun for everybody to throw out some titles that they would enjoy having. Criticising each other's choices was not what I had in mind.

By the way, what would you choose to be added to the collection?

Edited: Feb 6, 2008, 12:41pm Top

>90 dvdtherapy:

I'm not sure who the "we" is that you are representing ... or perhaps it's a royal "we"? Lord Lucan is already posting on this thread so I guess it would be really cool to know we have another member of the British aristocracy also contributing here. :)

"I didn't start this so we could fight about it. I got reamed for selecting War and Peace, and I kind of expected that I would. ... By the way, what would you choose to be added to the collection?"

Geez, I'm now hesitant to state my opinion since it will obviously be interpreted as "fighting" if it gainsays or contradicts in anyway something suggested by others here. But I believe this is a "discussion board" where folk are free to state their individual opinions, and not a "kiss-my-ass board" where you are only allowed to agree with what has already been posted. Reamed indeed? If you are that sensitive about having someone politely disagree with your posted comments then perhaps you should think twice before posting them? You might also want to stay home all day and live in a hermetically sealed bubble, because that way perhaps you'll avoid all contrary opinions in your life.

Clearly you did not have the courage of your own convictions when you recommended the Tolstoy otherwise you would have intellectually defended that choice instead of immediately retracting it. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with that suggestion ... in fact, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Nabokov's Lolita were going two of my own suggestions. But since you would rather that we all behave like a bunch of six year old girls here and not say anything that someone might possibly disagree with I'll withdraw those two titles and suggest some others instead ...

Take 2:

>83 dvdtherapy:, 84 & 87

OK, so it looks like two votes each for the Margaret Mitchell classic (can't argue with that, I guess) and Dumb Ass' The Count of Monte Cristo. Also another vote for The Man in the Iron Mask by Dumb Ass. Since the very first title I came across and bought in the WBR series was The Three Musketeers - that's the one that started it all for me! - I guess I cannot argue with those choices either ... especially if they were illustrated editions that contained copies of artwork used in early popular issues, in the same manner that The Three Musketeers featured the Rowland Wheelwright illustrations.

So inkeeping with the spirit of Dumb Ass I would add for my first selection in my list of five The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy with original or early illustrations plus an Afterword, thank you very much.

I'm not a particularly big Jules Verne fan but I'm a little surprised that RD did not include The Mysterious Island nor From the Earth to the Moon plus its sequel Round the Moon (an obvious combo choice to compete with the two H.G. Wells' combos in the series) in its earlier releases when RD was still big on Mr. Verne. If this new Verne edition (whichever one RD wishes to choose) is illustrated by Joseph Ciardiello to the same colorfully lush standard that he applied to the two other WBR Verne titles he illustrated - rather than the rather boring monochrome line drawings he did for Moby-Dick, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories or The Heart of the West - then I would be a very happy camper.

For my third choice I would recommend a combined illustrated edition of The Satyricon by Petronius together with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald so that all those stupid dunderheads that claim TGG to be the "Great American Novel" will finally understand that TGG is, at best, the "Not-So-Great Ripped-Off and Regurgitated Greek Tragedy"! FSF is a vastly overrated writer IMHO, as are many of the early over-stylized 20th century American literary icons such as Dashiell Hammett, Bret Harte, Henry Miller and much (not all) of the macho anti-semitic crap that Hemingway spewed out. The truly great American authors are mostly all post WW2 ... Steinbeck, Bellow, Roth, Heller, Irving, Malamud, Updike, Vonnegut, etc.

For my fourth selection (in fact, given my LT handle, it probably should have been my first one here) I would have to choose a combo edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There. These two particular works have down the years been illustrated by some of the best book illustrators of all time. The works, quite rightly, are almost always published with the wonderful original 42 illustrations done by Sir John Tenniel (who produced them in coordination with Lewis Carroll so they reflect much of the author's input and approval) but I already own a number of editions of the works so illustrated and I don't wish for another one.

However, one of my favorite illustrated versions of "Wonderland" was done later by Arthur Rackham. Unfortunately, Rackham doesn't appear to have illustrated a published copy of "Looking Glass" otherwise an Arthur Rackham illustrated combo edition of the two Alice works would be a no-brainer. But an edition of "Wonderland" containing the dozen or so Rackham color plates in combination with an edition of "Looking Glass" containing illustrations in the Rackham style by, say, a modern artist might perhaps be the next best thing. If only RD would go back to publishing illustrated editions in the WBR series. The Rackham illustrations for Swift's Gulliver's Travels are also quite exquisite and I would have been all over the WBR issue of that title if it had contained those.

Rackham also illustrated editions of The Wind in the Willows, a number of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, an edition of The Romance of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (23 color plus some monotone plates), Nathaniel Hawthorne's Wonder Book (16 color plates), and J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (50 color plates). Any of those mentioned titles would have made, or could still make, a wonderful addition to the two Rackham illustrated editions already in the WBR series: A Christmas Carol & Other Stories and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Tales.

Well, I've already come up with way more than 5 titles for my first four selections, but nevertheless I'll continue on with my fifth selection - how about a combo edition of The Sign of Four and The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle. Illustrated and with an Afterword, of course! Or how about a collection of ACD's non-Holmes short stories (he wrote quite a few about pugilism since he was a keen amateur boxer) or perhaps an illustrated edition of the work that Michael Crichton filched many of his most successful ideas from, The Lost World? Or perhaps one of his other Professor Challenger titles? In that same vein, I would also find an illustrated edition of H. Rider Haggard's She or Allan Quartermain very appealing. Sheesh, how about some recognition of Evelyn waugh in this series? Or Raymond Chandler?

If only RD hadn't fired all the editor's that originally conceived the initial format and appeal of the original WBR editions! What a pity ... some RD editors had the formula right and then some bean counters screwed it all up. That's par for the course in almost everything nowadays, I suppose.

Edited: Feb 6, 2008, 12:52pm Top

Well, you're in a feisty mood today. I can't dispute what you've said. You're very knowledgeable and literate. Excuse me for the word "we". Obviously that offended you and I shouldn't speak for others on this board. My apologies.

I did not defend my choice of War and Peace, because I've never actually read it. I've always wanted to, even though I've heard that many readers find it a bit too much to get through. I was going to add the 2nd Dumas titles, but I didn't want to put the same author twice. Perhaps I should have.

Since you've read, and I assume, enjoyed The Three Musketeers, I'm surprised that you so lovingly refer to him as Dumb Ass.

I agree wholeheartedly with your choice of a Lewis Carroll combo, I would like to see that also. I'd like to see Gatsby as well. As far as The Scarlet Pimpernel and the ACD combo, these actually sort of exist. You probably already know, so for the sake of any who may not...

RD and Impress have put out another ongoing series of books called The Best Mysteries of All Time. The Sign of Four/Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Scarlet Pimpernal, by Baroness Orczy were released in this series.

Feb 6, 2008, 4:47pm Top

Hey DVD:

Don't worry about not reading War and Peace, Tolstoy didn't read it himself. (Masterstroke suggesting the 5 new WBR titles, by the way)

Rule 42: Are you saying more Steinbeck (there's only one so far) and bring in Alice? If so, I'm with you!

Must go an' make some more shelves.....................

Feb 6, 2008, 6:23pm Top

>93 Novak:

"Don't worry about not reading War and Peace, Tolstoy didn't read it himself."

Actually, my good lord, I took a speed-reading course before I read W&P and I was thus able to get completely through it in only 20 minutes. If I remember correctly, the story has something to do with Russia.

"Rule 42: Are you saying more Steinbeck (there's only one so far) and bring in Alice? If so, I'm with you!"

Yes, yes, more Steinbeck would definitely be good for the WBR series ... but unfortunately not for me personally since I already own a copy of almost everything major that Steinbeck wrote. The WBR edition of The Grapes of Wrath was one of the very last of the illustrated (pre-2003) titles that I purchased in this series because I already owned 3 other copies of it ... a Franklin Library leatherbound version, a First Editions Library version, and a rather nice later edition published by Viking. So I really only succumbed and bought the WBR version for its illustrations.

The biggest problem I personally have with the WBR series canon is that I already owned over 50% of the titles before I purchased the WBR versions, and my usual justification for such duplication was the unique artwork in the WBR copy (and possibly also the Afterword). Now that the WBR series is no longer illustrated nor contains Afterwords I cannot even make those rationalizations any more. Can you hear me, RD?

As for adding the two Alice titles to the WBR canon that too would be something long overdue for this series IMO. But once again, I already own half a dozen copies of these two titles and so I would have absolutely no use at all for another text-only version of them. But an edition containing the Arthur Rackham illustrations of "Wonderland" and possibly a copy of the Peter Newell illustrations of "Looking Glass" would definitely pique my interest. Can you hear me now, RD?

Feb 10, 2008, 5:55pm Top

But then...............................there is not even one Graham Greene! Something wrong here somewhere RD.

Feb 10, 2008, 6:39pm Top

Nor is there any Anthony Burgess, William Golding, Philip Roth, John Updike nor Thomas Mann. Something definitely wrong here!

Just in case an editor from RD (do they actually read?) is viewing this, here are 5 more suggestions for upcoming WBR titles:

1. Muriel Spark - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
2. John Fowles - The French Lieutenant's Woman
3. Saul Bellow - Humboldt's Gift
4. E. M. Forster - A Room with a View
5. Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim

97wishihadtime First Message
Feb 14, 2008, 3:28pm Top


I'm new here and VERY thankful for this thread! I'm afraid I can't keep up with all of you reading wise but I do have 30-40 of WBR. I got them at an auction about 6 years ago and have never been able to find a list. I'm a gal and sadly I like them mostly because they look purty on my shelves. ;-) I also love the idea of having the classics for myself and my kids to read. Eventhough I find her entertaining, I don't think Hannah Montanna will bring much culture to my girls!

After reading quite a few of the posts I have a nice list. I don't feel the need to get ALL of them but I would like about 30 more.

So, my question now is...which ones are hardest to find? I would like to collect them gradually as I see them in stores but I also don't want to pass up one that is typically hard to find even if it is not on my want list.

Today I saw To Kill a Mockingbird on Ebay for $75. Is that a joke?! And yes it was the 1993 WBR version.

The PBS series The Complete Jane Austen that is running right now has me searching for all of her books! I'm bidding on Pride and Prejudice right now so PLEASE let me get it!!!

On a side note, please don't kill me for spelling, grammar, punctuation or anything else related to our great English language. I'm just your everyday forgot-most-of-what-I-learned-in-school gal peeking in on the readers!!!

Edited: Feb 14, 2008, 4:20pm Top


I think the books that have a copyright of 2003 or later tend to be the hardest to find. One good place to compare prices and get an idea of how many are being circulated would be to check abebooks.com. You could find a To Kill a Mockingbird on there for more like 4.75. Good Luck!

Edited: Feb 15, 2008, 4:47pm Top

>97 wishihadtime:

As a rule of thumb, the older the initial issue of the WBR title the easier it is to find because there has been more time for those books to reach the secondary market and turn up on eBay or on the shelves of your local used book store. The hardest titles to find in North America are the non-USA/CAN issued titles listed in post #66 above. The next hardest titles to find are the most recently issued (2003 and later) titles also listed in post #66. The easiest titles to find are the first 75 titles issued prior to 2000.

Is that a joke?!

If you pay that eBayer $75 for her copy of the Harper Lee book then the answer is "yes" ... and the joke's on you. :)

"The PBS series The Complete Jane Austen that is running right now has me searching for all of her books!"

I do hope you realize that only 5 of her 6 novels have been issued in the WBR series, and 3 of those (issued post 2003) fall in the "hardest to find" category. Even once you've tracked down and paid through the nose for those 3 you will then still have to look elsewhere for a copy of Northanger Abbey. If RD really had its act together it would have published a copy of both of her posthumously published novels (viz. Northanger Abbey bound together with Persuasion) since both of those novels only run to about half the length of her earlier four works (roughly 200+ pages versus 400+ pages).

"I'm just your everyday forgot-most-of-what-I-learned-in-school gal peeking in on the readers!!!"

Based on the most of the other posts I read on the LTMB so too are 99% of the other LT members. :(

>92 dvdtherapy:

"I'm surprised that you so lovingly refer to him as Dumb Ass."

As you yourself say, it is just an amusing pun applied lovingly. But there is a little history behind its use too. I used to happily pronounce Monsieur Dumas' name "Alexander Dooomass" until I dated a preppy New England gal who took great delight in telling me that I was mispronouncing it, and that it was more correct to say "Alexondray Duhma"! Well duh, pardonnez-moi and lahdidah, Miss Pretentious. From that point on I took great delight in always referring to the aforementioned froggy as "Alexondray Dumber" (as in Dumb and Dumber) just to annoy the hoighty-toighty crap out of her snotty Ivy League derrière (pronounced "snooty waspass"). It was all a bit like watching Carrie Bradshaw trying to correctly pronounce the name of her Russian sculptor lover, Aleksandr Petrovsky, in an episode of Sex in the City. :)

"You probably already know, so for the sake of any who may not..."

Actually, I didn't know that. The only title I'm personally familiar with in the Impress "The Best Mysteries of All Time" series is Maugham's Ashenden, although I've also stumbled across a few other titles in this series while browsing the web. If the ACD and Orczy (and how should one correctly pronounce that, Miss Preppy?) titles have already been published in that RD series then it is now highly unlikely that they will ever be issued in the WBR series. So for those two selections I'll revert back and substitute my two original culinary arts choices of Nabokov's Loyal Eater and Dostoevsky's Cream and Buns in Mint.

A possible alternative choice to that Doesheeverski title would be the other novel he wrote about a family of brothers that ran a small carpet-fitting business ... The Brothers Carry Mats Off.

Feb 15, 2008, 10:49am Top

>98 ejcullen:,99

Thank you for the info. Much appreciated.

I'll be paying for my Pride and Prejudice today along with King Solomon's Mines. I read earlier in a post that it was well liked so I picked it up too. Can't wait for them to get here!

I do hope to actually read all of my collection someday but with small children it's not easy to find the time. I have managed to read Lost Horizon, Robin Hood, Silas Marner, The Virginian, (all the skinny ones!) and Jane Eyre. I hated reading growing up so I'm not well read....any suggestions on which one to try next?

When I read Robin Hood as an adult I realized why reading was so facinating, I could picture the entire landscape, characters....everything in my head! That was awesome. But for right now I just wishihadtime!!!

Feb 15, 2008, 11:57am Top

Without knowing which WBR titles you own that is kind of difficult to do, you know.

Since you are into Jane Austen right now, why not go for the P&P. Just as writers should always follow their writing muse, readers should always follow their reading muse and read what they are most interested in at the time. Because your tastes change over time. So strike while the iron is hot.

Feb 15, 2008, 1:13pm Top

Good one, Rule 42...."The Brothers Carry Mats Off"

Feb 16, 2008, 5:53pm Top

I have started a spin-off thread here http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=30077#445022

that lists the books in the "Best Mysteries of All Time" series. Anyone who would like to discuss them there is most welcome.

Feb 19, 2008, 4:18pm Top

My proposal for the next 5 WBR;

Mutiny on the Bounty Nordhoff & Hall
The Fixer Malmud
The Ox-Bow Incident Clark
The Bridge of San Luis Rey Wilder
The Fountainhead Rand

Feb 20, 2008, 1:31am Top

Good choices. I'd like to see Mutiny on the Bounty as well.

Edited: Jul 19, 2008, 9:40pm Top

>104 jefbra:

I don't object to the choice of the Nordhoff & Hall title at all but I do have significant qualms about the sapience of issuing just one book from an established trilogy. Mutiny on the Bounty is only the first of three books in the "Bounty Trilogy"; the two subsequent ones being Men Against the Sea and Pitcairn's Island. I feel equally strongly about RD's current WBR issue of Galsworthy's The Man of Property title from the The Forsyte Saga. I mean to say, whatever next? Perhaps RD will decide to issue Volume 4 of Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Spy Hook (from Len Deighton's "Hook, Line and Sinker" trilogy) in the WBR series?

So far I've avoided the WBR Galsworthy title because if I decide to embark on this work I want to own and read the full saga that Galsworthy wrote, and not just a piece of it. If RD subsequently releases the other titles in The Forsyte Saga in the WBR series then I would definitely pursue them all at that time. Consequently, I would treat a WBR issue of Mutiny on the Bounty without the two subsequent books in the "Bounty trilogy" in the same vein. Thanks but no thanks!

BTW, the chances of RD releasing Mutiny on the Bounty in the WBR series are quite high. A large number of the WBR titles issued to date were originally published by RD in either a condensed book format or in one of its other featured series such as "The Best Loved Books for Young Readers." In the case of MotB, it was published by RD in 1967 as Volume 6 of the BLBFYR series, along with the following 3 other titles: Little Women (also a WBR title); Tales of Poe (also featured in the WBR series, but I have no idea whether they are exactly the same selection of stories featured in the WBR Tales of Suspense issue); and Messer Marco Polo by Donn Byrne.

Edited to correct a couple of long-standing typos.

Feb 23, 2008, 4:53pm Top

>99 Rule42: Hey Rule 42

The preppy new England bimbo, I think I know her…………

The Brothers Carry mats off, kind of floors me though! Bit too rugged.

Feb 25, 2008, 1:25am Top

>107 Novak:

Hey there, Mr. Cornish Pasty, thanks fur posting your corny pastiche here. My own previous postiche may indeed have been more rugged than, say, the King of Siam, yet it was still less rugged than most bald Afghans.


Mar 3, 2008, 9:35pm Top

Hello all.

I have been collecting this series for several years.

I recently found and ordered "The American" by Henry James which is listed as part of WBR series. When it arrives I will update with publication date.

Mar 4, 2008, 12:45pm Top

My new addition arrived today. It is WBR dated 2007 Reader's Digest Association printed in U.S.A.

Mar 4, 2008, 7:08pm Top

Hi SassyGram and welcome to the thread. BTW, we already knew about that James title; see posts #47 and #66 above. However, what would be really useful would be if you - or someone else reading this post that collects the WBR series by purchasing the books directly from RD - could identify what the sixth new title was that RD released in 2007 in North America. Also, what was the correct order of release of those 2007 titles; I merely added them to my post #66 in the order I personally discovered them (either from posts on this thread or by seeing the book elsewhere).

Mar 5, 2008, 8:23pm Top

I ordered a copy of WBR "The Phantom of the Opera" from Amazon and the listing dates it 2007. That appears to be the one you are missing.

When I receive it I'll know for sure and update accordingly.

Mar 5, 2008, 8:41pm Top

Would someone be able to tell me what 122. 10 Book Set & 125. 3 Book Set in post #66 is referencing?

Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 2:07am Top

>113 SassyGram:

When you sign up to purchase the WBR titles directly from RD on a bi-monthly subscription basis RD offers (or, at least, used to offer) the chance to purchase a bundle of prior titles as a one time purchase. For instance, in 2007 RD was offering a 7-book package or "book set" - see post #47. I am uncertain whether you have to commit to a subscription purchase of the WBR (or even some other RD) series in order to be able to take advantage of these book sets, or whether they are "last-ditch" offers made by the RD sales people if you don't opt to subscribe to anything during the phone call. I'm also uncertain whether the books in these 3, 7 or 10 book packages were (are) delivered in a single shipment, or every couple of months like the regular WBR issues, but I believe it's the latter. In which case the "n-book sets" are really just short term closed-end subscriptions rather than the regular open-ended "stick with us for 25 plus years and you might eventually end up with every title in the WBR series" subscription philosophy that RD would like every doofus that calls the 800 number to blindly commit to!

For more information on these packages see, for instance, posts #47, #51 and #53 above. Until you've experienced first hand how totally vague and unhelpful the RD employees on the other end of the RD 800 numbers can be, you will never quite appreciate how thoroughly confusing RD manages to make what should be a very straightforward book purchase process. IMHO, you would have to be some kind of masochist to deal directly with RD in order to buy these books!

The 3-digit numbers such as the "122" and "125" that you quoted are RD's internal numbering for the WBR issues and they come from the Wikipedia page referenced in my post #66. Also see Note 6 in that post.

Mar 12, 2008, 7:37am Top

A change of mind. Is this allowed here?

My choice of the next WBR has to come down to “I, Claudius” Robert Graves. Having just finished “The Robe” I went back to Claudius to check out that bastard Caligula. It really is a mighty book. Oh! Those Romans! One of these days, Readers Digest (with illustrations and afterword, please).

Mar 12, 2008, 12:43pm Top

I'm so happy to have found this topic. I also collect the WBR series and have been frustrated trying to find a complete list of titles. I have 68 titles in my personal collection and have pieced together a list of 115, which according to someone's tally in this thread, means I'm missing four titles. I'm going a little nuts trying to figure out what they are!

Here is the list I have compiled, alphabetically by title. Books I own have an asterisk beside them. Anyone who can identify titles in the WBR series that aren't in this list will make me very happy!

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The*
Adventures of Robin Hood, The*
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The*
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The*
Age of Innocence, The
American, The
Anne of Green Gables*
Around the World in 80 Days*
Barchester Towers
Beau Geste*
Ben Hur*
Black Arrow, The
Caine Mutiny, The*
Call of the Wild, The/White Fang*
Captains Courageous*
Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories, The*
Christmas Carol and Other Stories, A*
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A*
Daisy Miller/The Turn of the Screw
David Copperfield*
Doctor Zhivago*
Dusty/Man Shy
Far from the Madding Crowd
For the Term of His Natural Life
Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes*
Gift of the Magi and Other Stories, The*
Goodbye Mr. Chips*
Good Earth, The*
Grapes of Wrath, The*
Great Expectations*
Gulliver's Travels
Hard Times
Heart of the West
House of Seven Gables, The*
How Green was My Valley
Innocents Abroad, The*
Invisible Man, The/The Island of Dr. Moreau
Jane Eyre*
Journey to the Center of the Earth, A*
Jungle Books, The
King Solomon's Mines*
Last of the Mohicans, The*
Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales, The
Life on the Mississippi
Life with Father*
Little Men
Little Women*
Lord Jim
Lorna Doone
Lost Horizon*
Madame Bovary
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Main Street
Man of Property, The
Mansfield Park
Master of Ballantrae, The*
Mayor of Casterbridge, The
Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The*
Moby Dick*
Moll Flanders
Moon and Sixpence, The
My Antonia
O! Pioneers!*
Old Curiosity Shop, The*
Oliver Twist*
Paradise Lost
Passage to India, A*
Phantom of the Opera, The
Picture of Dorian Gray, The*
Pride and Prejudice*
Prince and the Pauper, The*
Red Badge of Courage, The*
Return of Sherlock Holmes, The*
Robinson Crusoe
Robe, The
Roughing It*
Scarlet Letter, The*
Sea Wolf, The*
Sense and Sensibility
Silas Marner*
Song of Hiawatha*
Sons and Lovers
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde*
Study in Scarlet, A/The Hounds of the Baskervilles*
Tale of Two Cities, A*
Tales from the Arabian Nights*
Tales of Suspense
Tales of the South Pacific*
Tanglewood Tales
Tess of the D'Urbervilles*
Thirty-Nine Steps/Greenmantle
This Side of Paradise
Three Men in a Boat/Three Men on the Bummel
Three Musketeers, The
To Build a Fire*
To Kill a Mockingbird*
Town Like Alice, A
Treasure Island*
Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A*
Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea*
Twice-Told Tales*
Two Years Before the Mast*
Uncle Tom's Cabin*
Virginian, The*
War of the Worlds, The/The Time Machine
Wind in the Willows, The
Wuthering Heights
Yearling, The*

Mar 12, 2008, 9:33pm Top

You only missed one book On Our Selection/On Our New Selection by Steele Rudd

Edited: Mar 12, 2008, 10:41pm Top

>116 ugagymdog:

If you had read Notes 3, 4 & 5 in post #66 you wouldn't be so confused; this is not rocket science! 4 WBR titles have been issued twice in different regions of the world. The 2 illustrated editions are very different from the unillustrated editions of those same titles, and the combo Hilton edition is clearly very different from the two individual Hilton editions.

If you want to collect just the titles that were issued in North America then there are only 104 titles / editions extant. If you want to collect all of the WBR titles issued worldwide then there are 116 titles / 119 editions extant that we know of - there may well be more than that!

Note also that the fourth Hawthorne title is probably just a typo in post #5 by the OP; in which case the grand total is reduced from 119 to 118. Also note that the Gaston Leroux is most probably a USA / Canada title too (see posts #112 and #114) which increases the total number of North American titles issued from 104 to 105. I'll update post #66 when SassyGram confirms that that is indeed the case.

Mar 13, 2008, 10:26am Top

"If you had read Notes 3, 4 & 5 in post #66 you wouldn't be so confused; this is not rocket science!"

Okay, that was rude.

Jefbra, thank you for your answer.

Mar 14, 2008, 4:35pm Top

I called Reader's Digest the other day and subscribed. I was hoping that my experience was unusual, but after reading some of the comments about their customer service representatives, I must concur whole heartedly. She really didn't seem to have any idea what I was talking about. Fortunately, we both persevered and I am (hopefully) now subscribed.

FWIW, she told me that there are 130 books in the series. She didn't give me a way to find out exactly what they were, and didn't know what the current one was, and I really don't know how reliable her information is, if at all. But I thought I would throw it into the mix.

Mar 14, 2008, 7:25pm Top

ugagymdog, thank you SO much for posting your list. I know that took a tremendous amount of time. A relative of mine collected the books, but has since sold them and I was looking for such a list so I can begin collecting.

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 7:50pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>119 ugagymdog: "Okay, that was rude."

Yes, I suppose that taking the time and trouble to answer your question was indeed very rude of me. But as rude as it is to point out that the Emperor has no clothes, please let me remind you that you're the one streaking on this thread ... "Don't look, Ethel! Damn, too late! Boogity, boogity."

FYI, there are some very simple rules of netiquette you should learn before posting on the web, one of which is to always have the courtesy to actually read a thread before jumping in and posting on it. That way you don't waste the time of everybody else that is engaged with that thread by redundantly regurgitating old news or creating non-problems and then having the arrogance to expect other people to solve them for you. Because doing that is EXTREMELY rude and disrespectful of their time!

Furthermore, once it was pointed out to you that you had done that, to then not have the courtesy to apologize for having made your faux pas, but instead to personally attack the person that still took time out of his day to solve your non-problem for you ... now that really takes some gall!

Mar 15, 2008, 6:31pm Top

This thread is the World’s Best Reading for info about this series of books. As a more recent poster I have found it unique and interesting. It is plain to see that hours of research have been put in and shared with us for free.

If you newly arrive and post info that is shown on the thread in detail a far back as Dec 2006, then you are being very rude. When it is pointed out to you, it is easy just to say sorry and carry on using all the free info. To argue back with the researcher is really ignorant. To start waiving red flags is even worse.

> ugagmydog: Maybe the words you are looking for are “Thank You”.

Mar 21, 2008, 4:23pm Top

.......how bout those Cubs?

Mar 21, 2008, 7:49pm Top

Hello. I am new here. I have only 2 of these books and want to build a set of the Dickens.
I see your list ugagymdog but where do you get all those books?

Mar 22, 2008, 11:27pm Top

>124 wishihadtime:

I think they were gagged along with the pups!

Mar 24, 2008, 5:37pm Top

I received "Northanger Abbey" by Jane Austen today.

Mar 24, 2008, 9:45pm Top

Hello, just doing some research about World's Best. I recently inherited a 72 book collection. Was curious about value and should I cover the collection with insurance.

Edited: Apr 23, 2008, 3:48pm Top

NOTE: This message was updated a number of times in situ then deleted and posted again in its entirety as message #184 on 4/23/08.

Mar 25, 2008, 1:07am Top

to Rule42

Thanks for all the work.

Edited: Apr 17, 2008, 10:33pm Top

Thanks Jeff. Any chance you (or anyone else reading this post) could help me establish the correct order of release (viz. "Month of Issue" field) for the 2006 through 2007 titles? Do you have any opinion on the fourth Hawthorne ... should I finally dismiss it as just being a typo by the OP?

After what I said back in post #99 ("If RD really had its act together it would have published a copy of both of her posthumously published novels ...") given the latest WBR title release I'm wondering if perhaps there might be an RD editor or two reading this thread after all! :)

What odds are you currently offering that Mutiny on the Bounty will be the title released in May?

Apr 5, 2008, 10:18am Top

Awfully quiet around here of late. I know it's a bit hard to find, but I have a duplicate copy of Austen's Sense & Sensibility. Is anyone needing a copy? I'd be willing to trade for a Picture of Dorian Gray, Persuasion or Northanger Abbey.

Apr 6, 2008, 4:47pm Top

Back to the wish list. A few of the books I would like to see added to my collection, if WBR would oblige, are Rob Roy-R.L. Stevenson, Pilgrams Progress-John Bunyan, Vanity Fair-William Thackeray, Westward Ho!-Charles Kingsley, and to go out of the normal realm of classics, Killer Angels-Micheal Sharra, Once An Eagle-Anton Myrer, Lonesome Dove-Larry Mcmurtry. The potential for this series could go on for a very long time.

Apr 7, 2008, 1:55am Top


Sir Walter Scott is not best pleased with you!

Apr 7, 2008, 1:56am Top

I'd like to see Rob Roy too, but pretty sure it was written by Sir Walter Scott.

Edited: Apr 7, 2008, 4:07pm Top

Sorry about that! I do have a question. Does any one know how many of these books are being printed? Why is Lord Jim and The Moon and Sixpence printed in 2003 and 2004 so hard to find. I have only seen Lord Jim once on ebay and The Moon and Sixpence once in a large collection on ebay that I had all the other books. Never seen them in any second hand stores or on other book selling sites. Just wondering. I would like to add All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque also. Please WBR!

Apr 9, 2008, 1:04pm Top

My OCD has led me to RD WBR series and this thread. I own 131 titles out of what I have researched is a total of 161 published worldwide. The only one I'm not sure of is Ivanhoe published in Germany in 1997. This is a first message and I hope it goes to the correct thread. More later including a comprehensive list for anyone who cares.

Apr 9, 2008, 1:24pm Top

Whoops! Sorry I used the list from WIKI and it's numbered incorrectly. I calculate 150 total maybe 149 depending on Ivanhoe.

Edited: Apr 9, 2008, 9:34pm Top

>137 smudgie: & 138

I'm not entirely clear how or why your Concise Oxford Dictionary led you to this thread but now that you've found it I think you'll find us, on the whole, a very amenable and accepting crowd here. All sorts of whackos and nutcases that have previously posted on this thread now nostalgically refer to it as home. :)

Please be aware that the regular readers of this thread are not very accustomed to having 30 odd previously unknown editions all being announced here at the same time ... hence there is a real possibility that some of the older collectors of this series may get so excited over this many new titles appearing simultaneously that they'll go into serious cardiac arrest! So I beg you, sir, for the sake of the security and safety of everybody reading this thread, please, please do NOT list all of those new WBR titles here in a single post. Instead, please consider posting them at a rate that most WBR collectors can better cope with ... such as one every couple of months. It took the editors at RD a considerable amount of expensive market research, not to mention some early disastrous sales and marketing experimentation, to finally determine the optimal rate at which the average reader of classics can comfortably cope with the excitement of hearing that a new title is now available in the WBR series. So it is no accident that these titles are only released bimonthly ... because anything more frequent causes far too much pain and suffering in the classics bibliophile community!

Please believe me, sir, when I tell you that your initially dangling 40 odd new titles out in front of everybody in your first post here, and then immediately retracting ten of them in your next post, is already going to cause you no end of problems in your personal life - anything from the receipt of upwards of 50 private emails per day telling you that you're an idiot and a mountebank to even consider that there would be a Milton included in this series; to multiple malicious death threats; to actual attempts on your life by those WBR collectors who live in the same or adjacent states! Not many people know this, but a fellow avid collector of this series, Rolland Comstock, who I had the pleasure to privately correspond with during the fall of 2005 through the summer of 2007 WRT locating some of the harder-to-find WBR titles, was found dead at his home in Missouri last July, having been shot multiple times after he carelessly let it slip that there was a scarce Jim Crace title in this series and that only he and one other person owned a copy of it.

Finally, something else you might want to bear in mind, sir, as you finally go about releasing to the world the long lost arcane list of these very secret WBR titles, is that a very good way to go about doing that would be to bury each new title in the middle of an extensively long list of pseudo-alphabetized WBR titles that we all already know about. That way, it will take all the readers of this thread literally weeks to sift through all the noise in order to find your carefully concealed WBR Waldo (or for those collectors of this series that live in the UK, to find your hidden WBR Wally). Because there is nothing that the readers of this thread enjoy more than to anally read the same list of 100+ titles of their favorite WBR books posted over and over again in slightly different formats or orderings ... we love these WBR books so much we simply never tire of scrutinizing endless new catalogues of them!

So, my dear Mr. Smudgie, I await the posting of your first long lost WBR title with bated breath. Hopefully it will be a lot easier to track down and buy than Verne's 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Robert Louis Stevenson's Rob Roy, both of which drove me to distraction before I was finally able to locate pristine copies of them that still had the original inserts!

Apr 9, 2008, 8:35pm Top

LMAO Rule42! You said all I wanted to. It's been almost a month since someone wanted to boast of how many titles they owned and share a list with us.

Smudgie, if you read any of the posts above, you would see that we have enough lists of what's in the series. Most of us own a considerable amount of these. I'd save some time if I were you. Please do not put another list up. Instead, I challenge you to provide a title that we DON'T already know about.

Apr 9, 2008, 8:55pm Top

"Ivanhoe" is cracking me up!! Isn't that last on everybody's list to pursue?
The guys above me are right, we already have way too many lists. If there are new titles (which there is the definite possibility of) then PLEASE add them, but don't fill space with lists that we already have. I am not meaning this as a slam to "smudgie", because I think we all appreciate new insight, I'm just saying this for future reference to all!
I would tell everyone about my secret stash of WBR titles, but I care more about my life than my books (sometimes) :)

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 5:49pm Top

>133 suit4u: "The potential for this series could go on for a very long time."

Let's see now, the WBR series has only been continually in existence since 1982. Gee ... ya think?

>137 smudgie: "The only one I'm not sure of is Ivanhoe published in Germany in 1997."

Oh noooo, here we go again! :( Next thing you know, we'll have some numpty posting here claiming that the woodcut illustrations in Journey to the Center of the Earth are actually line drawings! They say that having hair on the palms of your hands is a sure sign of madness, but I have a sneaky feeling that craving ownership of a copy of Ivanhoe printed in German might not be a much clearer indicator of this condition. :)

>141 Engmaj08:

"Isn't that last on everybody's list to pursue?"

Ja zweifellos ist es! :)

"... but I care more about my life than my books (sometimes) :)"

For some reason unbeknownst to me reading that in your post made me think of another title I would like to see released by RD in the WBR series. Hey RD editors, how about an edition of Rookwood by William Harrison Ainsworth? Your books or your life!

( Edited to fix the broken link to the web page containing the Dick Turpin cartoon. )

Edited: Apr 10, 2008, 8:54am Top

Yes. I do feel like an idiot. Being a glutton for punishment I'll post again. I'm going to blame my pain meds. Thank you! I was using an old list from Wiki which was incomplete and numbered incorrectly. After review (including counting my books - 87) I have come to the conclusion the current wiki list is missing at least 2 books. They are missing Treasure Island, Presumed Innocent. 4 if Tanglewood Tales and Ivanhoe are out there. Mr. Rule 42 I accept your warnings and will try to protect myself. My exuberance at seeing the level of interest here caused me to make a complete fool of myself and I accept your comments. You are an ameniable yet somewhat condescending group. DVD pick that up! You'll need it to sit on at some point. Sorry but I have no title for your challenge. 42 has it covered.

My pick for a future book would be "The Awakening". I like the ending.

42 Any more words of the day? I loved "mountebank". I have to go now and cut down a tree with a herring......Knee!

Apr 10, 2008, 5:41pm Top

"Treasure Island" used to be on the wikipedia page. I think it's pretty well known as being in the series.
I also own "Presumed Innocent", but it is in the Best Mysteries of All Time series, also published by Reader's Digest.

Apr 11, 2008, 4:41am Top

>Rule 42:

Is Heather Mills allowed to have a list?

(To port??)

Edited: Apr 11, 2008, 9:44pm Top

>143 smudgie:

"I have come to the conclusion the current wiki list is missing at least 2 books. They are missing Treasure Island"

Oh believe me, that Wikipedia page is currently missing a few more unique WBR editions than just the RLS title. The latest wickeditor has also completely screwed up the chronological ordering of all the USA/CAN releases as well as eliminating all the useful internal RD numbering. Other than that, I guess the latest changes done to that page were at least presented very prettily ... reflecting typical emphasis on form over substance * rolls eyes *

"Sorry but I have no title for your challenge. 42 has it covered."

POOF! First there were 40 odd new titles ... and then there were none! Hecrule42 smoothed the ends of his moustaches and twinkled.

"I loved 'mountebank'."

I guess that's what happens when you expose yourself to too much Agatha Christie!

"Cut down a tree with a herring" ?

But, my dear sir, that can't be done! Not only that, you must first find a shrubbery; one with particularly nice laurels ...

Apr 13, 2008, 2:32pm Top

Hello All,

I have been reading through the posts in this discussion and am amused. I am a collector of the World's Best Reading editions, though I "only" have 30 of them to-date. Once I realized that they were the "original, unabridged" editions, I have become addicted to buying them. I am no fan of paperbacks, and have been in search of decent editions of the classics. Luckily for me, since I am on a tight budget now, there is a local bookseller that has the WBR's for $3-5 apiece, which is a steal compared to other booksellers. I will probably end up filling out my collection through the internet, though, as it seems the one's I'm picking up are all from about the same time period. It will be worth it, though. These are some of the best quality binding's I've ever seen. They are all the same size, colorful, attractive, do not have dust jackets, and the typefaces are just right. Some have wonderful illustrations, though some like "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and others have strange line drawing type illustrations that I do not particularly care for. Oh well, just my taste.

What I would really like to have is a wonderful library for my children to be able to access. These books are so much better than the movies which are supposed to represent them. Just one question: I am assuming all these books are "clean", if you get my gist. No sex scenes or anything? Not worried so much for myself but for younger readers. I don't know if I will be able to read them all myself. I know that sounds like an awkward question, but I'm sure you get where I'm coming from, lol.

I think it is odd that RD does not have a list of all their books that you can look at to figure out which ones you have and which you don't. Perhaps the idea is to keep an exclusive "club" mentality; if you want the books, buy a subscription. Maybe it just adds to the mystique of the collection. I have to say, they look real purdy on my shelf.

Anywho, I'll keep popping my head in here to see what's going on. I probably won't be in the 70+ club for awhile, though. Take care.

Apr 15, 2008, 9:14pm Top

Hi y'all,

I just E-mailed RD, asking about the series, and they sent me a compete list of 141 Titles as of June 2006. I am going to e-mail again asking about newer books. Now, I respect the earlier post recommending that such things not be said, and I could forward my e-mail to anybody who is interested. Please let me know.

Take Care!

Edited: Apr 16, 2008, 8:08am Top

Hi Orgy

Do be careful where RD are involved. They may release a list of 141 titles but they can never quite remember which ones they have actually released and when.*Grins knowingly*

> smudgie: Thanks! I hope we are all now agreed that Herr Ivenhoe is not part WBR after seeing it's cover.

Apr 16, 2008, 12:50pm Top

Welcome orgelquaeler. If you get anywhere with that list from RD please let us know. They sent me that list too about 4 months ago. Due to a couple of frustrated e-mails to them, RD sent me their list and a short little note from "Gene Romano, Senior Associate, Customer Care". He said he'd take care of me and sell me any book on the list that I wanted. I should just submit my wants, he'd check stock and get back to me.

I gave him a small list of a few that I was missing, then I didn't hear anything back for like 3 weeks. When I did hear back, it was something like "Thanks for your interest, still looking into this...." Now I get e-mails from him every 3-4 weeks, still teasing me that they'll sell me books, but nothing ever happens. It's all a game.

Let me know if you get anywhere.

Apr 16, 2008, 9:01pm Top

* Looks around furtively to ensure that nobody else is observing him then beckons urgently at dvdtherapy, Engmaj08, Novak and Rule42 *

"Pssst, pssst, over here. Hey, you guys, come quick, cos I have something very interesting to show y'all."

* The dog unfolds a yellowing and extremely crinkled piece of lined foolscap, heavily scuffed along all its edges, which contains in black ink, but now faded to almost brown, a short list of items that has been carefully handwritten in a very neat and painstaking Gothic script. *

"My master would kill me if he knew I was showing y'all this, but here's the list of the missing WBR titles that he was hinting at in his earlier post."

* smudgie's dog lifts his hind leg and pees on that post while everybody else eagerly gathers around the dog and reads over his shoulder, with varying degrees of stifled excitement, the ever-so-secret list of 21 long-lost WBR titles. *

Lorna Dune by Herbert Frank

The Dirty Nine Schtüpps & Greenmantle by Charles de Lint

Howards Stern by Edward Morgan Forster

From Here to Maternity by James Earl Jones

Fahrenheit 541 by Malcolm Bradbury

Barnaby Smudge by Charles Dickins

The Studs Turkel Trilogy by James T. Farrell

The Brothers Carry Mats Off by Maxim Gorky

The Day of the Truffles & Trouble with Licking by John Windyham

'T' is for Time to Terminate Tedious Titles; Twenty is Totally Too Many! by Sue Grafton

A Farewell to Leg by Sir Paul McCartney

Tender is the Knight by Sir Walter Scott Fitzgerald

The Princess Casamassima Nezvanova by James Henry & Flyoutdador Dostoevsky

Invisible Men by Ralph Ellison & H.G. Wells

A Handful of Ashes by Evelyn Frank McCourt

Go Tell It Under the Volcano by James Malcolm Lowry

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf Louis Stevenson

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell and the Nashville Teens

Where Angelos Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster (Illustrations by Richard Powers, Afterword by Walter Mosley)

Woodstock by Sir walter Scott & Max Yasgur (Illustrations by D.A. Pennebaker, Afterword by Roger Daltrey)

Stella Fregelius : A Tale of Three Destinies by H. Rider Haggard (Illustrations by Gustave Dore, Afterword by Marlon Brando)

Apr 16, 2008, 10:48pm Top

LOL!!!!! I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. So true, so true!!!!!

Apr 17, 2008, 2:13am Top

Awesome. Glad to see you bounced back from the initial ribbing. Very amusing. I better get on eBay and start hunting these down!

Apr 17, 2008, 9:15am Top

Awesomely Funny! Now between what RD sent Orquel and these hidden titles there must be 161! Herbert Frank? I would have thought Bob Heinlein would make the list from you. You did miss one book though - The Earl by Ed Steinbach. How in the world did you know Smudgie was a dog? Dachshund to be precise. I'll let you know if Ivanhoe is in the series. I guess I don't know enough to judge the book by the picture. Looks right to me. It was listed as Readers Digest but that's how I got bit by Presumed Innocent which someone listed as WBR. As soon as I receive Ivanhoe I'll let you know. First I'll weigh it on my larder scale to see if it is the Holy Grail or a witch. Then I'll post the results if that's ok with the alpha puppy!

Edited: Apr 17, 2008, 9:48am Top

ok....well, I re-formatted the list RD sent me...it is numbered from 1-141. HOWEVER....(clears throat)...77-109 are absolutely missing. the list also stops June 2006. I e-mailed them about the extra titles, and they said they'd "get back to me". The list they sent had all the same titles that the Wiki article has, though in a different order. So, I guess that's a dead end, though I plan to continue to harass them about it until I get my way. I do tend to get my way after awhile. Or at least they will have to admit that they just don't want to give the information away and WHY, and that will give us an idea of what we are dealing with. Wish me luck, thanks for all the previous info!

Another note...the list they sent did not include 13 titles that were UK or Australia publications only.

Edited: Apr 17, 2008, 12:24pm Top

Oh! You K9s…………No one in my house will believe that I am laughing about “those boring books”. They think I’ve flipped, maybe I have! I am sooooooooo excited about the discovery of all those long lost books. Will I need more shelves?

Do be careful you crowd. When Readers Digest see the new list, they really will believe it.


Are you saying you purchased Herr Ivanhoe? The shipping alone must cost an arm and a leg (sorry Heather!) with all that armour. Maybe RD will make you an offer for it. Ja?

Edited: Apr 17, 2008, 3:18pm Top

>145 Novak:

"Is Heather Mills allowed to have a list?

(To port??)"

According to Sir Paul, when Heather wasn't listing to port she was usually leaning to sideboard (so she could better reach the decanter of amontillado). As the saying goes, any port (or sherry) in a storm; which means, of course, that when things are particularly bad people will usually accept aid from any source. The problem for Heather was that she often sought help from too many sauces ... and thus Captain McCartney frequently found her next morning laid out on the "poop deck" of his patio, wide-eyed and legless.

>150 Novak:

"I hope we are all now agreed that Herr Ivenhoe is not part WBR after seeing it's cover."

Normally, one should never judge a book by its cover. However, as I stated at the end of post #114: "Even this thread is not immune to the clueless ... according to some posts made here the WBR series contains a condensed version of the Bible and an edition of Ivanhoe in German! And so it goes."

>154 dvdtherapy:

"I better get on eBay and start hunting these down!"

If you're interested, dvdtherapy, I personally know someone that frequently offers most of the titles listed above on Half.com who I'm pretty certain will be willing to sell them to you at a very reasonable price. Let me know if you're interested. * Goes back to reading his brand new Impress edition of The Scarlet Pumpernickel. *

Edited: Apr 17, 2008, 5:23pm Top

Hi Smudgie:

How in the world did you know Smudgie was a dog? Dachshund to be precise.

Well now! Some of us here on the WBR kick are pretty cute y’know.

"What other dog would be reading Ivenhoe, in German, Watson?" {):o){

>Rule 42:

Impress edition of The Scarlet Pumpernickel.

"They seek him here, they seek him there
the Germans seek him everywhere."


Apr 17, 2008, 6:31pm Top

>147 orgelquaeler:

"Just one question: I am assuming all these books are 'clean', if you get my gist. ... I know that sounds like an awkward question, but I'm sure you get where I'm coming from, lol."

Yeah, I think I understand where you're coming from *winks*. May I suggest that whenever you read one of these books you always have a damp cloth and a towel handy nearby. :)

Of course all these WBR books are clean ... didn't you realize that the RD editors carefully bowdlerize all the smutty bits before each edition is released?

>159 Novak:

"What other dog would be reading Ivenhoe, in German, Watson?"

Oh gee, my vote would have gone for a German Shepherd ... no, no, wait a mo, nix that, I've changed my mind ... I'm now plumping for a Scottie. Yes, yes, that's the ticket ... a particularly nasty Scottie, with a brindle coat and missing a leg, that answers to the name "Barnaby"!

Apr 18, 2008, 7:53am Top

"Yeah, I think I understand where you're coming from *winks*. "

Do watch out for these spelling mistikes.

Apr 18, 2008, 8:24am Top

Novak - I understand. Lot's of great humor. I tried explaining the characters in this thread to my wife and got a big yawn. Yes. I did purchase IvAnhoe for 1 Euro.

42 - "Of course all these WBR books are clean ... didn't you realize that the RD editors carefully bowdlerize all the smutty bits before each edition is released?"
You mean future volumes will look like, if you can find one, a CIA report on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques? You think they could be reading Farenheit 451 while relaxing next to their toasty fire? "Toss in some more Salinger dear it's getting cold"

Apr 18, 2008, 11:42am Top

Do the more recent releases still come with the 4-page inserts?


Apr 18, 2008, 12:40pm Top

Welcome aboard Wochek7

"Do the more recent releases still come with the 4-page inserts?"

Direct from RD they do. In the secondary market you have to take your chances.

Edited: Apr 18, 2008, 6:47pm Top

>161 Novak:

"Do watch out for these spelling mistikes."

OK Bruce. Gee, maybe there's some truth after all in the rumor that Lord Lucan went off to Australia once he disappeared. :)

You know, my dear Lord, I do sense that you got hold of completely the wrong end of the stick here ... I merely meant by my comment that because these books are all made of faux leather (the leather boards you see are all fabricated, they look pretty real, but they're just fake-plated, yeah) which is polymer-based, one really shouldn't use on them cleaning products that are, for instance, acetone-based. You could really damage the finish of these books using nail polish remover or Carbona type products on them in an attempt to remove dirty stains and grease marks. But over time I've found that these books will frequently clean up very nicely by simply being wiped down with a warm damp cloth and then being immediately dried with a towel.

So, my Lord, it would appear that you have gotten me totally confused with the winner of that German Ivanhoe auction whose eBay handle is wacdbig1! :)

>162 smudgie:

"I tried explaining the characters in this thread to my wife and got a big yawn."

Yes, women do seem to be VERY bored and turned off by great literature. Particularly when they want sex from you! :(

"You think they could be reading Farenheit 451 while relaxing next to their toasty fire? 'Toss in some more Salinger dear it's getting cold'"

"Would you like some toast with your Darjeeling, darling?"
"Oh yes, that would be very nice, baby-doll. Two slices, please."
"Would you prefer Orczy or Salinger, cutie-pie?"
"Well, we did have Pumpernickel for tea last night. For a change, let's toast the JDS tonight, puddin'-pop."
"If you prefer, my dearest, I've also got some Joyce Carol Oats in the bread bin?"
"No, no, pumpkin, let's stick to the rye ... although, I must say, I would prefer the Spark to the JDS."
"OK schmoopy, I'll try and remember to pick up some more Spark when I'm next in the Muriel aisle at the store. Hopefully, this time they will also have some Green Wheat in stock ... because I know how much you love your Colette! What would you like for dessert, sweetie-pie?"
"Any Zane Grey left, cupcake? Cuz I think I'm in the mood for a dessert of wheat, dear heart."
"Yes, I believe so, cuddle-bunny. BTW, would my pookie like a Peregrine Pickle with his toasted Salinger?"
"Oh goodness me, no thanks, poppit. Too much Smollett plays havoc with my digestive system and gives me the trots. You know very well, snicker-doodle, that it was your over-exuberance for Smollett that caused the demise of our pet budgie!"
"Oh balderdash and bunkum, honey-bunch, you're too biased against Smollett. It's not the Random Rodericks that screw with your bowels, poopy-pants, it's the gluten content of all that wheat you eat that irritates your colon and gives you the craps ... and don't blame that dead budgie on me, lollipop, you know quite well that everybody always used to remark how much our dear little Smudgie loved his Smollett!"

The above short vignette was brought to you courtesy of the Breader's Digest.

Apr 18, 2008, 4:00pm Top

Mien Got!! Rule 42, have you got my house bugged?

Apr 19, 2008, 8:42pm Top

Hello All,

Just got a snail mail letter from RD. It is apparently a complete list of the books. The reason for the numbering change (nothing between 75 and 110) was marketing strategy. They changed the numbering again in 2005 for similar reasons. They even gave me a list of publications for 2008 and 2009. Here's the list:

The Prisioner of Zenda and Rupert Hentzau by A. Hope
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Howards End by E.M. Forster
The Ambassoadors by Henry James
Heart of Darkness and End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad
Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Secret garden and The Little Princess by F.H. Burnett

They claim there are 107 total titles in the series. The list did not contain foreign titles.

Edited: Apr 20, 2008, 5:41pm Top

Hi OQ, thanks for that update. What, no Smollett? Damn!

I must say, after your coaxing RD into sending you that letter you may well now deserve an entry in this year's Guinness Book of Records as being the first person to ever succeed in getting blood out of a stone! :)

All of those 8 upcoming titles make perfect sense to me - Wharton, Forster, James, Conrad and Hardy are all authors currently featured in this series, and the other three "newbies" are no surprises. I was wondering how long before we saw F.H. Burnett represented in the WBR canon.

As it currently stands, my post #129 above already identifies 105 unique titles in this series (either explicitly, or implicitly by reference to the first 73 titles identified in that old - NOT the current! - Wikipedia page) if foreign-only editions are excluded. 106 if you include that fourth Hawthorne. So please, please, puh-lease put me out of my misery and tell me what that 107th title is - assuming, that is, that the Hawthorne is the missing 106th title. If not, please also tell me what that other title is too.

I'm assuming that these 2 additional titles are the ones missing from years 2003 (issue #114) and 2004 (issue #120) in my post #129 inventory ... please confirm.

Also, if there are not any North American WBR issues internally numbered between #75 and #110 then what is the correct number of Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd which I currently identify as being issue #89 in my post?

Apr 20, 2008, 4:54pm Top

> 167 Hi OQ:

May I be the first to make an offer on that letter from Readers Digest. Obviously my legal team would have to authenticate it as being on RD headed paper and not a forgery or copy. One of my clients is an Arabian prince who has offered some Elgin Marbles, a matching set of twelve wives, forty camels and an “as new“ copy of Tales From the Arabian Nights, (WBR) signed by his highness. We are open to further negotiations but he clearly intends to own that rare letter.

Your profile does not advise where you reside so our eight man negotiation team will arrive in New York on Mon 21st April and perhaps you can direct them from there. Alternatively his highness is prepared to fly you to Cornwall. UK in his private jet, with the letter, for a private viewing. Please let me know what you decide.

Edited: Apr 21, 2008, 11:32am Top

lol, sorry, but the letter does not have a RD letterhead.

168 > 114 Says "NO TITLE"
120 says "Three book offer: Huck Finn, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans"

Far From the Madding Crowd, Issued March 2002, has no issue number, according to my list.

Corrected for spelling mistake

Apr 20, 2008, 11:32pm Top

I'm sorry, OQ, but the post where you revealed the titles of the missing 106th and 107th WBR issues seems to have been accidentally deleted by the LT management. Could you please post it again? Thanks.

Edited: Apr 21, 2008, 1:28am Top

>170 orgelquaeler:

"Far From the Massing Crowd"

Heavens to Murgatroyd, I wish I'd thought of that one! :(

Edited: Apr 21, 2008, 7:25am Top

>172 smudgiesmuzzleddog:

"Par for the Massive Crown"

Mhist-All-crucking-Fighty, there's nothing wrong with that! Git back in yer kennell.

Edited: Apr 22, 2008, 6:27pm Top

171 -> Oh, sorry Rule 42, but only the wise can see that post. Better luck next time!

But seriously, give me a few days to go through the list. My wife just had a child, so I am a little short on extra time.

Apr 21, 2008, 2:48pm Top

Received same list today from RD. Should I contact Heather Mills and have her post it?

Smollett, coquettes and Ray Stevens songs.

Truely amazing!

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 2:43pm Top

>175 smudgie:

"Smollett, coquettes and Ray Stevens songs."

OMG, smudgie, you can't use that word on this site. The last time I used that 'C' word in one of my postings here - I think it was about the siege of the Alamo - the post was very quickly flagged into oblivion. :(

However, you do appear to have some kind of a demented Dickendsian fetish - now every time I think of your eBay handle together with your love of German sausage dogs I can't seem to stop the following dodgy doggy doggerel from repeating in my head ...

Each night she's on the balcony
He loves her from afar
His soft, sad eyes are hypnotized
She shines down like a star.
His heart will break forever
His kind can't have affairs
For Dachshunds with erections ...
Can't climb stairs.

His home's a humble bungalow
And hers a penthouse flat
He cannot go where she can go
And that, they say, is that.
He never can be near her
Although she knows he cares
For Dachshunds with erections ...
Can't climb stairs.

You want to win a woman?
Just be cool ... be aloof
The dog who doesn't hit the stairs
Can make it to the roof.
The dog who doesn't care
Will be the dog who wins the day
You'll never get to heaven ...
With your chopper in the way.

The spirit soars, the body falls
And heavy lies the heart
That cries out with the pain of love
Be still my broken part.
How painful is the passion
And painful the repairs
For Dachshunds with erections
Can't climb stairs.

"Should I contact Heather Mills and have her post it?"

Never mind about friggin' Miss Mills, since unlike OQ you're not married to a goat (plus we all know you like to keep YOUR hands full!), please just tell us whether Tanglewood Tales is on the list and, if not, what the 106th and 107th titles are.


Apr 21, 2008, 8:41pm Top

Tanglewood Tales is not on the list.

Apr 21, 2008, 9:56pm Top

So the two WBR titles not covered by post #129 are ... ??????

Edited: Apr 22, 2008, 7:24am Top

My dachshund, WorldsBestBreader’s smart
And if you needed proof
Dedicated and well endowered
He’d pole-vault to the roof.

Edited: Apr 22, 2008, 12:33pm Top

No! no, that is enough! I cannot believe anything you guys are telling me anymore.

Plus, I’ve just seen Heather walk past my house with a dachshund on a lead. Looks like she picked it up cheap on eBay from the Isle of Man.

Edited: Apr 22, 2008, 6:21pm Top

Hey Rule 42,

I went through my list, and besides the titles not yet published, I could not find any not extant in your own list. They claim 107 titles; is this published works, or actual titles? I ask because some of the books have more than one title. I also definitely did not find an extra Hawthorne, though if it does exist, it may possibly be a non-US title, though you probably already have figured that out. I DO have some more information which might help you out on that list. On the later titles, you didn't include the publication dates and numbers. I have this information if you want it, but you have to take back what you said about my wife being a goat. Please advise what I should do.


Edited: Apr 24, 2008, 11:52am Top

>181 orgelquaeler:

"I have this information if you want it, but you have to take back what you said about my wife being a goat."

LMAO ... I was merely referring to your own statement in post #174 where you stated that "my wife just had a kid"! When I myself was being reared as a "kid" I was always rebuked by my parents if I used pronouns too liberally when referring to members of the fairer sex who were considered to be deserving of more respect - such as my own mother, or an aunt or grandmother, etc. (The parental rebuke: "Who's 'she' ... the cat's mother?"). In a similar vein, I was also taught never to refer to a mother as having kids ... because only nanny goats have kids!

Of course, those are both rules for how polite children should appropriately refer to adults ... and neither of us are children. However, the point of the lesson is to instill in children appropriate speech patterns that they will then carry on automatically into adultery (?!) and in my own case my parents appear to have succeeded (or, quite possibly, I was way too good a child!) because it still rankles my ear somewhat when I hear a mother that has newly given birth referred to as "having a kid"! So my razzing "goat" comment was actually my own unconscious way of admonishing you for not addressing your wife with the appropriate level of respect the mother of your children deserves! Far from being an insult to her ... it was actually a back-handed compliment. Although, on that basis, I guess it was also an insult to you instead. Ummm ....

"I also definitely did not find an extra Hawthorne, though if it does exist, it may possibly be a non-US title ..."

That might well be true if you had made that statement about a non-American author - such as Jerome K. Jerome or John Buchan - that is much more popular outside of the USA than in it, but I think it highly unlikely that RD would publish a fourth Hawthorne as a non-USA title after having initially published that American author's other three titles here. Similarly, I could also believe that the fourth Hawthorne was a USA-only title; RD Limited deciding that three Hawthorne titles were "quite enough already" for the UK and South African markets! It is my belief that if there was a fourth Hawthorne title in the WBR series it would most certainly have been issued in North America by both the Pleasantville and Montreal portions of RD.

Regardless of the fact that that fourth Hawthorne title does not appear on your list from RD I had already decided it was about time I deleted it from my post #129 inventory because I have searched high and low for it for the last 18 months without ever finding a hint as to its actual existence. For some time I have believed it was simply an unfortunate typo by the OP! ( BTW, I'm still searching pretty intensely for that fourth Hardy title you originally mentioned in post #170. :) )

"On the later titles, you didn't include the publication dates and numbers ... Please advise what I should do."

I'm assuming the titles you are referring to are all of the ones listed after Mansfield Park in post #129. I'm missing either the RD internal numbering and/or the release month for all of those, although you also mentioned that your list only covered up until June of 2006, so I guess you can only provide that info. for 3 or 4 of them.

I would also like to know that your list confirms all of the RD internal numbering and the release sequence that I'm already showing in post #129 for the 1999 through 2005 titles - or more correctly, I would like to know about any details that specifically differ from what I'm showing. If a list of such inconsistencies requires a lot of typing (because there are many differences) then perhaps consider faxing me a copy of the letter or scanning a copy of it into your PC and sending it to me as an email attachment. Let me know, kiddo. :)

Edited to remove all references to deer and antelope having kids. The former have fawns and the latter have calves; only goats and OQ's wife have kids!

Edited: Apr 23, 2008, 12:35pm Top

The World's Best Reading

This is what RD sent out.


1 The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (176pp.)
2/3 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (304pp)
4 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (400pp)
5 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (224pp)
6 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (334pp)
7 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (336pp)
8 The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper (416pp)
9 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (416pp)
10 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (430pp)
11 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (432pp)
12 The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London (304pp)
13 Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (384pp)
14 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (224pp)
15 The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (288pp)
16 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (752pp)
17 Tales of Suspense by Edgar Allan roe (272pp)
18 Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (224pp)
19 Silas Marner by George Eliot (208pp)
20 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (304pp)
21 A Study in Scarlet and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (304pp)
22 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving (256pp)
23 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (398pp)
24 Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (224pp)
25 The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry (256pp)
26 Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (382pp)
27 The Adventures of Sherlock ,LJolmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (270pp)
28 Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (208pp)
29 The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (526pp)
30 The Prince & the Pauper by Mark Twain (240pp)
31 The Virginian by Owen Wister (368pp)

32 A Christmas Carol and Other Stories by Charles Dickens (288pp)
33 The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (256pp)
34 Moby Dick by Herman Melville (496pp)
35 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (414pp)
36 Twice- Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (336pp)
37 A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (304pp)
38 The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (350pp)
39 The Sea Wolf by Jack London (304pp)
40 The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (432pp)
41 Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (496pp)
42 Kim by Rudyard Kipling (304pp)
43 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (366pp)
44 a Pioneers! by Willa Cather (208pp)
45 Lost Horizon by James Hilton (192pp)
46 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (416pp)
47 Tales From the Arabian Nights (304pp)
48 The Strange Case of Dr. JekyJ/ and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (336pp)
49 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (446pp)
50 The Adventures of Robin Hood by Paul Creswick (320pp)
51 The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (320pp)
52 A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (280pp)
53 Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace (560pp)
54 The Good Earth by Pearl Buck (296pp)
55 The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk (556pp)
56 The Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories by Mark Twain (230pp)
57 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (262pp)
58 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (310pp)
59 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (362pp)
60 Heart of the West by O. Henry (246pp)
61 Life with Father by Clarence Day (196pp)
62 The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas (510pp)
63 The FurtherAdventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (220pp)
64 King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (224pp)
65 Emma by Jane Austen (392pp)

66 To Build a Fire by Jack London (350pp)
67 Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling I
68 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (376pp)
69 Roughing It by Mark Twain (422pp)
70 The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson (224pp)
71 Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton (198pp)
72 Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana (410pp)
73 Beau Geste by Percival Christopher Wren (368pp)
74 Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener (360pp) \
75 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (576pp)
76 (I added number original list has”—“) Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (400pp) (Mar

110* This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald (244pp) (Feb '03)
111 Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (330pp) (June '03)
112 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (298pp) (Aug '03)
113 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (220pp) (Oct '03)
115 Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (338pp) (Dec '03)
116 The Moon and Sixpence by W. S. Maugham (234pp) (Feb '04)
117 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (262pp) (April '04)
118 My Antonia by Willa Cather (278pp) (June 04)
119 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (516pp) (Aug '04)
120 THREE BOOK OFFER: Huck Finn, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans (Oct '04)
121 The Invisible Man and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells (308pp) (Oct '04)
122 TEN BOOK SET: The Last of the Mohicans, The House of Seven Gables, Moby Dick,
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, The Red Badge of Courage,
Call of the Wild/White Fang, The Grapes of Wrath, Tales of the South Pacific,
To Kill a Mockingbird. (March '04)
123 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (298pp) (Dec '04)
124 The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (328pp) (Feb 'OS)
125 THREE BOOK OFFER: Age of Innocence, Great Expectations, Treasure Island (March '05)
126 The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (328pp) (April 05)

127 The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (312pp)(June '05)
128 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (360pp )(Sept 05)
129 Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (216pp) (Nov 05)
130 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (456pp) (Jan 06)
131 Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (544pp) (Ship: Feb17/06; Pub: Mr6/06 )
132 Little Men by Louisa May Alcott (304pages) (Ship: Feb 17/06; Pub: May8/06)

Vol/CDS Dispatch No.**
139/141 The Man of Properly by John Galsworthy (352pp) (Ship: Apr 24/06; Pub: July3/06)
140/142 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (336pp)(Ship: June; Pub: Sep/06)
141/143 Hard Times by Charles Dickens (336pp) (Ship: Aug; Pub: Nov/06)
142/144 The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (272pp) (Ship: Oct/06; Pub: Jan/07)
143/145 Persuasion by Jane Austen (256pp) (Ship: Dec/06; Pub: Mr/07)
144/146 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (240pp) (Ship:Feb/07; Pub: May/07)
145/147 The American by Henry James (400 pp) (Ship: Ap/07; Pub: Jul/07)
146/148 Draculaby Bram Stoker (448 pages) (Ship: In/07; Pub: Sept. 07)
147/149 The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson (288 pages) (Ship: Aug/07; Pub: Nov/07)
148/150 Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (496 pages) (Ship: Oct/07; Pub: Jan 08)
149/151 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (256 pages) (Ship: Dec/07; Pub: Mr/08)
150/152 The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau by A. Hope (448 pages) (Ship: Feb/08; Pub: May/08)
151/153 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (384 pages) (Ship: Ap/08; Pub: July/08)
152/154 Howards End by E.M. Forster (368 pages) (Ship: Jun/08; Pub: Sep/08)

153/155 The Ambassadors by Henry James (Ship: Aug/O8; Pub: NoY/O8)
154/156 Heart of Darkness and End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad
(Ship: OcUO8; Pub: Jan/O9)
155/157 Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (Ship: Dec/O8; Pub: Mar/O9)
156/158 Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (Ship: Feb/O9; Pub: May/O9) 157/159 Secret Garden and Little Princess by F. H. Burnett (Ship: Ap/O9; Pub: Jul/O9)

* Enumeration changed by marketing for of new titles in 2003.
** Enumeration changed as of 13 October 2005 to conform with dispatch codes.

Updated, 12 February 2008 Number of titles:107

Heather stopped by to pet my dog and made me do it.

I count 105 not 107 like they do. Perhaps it's Wuthering Heights listed as 2/3 and 114 with no title. Please forgive any misspellings such as "T"s showing up as "L"s. The scanner I have is 9 years old and the OCR software is not the best.

Edited: Jun 25, 2008, 7:30pm Top

NOTE: This message was updated a number of times in situ then deleted and posted again in its entirety as message #242 on 6/25/08.

Edited: Apr 23, 2008, 8:35pm Top

>181 orgelquaeler:

"They claim 107 titles; is this published works, or actual titles?"

I don't think that distinction applies here. Besides, there are a lot more than two books (titles) containing combo works by an author - such as the H.G. Wells and Henry James issues - in the WBR series, so the difference between those two tallies would be way larger than two (107 versus 105). Having now seen post #183, I think the answer to your question - viz. why does RD appear to claim a total of 107 titles when the list RD includes in the same letter appears to show a few less titles extant? - is the following ...

According to the list as posted by smudgie, in early 2006 the RD marketing department started distinguishing between the dates when it starts selling a new WBR title to subscribers (the "ship" date) and the date when the book is physically dispatched to subscribers (the "pub" date). Admittedly, that is kind of weird terminology because common sense would suggest that you have to publish a book before you can start shipping it, and NOT vice versa! But there is probably internal political history within RD leading up to that ostensible reverse terminology; there always is. :)

From the RD marketing department's perspective a book is probably considered sold (= "in shipping") once a WBR subscriber opts to purchase it. It is not totally clear from the contents of post #183 what the single dates shown for all of the prior (prior to Feb./March 2006, that is) titles on the list were tracking, but I'm pretty certain that those are the "publishing" dates of the respective issues. That is, they are the dates which the associated book starts being physically dispatched to WBR subscribers.

The list in post #183 - which contains both WBR titles that have already been published, as well as future WBR titles that are still scheduled for publishing - is tagged as being current (viz. "last updated") as of 12 February 2008, and that (one presumes) is the date that applies to the 107 total printed on the same line. As of 2/12/08 Northanger Abbey, although then still currently being marketed/sold to subscribers (and thus, in the eyes of RD marketing, already "shipping" since December 2007), in all probability it had still not been physically published yet; it had certainly NOT started being dispatched to subscribers at that time. So as of 2/12/08, there were only 104 WBR titles physically extant (= "already dispatched").

Which means that the 2/12/08 total of 107 is actually 3 too big, not 2! So where does that discrepancy come from? Putting my dispatcher's hat on here, I'm reading the phrase "Number of titles" before the "107" total to really mean "Number of dispatched items" ... and each of those 3-book offers and 10-book sets were to a shipping dept. person just a single item to be shipped / dispatched to an RD customer.

104 dispatched books + 3 dispatched book sets = 107 total dispatched items as of the date (2/12/08) that that form letter was last updated by RD.


Apr 23, 2008, 9:06pm Top

42 - Looks like "ship" is the marketing date given to subscribers for months 2,4,6,8.10,12 for 6 issues a year. Pub dates varies for whatever reason before final order number is given to the printer of these smythe sewn beauties. I was going by a post that they had received Northanger for my count. BTW your listing makes RD look like a bunch of idiots. My request was for a list and how to subscribe for future books which I have yet to receive. Turnips and rocks. I guess it's all how you squeeze??? No sophomoric dog jokes puhleezzze! Thanks for the work. I hope you share with others besides us.

Edited: Apr 24, 2008, 2:35am Top

>180 Novak:

"I’ve just seen Heather walk past my house with a dachshund on a lead. Looks like she picked it up cheap on eBay from the Isle of Man."

Gucci diamond-studded genuine leather Manx dog leash ......... £ 3,500.00

Shipping & handling from Isle of Man (plus insurance) .................. £ 14.75

Vacation package for two to exotic Cornwall ................................. £ 39.99

Witnessing a woman with a prosthetic leg walking
a three-legged Dachshund sporting a hard-on .......................... priceless !!

Apr 24, 2008, 8:42am Top

>176 Rule42:
is there a suggested melody?

Edited: Aug 17, 2009, 10:56pm Top

Edited: Apr 25, 2008, 11:55am Top

Since "the list" is now available, is there any chance someone could write up our collective suggestions for future titles and mail it back to RD?

Apr 25, 2008, 1:01pm Top

>190 dvdtherapy:

Hi dvdt, nice to see you posting again.

When it comes to making suggestions to the powers that be at RD then I guess I've "been there, done that"! Some time last year I sent a very polite email to RD listing a few of my own suggestions for future titles that I would personally like to see included in the WBR series. Here is a copy of the email that I received back:

Response (Customer Service) - 02/29/2007 01:42 PM
Thank you for contacting Reader's Digest,

World's Best Reading is a collection of unabridged literary classics that have withstood the test of time and Reader's Digest's marketing.

Your recent inquiry was referred to the appropriate department. After due consideration of the titles you suggested, the editors have instructed me to inform you that, at this time, Reader's Digest currently has no plans to include the following titles in its distinguished series:

o "The Story of the Great Gadsby" by F. Scott Kipling
o "Elmer Gantry Kills the Wabbit" by Sinclair Lewis
o "The Call of the Wild" by I.P. Standhin
o "The Sound and the Fury" by Willa Catheter

If you feel that further assistance by email is required, please be sure to include your original correspondence including your complete name and address.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.


Dana Wells
Customer Service

Apr 25, 2008, 1:30pm Top

LOL. Awesome. If you sent such a letter, those pinheads probably thought they were real titles. (I.P. Standhin....LOL)

Edited: Apr 26, 2008, 2:20pm Top

Well, dvdt, I still haven't totally given up hope here ... it's my belief that the inclusion of the phrase "at this time" in its rejection email does leave the door open a little WRT the possibility that the RD editors may reconsider my suggestions at some future time. :)

All joking aside, there does appear to still be someone at RD that knows what he or she is doing; otherwise you and I (and many others contributing to this thread) would not own so many of these damn WBR editions and be investing so much of our time and effort in tracking all the other ones down as well as talking about them. As the RD email claims, all of these books have withstood the test of time and RD's marketing of them.

But seriously, doing a little detective cleanup work here, back in your first post #74 on this thread you stated that the RD 800 number agent had told you that RD "will only start me off with My Antonia (which is almost 4 years old) and then move me through the list one by one. I have two problems with that. 1." ... (snip) ... "2. It will take years to get to the ones being released currently." Later on in that post you asked: "How does one go about getting the books as they are released?"

At the time I was totally baffled about those statements in your post but I was too busy then to pursue it. But I would now like to go back and revisit the source of my earlier confusion again. What puzzled me is this ...

First, which "WBR subscription package" were you discussing with the RD agent? Was it the classic "sign me up for perpetuity and send me whatever RD feels like sending me whenever it feels up to it (but on average that will be every couple of months or so) WBR subscription package" or was it the now infamous "7-book WBR subscription package"?

If the former open-ended subscription package, surely you do indeed receive the very latest titles (after the initial one) as and when they are published? So your final quoted plea above initially led me to believe you must have been discussing the closed-end 7-book package with the RD agent. Furthermore, if the agent told you that you would be moved "through the list one by one" every couple of months, how did you ever hope "to get to the ones being released currently"? Surely you would always be x number of titles behind the most current releases in perpetuity since the latest ones are only released at the same rate too? Because, as you yourself stated in that post, you cannot advance through the series any quicker by refusing a title and requesting to be sent a different one that month (if, say, you already own it). Instead you have to physically receive the book then return it back to RD, thus wasting another two whole months of your subscription membership term (or possibly even longer than that!).

That's chiefly what confused me about your post. In the past, whenever I've called the RD 800 number myself (and I now have no idea which one), the problem I always had was that the RD agents refused to tell me any of the titles I would be receiving until AFTER I had subscribed to the WBR series. Which has always made me ROTFLMAO as it's probably the funniest piece of ouroboros logic since Joseph Heller's Catch-22! Because if RD won't tell me what I'm going to receive then I'm certainly not going to commit to purchasing anything! I guess I'm just peculiar that way; I've always refused to make a habit of giving businesses a signed blank check. :(

Yet it gets even worse ... RD won't automatically tell you what you will receive even once you do subscribe to the WBR series! Which is why I'm surprised your agent even mentioned a "list" ... the ones I talked to always steadfastly claimed that only "the computer system" knew that information, and that they could only tell me what my first title in the series would be once they had placed my subscription order into the system. And everyone knows that the first title in the subscription is always an existing one (of which RD probably have a surplus number of copies that month!). When you sign up to subscribe you are effectively committing to accept the next bimonthly period's newly published issue (which could be almost 4 months away from being issued) while in the interim RD will initially ship you one of the existing titles in its welcome package so that you don't feel you are being totally ignored.

In fact, isn't that first title usually offered for free as an incentive to sign up for the full subscription? You can usually tell which of the later WBR titles have been previously offered as the freebie incentive titles because those titles pop up much more frequently on eBay - thus they become the easiest ones to track down and purchase.

Finally, if the WBR subscription package you discussed with the RD agent was the closed-end 7-book one, why would you even expect to receive any of the very latest titles? I was under the impression the RD agents told you over the phone, at the time you committed to purchase, which 7 of the existing titles you will be receiving ... even if the titles that subsequently arrive months later turn out not to be the ones you were initially promised (but by then, of course, it's too late to do anything about that)! :) So that expectation in your post also baffled me.

One is now also led to wonder why that "7-book package" didn't show up on that list of published RD items in the same manner that the earlier 10-book set and both the 3-book offers did. So anything you (or anyone elses reading this) can do to clarify matters for me would be most appreciated.

Edited: Apr 25, 2008, 8:39pm Top

OK. Let me splain. No. Too much. Let me sum up...

After dealing with the reps at RD several times and repeatedly banging my head against a wall, this is how I came to understand the subscription. I was told that the computer selected my first book, and they had no idea what that would be, but the computer would notify the rep after getting all of my information to begin the subscription. So I sign up.

I'm told that my first book would be "This Side of Paradise" and subsequent ones that would ship to me would be as they were released originally. I take the bait because I didn't have this book at the time, and I was having a hell of a time trying to track down Sense & Sensibility and Frankenstein. As these follow right behind Fitzgerald's novel, I gleefully joined up.

A few days later I realize the extent to which I've been screwed. I'm always going to be several years behind. How is that a good subscription? I call back and RD confirms that I'll receive them in order and when they get to "The End" the subscription wraps around and they ship out "The Red Badge of Courage". WTF?!

First of all, The end? Started in what, 1982? What end? Secondly, who the hell gets the new books? Ok, so I'm frustrated now. After two weeks, I log into RD's site with my new account number. I see that they've shipped "My Antonia". Now I'm confused and my blood is boiling. What happened to "This Side of Paradise" and my elusive two titles that I thought I had finally found? I called and the rep confirms that "My Antonia" was sent and that "Main Street" would be my next book.

So, this puts me in the postion of having to send back (because I had them all) every book that was sent to me for the next year. I cancelled.

Now, per the tone of your previous post, I feel I might have been a bit hasty. Are you saying that the first book may be random, but then you get the newest ones published? My God, this is what I hoped for, but seemed to logical and straightforward for the likes of RD. Can anyone else confirm this?

Edited: Apr 28, 2008, 2:00pm Top

IMHO, dealing with RD customer service does appear to be somewhat of a Zen Buddhist experience! ...

What is the sound of one hand clapping?
If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
How long is a piece of string?
When exactly does the WBR series start to wrap-around?

Clearly those of us that have problems with RD customer service have not yet achieved our Buddha nature. Therefore we all need to work harder at thinking outside the box and thereby better learning to overcome the seemingly impossible. I'm quite sure that RD only exists in this universe and timeframe so that those of us that like RD WBR books will ultimately be forced to broaden our own minds and think in a much more global, less linear fashion. Remember, we are the chosen ones ... we don't choose the books; the books choose us! :)

It is only by ruminating assiduously on such kōans as, "if the WBR series wraps around, when exactly will I receive my copy of The Red Badge of Courage?" that we will all learn to finally free our minds from the strictures of linear thinking and grasp the very essence of the void. Of course, there are always other effective methods of combating linear thinking ... the frequent use of LSD is one of them, as is watching old reruns of The Prisoner on TV. But that will have to be the topic of another post.

"who the hell gets the new books?"

LMAO ... why, they go to the same place that all my odd socks disappear to whenever I do laundry. Somewhere out there in cyberspace - or perhaps in a parallel universe, even - there is probably a humungus cave containing all the new WBR titles that people thought they signed up for with RD; thirteen of my missing Argyles; my sister's TV remote; 20,000 copies of the WBR edition of Paradise Lost; and most of Saddam's WMD! It is even rumored that this cave is located somewhere in the vicinity of Cornwall in the UK. Some have even speculated that it lies under the ancient site of the long lost city of Camelot!

"Are you saying that the first book may be random, but then you get the newest ones published?"

Heh dvdt, when it comes to the "closed-end '7-book' subscription" versus the regular "open-ended 'in perpetuity' subscription" issue I'm afraid I'm every bit as confused as you are; which is why I posted my current understanding of the difference in order to kick-start this discussion. All I can add to this topic at this juncture is the following ...

Go back and carefully read the posts on this thread by suit4u. Specifically, the ones of interest are posts #47 (7/29/07), #65 (11/29/07) and #78 (1/23/08). At the end of last July (post #47) he reported signing up for the WBR series because he was so pleased to learn it was still being produced. When he asked if he could also purchase older issues to fill in the holes in his collection the RD agent said no, but that he could sign up for the 7-book collection (his terminology) ... presumably because it contained older issues starting with This Side of Paradise from 2003. The way I interpret this post is that he initially signed up for the full subscription (or, at least, was about to) and then shifted over to the 7-book subscription instead (because he has since never reported receiving two lots of books from RD).

Four months later at the end of last November (post #65) he reported: "My first book was My Antonia also, second book I received was The Picture of Dorian Grey. And the third book which I received today was The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson." Two months later at the end of January he reported: "Received a new one from RD today. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence." He didn't report what he received at the end of March; presumably because Engmaj08 had already posted that he received Northanger Abbey and he considered reporting the same information was now redundant.

So it sounds to me like suit4u is now receiving the latest WBR releases from RD by having only signed up for the "7-book" subscription rather than the full "in perpetuity" subscription. I'm a little confused why he received the Wilde as his second book rather than Dracula (maybe it takes two book issues before new subscribers are allowed to receive newly published titles?) but he was finally on track by the time of his third book issue. Note also that the "bait and switch" by RD that you've reported WRT the Cather being substituted for the Fitzgerald also happened to him. Based on private communications I also know it happened to someone else too! According to that person, once he had hung up the phone with the RD agent he was also as confused as both you and suit4u as to what he had actually signed up for, but he thinks it's the "7-book" subscription too.

The first three books that person received were: My Antonia (after being promised This Side of Paradise by the RD agent) then the Wilde then the Lawrence. So he seems to be on the same subscription plan as suit4u. In his case, the RD agent had first read him a list of the 7 titles he would receive under this plan, and the other titles he definitely remembers being promised (which is why he opted for this plan) were The Magnificent Ambersons, Frankenstein and either Moll Flanders or Mansfield Park, he couldn't quite remember which.

I hope that helped somewhat. Hopefully it will also encourage others to report their understandings of the different WBR subscription plans here too (not to mention their own subscription nightmare experiences) so that we can get to the bottom of this.

Apr 27, 2008, 9:03pm Top

Rule42, I did indeed signed up at the time for the 7 book collection if I remember correctly. And the agent did say the first book would be This Side of Paradise. But I already had this book and knew I would have to send it back. She (the agent) wouldn't or couldn't tell me what books were in the 7 book collection. So I hoped that I would get ones that I didn't already have. I was surprized when I received My Antonia since I didn't have this one. And I also assume that I am on the full subscription. At least I hope so. I too am confused why I did receive Dracula. I was on the subscription by then. RD also keeps sending me other books that I don't want. That I have to send back. If not for the love of these books (WBR) I would drop RD. As you say the books choose us.

Apr 27, 2008, 9:34pm Top

Thanks for confirming and clarifying those details.

"RD also keeps sending me other books that I don't want. That I have to send back."

What other books? Other WBR titles (that you already have) or just other RD non-WBR series titles? You are only meant to receive one book every two months. Perhaps you signed up for both subscription plans after all?

Could you possibly share here which titles you received (and roughly when) since signing up with RD last summer?

Apr 27, 2008, 10:16pm Top

Rule42 The other books are 4 in 1 select editions that are paperback. But they also are $28.00 and I receive one every two months. I didn't ask for this subscription. I received the first one free, after that, it cost me to send it back. I have already shared which books in earlier posts, and I did receive Northanger Abbey 25 Mar 08.

Apr 27, 2008, 11:47pm Top

Holy Crap! They send you Select Editions? This just gets better and better. Not only can you not get what you want, but then they send more crap on top of it!

Edited: Apr 28, 2008, 12:15am Top

>198 suit4u:

Thanks again.

"The other books are 4 in 1 select editions that are paperback."

It really bothers me that RD still considers that series its "flagship" offering! Apparently, in the RD realm of things, the "Select Editions" series must be the RD cash cow, because everything else seems to play second fiddle to it. Or at least to the hardcover versions of that series. It is my understanding (although I may be wrong) that the HC "Select Editions" is the modern day evolution of the old condensed tomes (usually 4-in-1 but sometimes more?) that caused most serious readers to despise RD.

I remember when I bought my first WBR edition, which was the Dumas. It was priced at something like $4 so I decided it was worth purchasing just for the illustrations alone, even if, being an RD product, it was a condensed version of the novel (although at just under 600 pages I knew it couldn't be that condensed). But when I got it home I spent a lot of time comparing the text page by page with an alternate copy of the novel to determine if the text was whole or had been bowdlerized in some manner. I had seen other WBR titles before that one but had always given them a wide berth, simply assuming (based on RD's worldwide reputation) that the text in them was butchered in some form or other.

"But they also are $28.00"

Wow, I thought that was the price for the HC editions. That means the HC "Select Editions" must cost even more. Sheesh, I can now see why that series is such a cash cow!

"... after that, it cost me to send it back."

Yeah, but on the phone the RD agents always tell you that returning the books won't cost you anything. I guess if you don't value your own time and live above a post office, or run your car on gas you syphoned out of your neighbor's SUV, that might possibly be true!

"I didn't ask for this subscription."

Just being curious here, but then why don't you just cancel it? Or are you worried that if you do that your WBR books will stop coming too?

Edited: Apr 28, 2008, 12:27am Top

>199 dvdtherapy:

"... they send more crap on top of it!"

Hmmmm, I'm sensing a possible new business opportunity here. I wonder if subscribers to RD products worldwide would be willing to pay some third party to significantly reduce the amount of extraneous materials they receive in the mail from RD? Instead of mailing stuff directly to the subscriber RD would instead have to mail it to this new company ... let's call it Subscriber's Digest ... and SD would then just forward on to the RD subscriber only the materials the staff of SD thinks are worthwhile.

As they say in the CarMax adverts, it's amazing no one thought of this before! :)

Apr 28, 2008, 8:48pm Top

If I remember correctly the Select Editions included James Patterson as one of the Novelists. It wasn't one that we would call classic. And they arrive every two months, the month that the WBR doesn't. I quess I will call RD when the next one arrives. But after the experience I had last time, I am worried! That RD will cancel my subscription.

Apr 29, 2008, 12:39pm Top

My husband and I just became aware of WBR a few years ago. My mother-in-law started getting the books in 1982, with "The Red Badge of Courage". She stopped sometime in 2003 when she became ill. We signed up to continue and we are confused, because my emails of questions are answered, but not with answers that go with my questions.

We printed a list of the books from wickopedia and started from there to try and understand what was missing. The list gives the book name, author, and year of issue. We received our free book yesterday, "My Antonia", copyright 2004. That is the correct date according to our list. But, I was on abe yesterday and found "Wuthering Heights", copyright date 1990 and it was a WBR by RD; on my list it was the second book issued in 1982.

The list does not have any books listed for 1996, only 1 book for 1998, 2 books for 1999, and again none for 2000 and 2001 and again 1 for 2002. The other years vary from 4-8 per year. So far I have not been able to get a list from RD. The total on the Wickopedia is 120, that included the UK, AUS and SA.

Are those of you that are members getting duplicate publications? Does anyone have a complete list from RD?

Apr 29, 2008, 11:45pm Top

Yes, thank you.

Apr 30, 2008, 6:55am Top

Hannibal - See post 183. It is a scan of the document RD sends out. See subsequent post by Rule 42 for more precise info.

Ivanhoe is on the way. My cousin in Bonn said he did not know if it was "Bester Messwert Der Welt"
but did say it was Readers Digest for sure.

Apr 30, 2008, 9:30am Top

>Smudgie: Saw this in local press:

A man was removed from the Dieppe-Dover ferry yesterday when he was found to be wearing a medieval suit of armour too heavy for the ship to carry.

Passengers complained that their drinks spilled over to one side as soon as he boarded accompanied by an awful clanking and squeaking noise. Port authorities said the man refused to raise his visor to enable customs officers to check his passport likeness and was later arrested.

The man, who had a strong Germanic accent, claimed to be heading for USA after being summoned by a “website”. His passport was out of date and only showed his first name as Ivan. From within the suit, however, he insisted to police that his name was Lance.

His small dog was later found at the bottom of a staircase and removed from the ferry. It too was placed in custody after complaints from passengers with small children.

Apr 30, 2008, 6:01pm Top

>205 smudgie:

"... he did not know if it was "Bester Messwert Der Welt" but did say it was Readers Digest for sure."

smudgie, no one is denying that RD publishes classic literature in Germany, or even that RD hasn't published the title Ivanhoe there one or more times. Yours is a 1994 RD edition (if the eBay seller got the publication date right); there is also a 1997 edition by RD (with ISBN 3870706589). There may also be a few more; because Ivanhoe is a very popular work in Germany despite it having been written by a Scotsman (or maybe even because of that fact!).

It is my understanding that RD GmbH does business in Stuttgart, Germany under the name "Das Beste Verlag" ... which translates roughly as "The Best Publishing House"! The similarity of that RD GmbH imprint name has nothing whatsoever to do with the "World's Best Reading" series that is published in many of the major ENGLISH speaking regions of the world (viz. USA, Canada, UK, SA, Australia, NZ, and the Philippines).

Here are some very basic clues to help you determine why the edition you just purchased on eBay-AGB is NOT part of the RD WBR series ...

(1) The aspect ratio of that book is completely wrong (unless, possibly, the seller vertically stretched the photo of the book). The book is way too tall relative to its width for it to be a valid WBR edition.

(2) The book does NOT have a faux leather quarter cloth (I think that's the correct term - I may be wrong) binding that extends from between 1.125" to 1.5" from the spine across the front board finish (as do all except one of the other WBR editions!). If I remember correctly, the external overlap of the faux leather spine finish was the shortest (only about an 1") on the Wuthering Heights title. But that one was only #2 in the series and issued while RD was still finding its feet with this series. ALL WBR titles since WH have the larger overlap which varies a little from title to title depending on the aesthetics of the front board design of each particular edition. The book you bought has only the briefest of overlaps (i.e., 1/4" or possibly 1/2").

(3) There was no mention of the book having an insert (although, of course, that is also true of many valid WBR listings on eBay where the book is missing its insert).

(4) Here's the biggest clue ... the book is printed in GERMAN, while the WBR series contains only ENGLISH language editions. Otherwise, the Verne, Dumas, Leroux and Flaubert titles would have been issued in French and the Pasternak would have been issued in Russian!

It is my sincerest hope that that clarifies the matter a little better, and also that you, orgelquaeler plus your dog all find it a very stimulating read. :)

Edited: Apr 30, 2008, 8:28pm Top

>206 Novak:

"... the man refused to raise his visor to enable customs officers to check his passport ..."

Over here in the States, the Washington Post ran that same story today but added a few more details. It reported that Lance had protested to the British officials who questioned him that he was coming to America with valid paperwork in order to live with, then ultimately marry, his Oriental girlfriend Kum Hia Nao. Unfortunately, Lance was only travelling on a B2 visor which would have been insufficient to allow him to stay in the USA long enough to get a blood test, let alone marry and settle down with his alleged beloved princess.

Further investigation by authorities here in Washington also revealed that Kum Hia Nao categorically asserts that she only had a one-knight stand with Lance while on vacation in Stuttgart this past Easter, after which she had "broken things off." Miss Kum Hia Nao, whose Americanized name is Lorena, also denied any knowledge of having summoned Lance stateside. Meanwhile, the British officials involved in this case have further revealed that the man they removed from the ferry and questioned in Dover yesterday now appears to have a rather arrant chink in his amour. Consequently, German investigators with tracker dogs were immediately dispatched to search the countryside in the vicinity of Stuttgart in a desperate attempt to locate all the missing parts.

Apr 30, 2008, 8:20pm Top

The story in IHT was completely different. Sad to hear some drinks were spilled. I just want to know how many legs the darn dog had. 3, 4 or (5)? ;)

Quarter Cloth is an older term. We use Spine Wrap now. This does appear to be too thin. That's what I figured Novak based the comment on. Still I wonder......

As far as the aspect ratio goes the photo seems to be taken from an angle that makes it look taller than it probably is. Kind of like a fisherman's photo. Standard European book sizes are slightly different than in the states I'll admit. Hope is still alive.

German vs. English. Another good point. It could have been a feeble marketing attempt? Are there others he wonders.

Better life through denial!!!

Apr 30, 2008, 9:32pm Top

"Standard European book sizes are slightly different than in the states I'll admit."

IMHO, standard book sizes are a bit like regular verbs ... everyone knows that in real life way more non-standard book sizes and irregular verbs actually occur, so why are those particular ones considered standard or regular? Who makes the decisions WRT what is standard or regular and what is not? Cuz I didn't vote for him/her! :(

When it comes to "standard book sizes" all my different book shelf settings tell me quite a different story!

"Kind of like a fisherman's photo."

Well, if Ivanhoe does indeed turn out to be the WBR edition that got away, then that photo angle may be quite apropos!

"Are there others he wonders."

If you've actually seen the term "Bester Messwert Der Welt" on e-commerce used book web sites, rather than those being merely Bonn mots from your German cousin, then there might yet still be some Germanic language WBR titles hidden around the globe for you and your dog to sniff out. :)

I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

Edited: May 1, 2008, 5:38am Top

Well done!

You guys have just proved a valuable point. It is possible to investigate, learn and laugh at the same time.

>Rule 42:

" a chink in his amour"

"Masterclass". This certainly puts a new slant on things :o)

May 1, 2008, 6:45am Top

This is too much for me! My Obamian hope has been crushed. I'm going back to Tralfamador with Ms. Wildhack, Heather and my aching dachshund. Wiedersehen.....

Received 4 more last week. Thanks to whoever posted the AddAll link. Trying to get folks in the UK to ship here is a challange for sure.

Edited: May 1, 2008, 8:55pm Top

>211 Novak:

"It is possible to investigate, learn and laugh at the same time."

Yeah, but only if you don't mind snorting your coffee all over your keyboard and monitor! :(

>212 smudgie:

"My Obamian hope has been crushed."

That's because your Obama bin laden with too many heavy book stacks on top of him. Try removing a few of the heavier tomes off of his groin then maybe, like your dog Smudgie, he'll start to get his hopes up again ...

"I'm going back to Tralfamador ..."

While Rule42 helps to strap Billy into the yellow Barca-Lounger that was stolen from the Sears & Roebuck warehouse, he reminds him ...

"Hey, Pilgrim, please make sure you firmly close the friggin' door behind you. Cuz there's always a terrible Tralfamadraft in here whenever people leave the Tralfamador Tralfamajar."

"... with Ms. Wildhack"

Rule42 reads the words of wisdom that are inscribed on the locket dangling from a silver chain between Ms. Montana Wildhack's baudacious gonzumers and sagely nods his head:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the ability to red flag anything I'm not too sure about ..."

May 2, 2008, 2:10pm Top

Ok - Ivanhoe showed up. Guess what? 42 is right again!

"It is my understanding that RD GmbH does business in Stuttgart, Germany under the name "Das Beste Verlag" ... which translates roughly as "The Best Publishing House"! The similarity of that RD GmbH imprint name has nothing whatsoever to do with the "World's Best Reading" series that is published in many of the major ENGLISH speaking regions of the world (viz. USA, Canada, UK, SA, Australia, NZ, and the Philippines)."

You hit the proverbial nail on the head with this. It is dated 1997 though like the person who posted the first mention of it. Boards are cloth covered and spine wrap is as pictured. Aspect ratio is actually the same as WBR books as it is about .25" smaller in both dimensions. It has a book mark bound in and is smythe sewn earning it a place on my shelf between the 5 foot shelf of books and the WBR series. Shipping from the Isle of Man was only 5 Euro. Whole deal was 11 euro. A small price to pay for this amount of learning and banter.

May 3, 2008, 9:36am Top

> smudgie

"Quarter Cloth is an older term. We use Spine Wrap now"……"and is smythe sewn"

You’ve been blown, ( No! not NOW, Heather, get off!) By using the above terms you have been blown in your cover, you are obviously the Readers Digest double agent with the dog accomplice. (otherwise known as “The five footed duo”.)

"A small price to pay for this amount of learning and banter."

Sadly, the euros went elsewhere, so:-

To help you launder your ill gotten RD gains overseas, I have dozens of books in my house that I am prepared to sell you at 11 euros a throw to enable you to prove that they are NOT WBR’s. Please let be know which language you would like to begin with.:o)

P.S. Please do not pay compliments to agent R42, it only makes him worse.; )

Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 6:11pm Top

>214 smudgie:

The reviews of Smudgie's German edition of Ivanhoe on the "VERLAG DAS BESTE GMBH" web site all appear to be pretty favorable. I include the following typical one below:

Einige Zeit lang war ich Kunde beim Readers Digest Verlag. Noch immer stehen bei mir zwei Bücher, die selbst aus mehreren Konzentraten aus Büchern bestehen, ich also damit in Kurzfassung einige gute Bücher lesen kann. Das fand ich so spannend, dass ich Ivanhoe mir gleich gekauft hatte. Es gibt gute Bücher beim Verlag, und wenig Werbung dazu. Das empfinde ich als angenehm. Wenn ich nach guten Büchern suche, gehe ich gern beim Verlag "Das Beste" vorbei.

For those of you browsing this that can't read German here is my translation of the above:

For some time I was a customer at the Reader's Digest Press. Still stand by me two books that themselves consist of several concentrates made ​​from other books, so I can read in a nutshell some good yarns. I thought that was so exciting that I had directly bought Ivanhoe to me. These are good books from this publishing house, with little advertising in addition. I find that enjoyable. Whenever I look for good books, I like to go back to "The Best" publisher.

So it looks like Smudgie's latest acquisition got "zwei Daumen oben" from that Stuttgart reviewer.

May 5, 2008, 10:13am Top

I just came here hotfoot from Lady Rowena's castle at Ashby-de-la-Zouche in order to warn you that for some time now I have felt a strong disturbance in the Force. Today I finally understood the full import of the evil threat that has been causing this disturbance.

It is imperative that you all be aware that the former Jedi Knight known as Wilfrid of Ivanhoe, alias Disdickhardo, has finally embraced the Dark Side and gone over to join the rebel forces of the Black Knight. Please be extremely wary of the new Dark Lord of the Sith, who now goes by the name Gurth Wamba.

I must now leave you anon and go to the aid of my good friend and fellow Jedi Knight, Aethelstan Skywalker, as he prepares to repulse the rebel fleet.

May the Fourth be with you.

May 5, 2008, 4:35pm Top



May 5, 2008, 7:10pm Top

Hey, Novak, now that was rude. Didn't your parents teach you to never say "What?" ? It is much more polite to say "Pardon?" instead.

>217 ObiWanKenobi:

Wasn't "Disdickhardo" a hit song by the Eagles?

Disdickhardo, why don't you come to your senses?
You've been out ridin' fences for so long, now
Ohh, you're a hard one
I know that you've got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow

May 5, 2008, 7:48pm Top

Did you know there is a Dracula in French published in Quebec. 1998 Readers Digest. I know Wamba......It's not in English".

See Abe

Selection du Reader"s Digest published date: 1998 Hardcover En Francais (In French) Version Abregee. Gatineau, QC, Canada

Novak - I'm sorry but the Eagle's song is pretty good. He has so many incarnations it's hard to keep up.

May 5, 2008, 10:12pm Top

>214 smudgie:

Ok - Ivanhoe showed up.

I'm so glad to hear that your errant knight turned up in the United States so soon after his recent contretemps in the United Kingdom (as per post #208). It appears that once the Washington lawyers got involved things were straightened out with the Dover police pretty damn quickly. :)

Oh, and thanks awfully for sending me that photo of him in your back yard. Your Ivanhoe seems to be settling in quite nicely. You should be very proud of your great purchase.

* Long pregnant pause *

Listen, smudgie, I don't exactly know how to tell you this, but I think your eBay seller may have gypped you a little on this transaction. I know he told you that the 4-page insert was missing before you made your bid, but didn't you also ask him about the legs, like I advised you to do? Because, as I told you, many of the Medieval knights I've personally purchased on eBay in the past were missing a limb or two. Forget the damn missing insert, IMO ensuring all the original limbs are included is much more important to the overall integrity of an item such as this one. So you should always determine up front, BEFORE you bid, whether there are any missing. If you don't believe me then just go ask Paul McCartney. He'll keep you enthralled for hours with all of his personal eBay horror stories concerning knights and legless disappointments.

Nevertheless, you can probably still return your newly purchased Ivanhoe back to the seller for a full refund because, as your photo clearly shows, the item you ultimately received is significantly not as described in that eBay listing you shared with us back in post #148. Or maybe instead you should keep him and enter him in next year's Kentucky Derby ... because I hear 2-legged horses are now all the rage in that event. That would be one in the eye for that crooked eBay seller, wouldn't it? As my dearly departed neighbor Ronnie always used to say: "Win one for the Gypper"!

BTW, in answer to your earlier query, smudgie, Banburry Cross is nowhere near Gelsenkirchen, and neither of those two towns are located in the Isle of Man. I think the eBay seller may have also been yanking your leg some when he told you that too. :(

May 5, 2008, 10:57pm Top

>220 smudgie:

"Did you know there is a Dracula in French published in Quebec."

Hey, smudgie, go for it, pal! It will only cost you $26.25 to prove that one is also not a valid WBR issue. That's a small price to pay for what we will all learn from your experience - not to mention all the banter it will generate on this thread. :)

After you've validated that French Canadian title, there's a Zulu language edition of King Solomon's Mines that RD issued in South Africa in 1996 that I would like you to take a look at next ... but only if you feel you're up to the challenge.

May 6, 2008, 5:51pm Top

Rule 42:

Look, leave poor old Sir Paul Mc’ alone can’t ya! The first leg of his marriage was OK, things only came unstuck when Heather said “one knight is enough!” That’s when he found himself out on a limb. He’s happy now he’s free again but she is hopping!

Le Dracule??? Smudgie, your bats.

May 7, 2008, 5:54pm Top

> Smudgie and K9,

I have just won an auction on eBay and have surplus WBR books for sale which will suit your unusual tastes.

20,000 Years before the Mast (Jules Dana)
Uncle Toms Carbine (Mickey Spillane)
Bin Hur (Lew Laden) Published in the original Hebrew.

These are genuine faux RD WBR’s and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity”. Do not let it slip away, smudgie.

May 7, 2008, 9:52pm Top

Got a bill from RD today dealing with the softcover Select Edition that I sent back. So I bit the bullet and call WBR. This was a totally different experience. I talked to the Customer Service Agent Nicole. She prompty cancelled the bill. I told her I only wanted the WBR series. She said that wasn't a problem. She also told me the next book I would be receiving was Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. I told her I was confused because I understood that The Prisoner Of Zenda was next on the list. She wanted to know who sent out that list, because she hadn't heard about it and was not on her computer. I told her I didn't need Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde I all ready had it. She said she would cancel that edition for me. I told her that I was 4 books away from getting all the USA editions and if there was any way possible to receive those books. She said yes, that she would make a note on my account for the books. And that they would be sent to me in the future if they were available. So I got my fingers crossed on this one. At least she was pleasant to talk to. I hope for the best.

May 8, 2008, 3:11pm Top

>225 suit4u:

Aha ... just when we all think we have the WBR series finally nailed down, the series wraps around again! If you believe the RD 800 number agents this series has more wraps than MC Hammer. :)

Sing it Dolly ...

Don't be concerned, it will not harm you
It's only me pursuing something I'm not sure of
Across my dreams, with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of books

May 24, 2008, 7:29am Top

"It's all gone very quiet around here hasn't it, Heather?"

"Oh! Thadly, yeth!" (Thigh!) (But only one.)

Edited: May 28, 2008, 3:18pm Top

"It's all gone very quiet around here"

Mon Dieu, I guess that's probably cos everyone is still struggling through their French editions of Dracula ...

"Là il étendent le regard comme si la jeunesse moitié-avait été remplacée, parce que les cheveux blancs et la moustache ont été changés en fer-gris foncé; les joues étaient plus pleines, et la peau blanche a semblé ruby-red dessous; la bouche était plus rouge que jamais, parce que sur les lèvres étaient les gouttes du sang frais, qui se sont écoulées goutte à goutte sous les coins de la bouche et ont couru plus de le menton et le cou. Les yeux même profonds et brûlants ont semblé ensemble parmi la chair gonflée, parce que les couvercles et les poches dessous ont été enflés. Elle a semblé comme si la créature terrible de totalité ont été simplement gorgées avec le sang; il s'étendent comme une sangsue dégoûtante, épuisée avec sa réplétion."

Je sacre par Dieu ... I believe this classic may be even better in French!

Next time around, I think I'm going to read it in its native Romanian. But first I want to read Ivanhoe in the original German! :)

Edited: May 25, 2008, 4:36pm Top

"struggling through their French editions of Dracula!"

No! it’s that Dolly Parton song. Effusive Flutterbye. Mind you, Heather, she had some horrific tits.
No! sorry, I meant to type terrific hits.

May 29, 2008, 9:43pm Top

A update on my message #225. I received Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde today which is what I didn,t want. No Prisoner of Zenda. So the order I asked to cancel, wasn,t. I am totally confused on this one.

May 30, 2008, 7:33am Top

>230 suit4u:

Return to Zenda.

May 30, 2008, 10:48am Top

I always receive the latest issue, and I got "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" this time as well. Of course, I already own it, so I'm not paying thirty bucks for a duplicate copy, so I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe they just hadn't printed a new one, and six weeks had rolled around so they sent us a random issue from the past. I wonder if I can just "return to sender." I mean, i really don't want to call and try to sort it out over the phone.....

Edited: Apr 14, 2012, 11:59pm Top

>194 dvdtherapy:

"RD confirms that I'll receive them in order and when they get to 'The End' the subscription wraps around" ... and ... "First of all, The end? Started in what, 1982? What end? Secondly, who the hell gets the new books? Ok, so I'm frustrated now."

>230 suit4u: & 232

I always knew the poetry of Jim Morrison was way ahead of its time. The following apocalyptic rap goes to 11 ...


This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate books, the end
Of all subscribing schnooks, the end
Of substitute surprise, the end
We'll never submit to their lies

Can you picture my library
Sent from RD to me?
Lamentably the tomes
Don't arrive as planned
So I must take a stand

Lost in confusion
I'll complain again
All RD agents are insane
Feel disdain as I explain
But they bear the mark of Cain, yeah

Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us and
Meet me at the back of the blue bus
Readin' a blue book
On the blue bus
Readin' a blue book
Come on, yeah

fill nil ... kill thrill ... will still bill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
The first book sent is free
But you never know with RD
No more faux leather
And slick lies
The end of books we tried to buy

This is the end

Listen guys, you'll never grasp the very essence of the void unless you start thinking outside the box. You have to learn to play RD at its own "Zen Buddhist" head games. Those RD agents are out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. Therefore you must all terminate your subscriptions with extreme prejudice. Surely y'all understand by now that these books do not exist, nor will they ever exist ...

Do you know what these agents are saying? Do you? This is dialectics. It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions ... OK? Dialectic logic is there's only love and hate, only truth and lies. So you either love these RD agents and believe all the crap they tell you, or you hate them and all their lies ... and return the books unopened.

Talking of the outside of boxes, I suggest that you all take Novak's excellent advice and take a bright red magic marker and write "RETURN TO ZENDA" in large letters on the box that your latest RLS title arrived in, and then send it on back to RD. If enough RD subscribers terminate their subscription in such a manner then maybe, just maybe, RD will finally start to get the message. :)

( Edited to add a link to a YouTube video containing the original song lyrics. )

May 31, 2008, 7:33pm Top

>193 Rule42:-198, 230, 232

BTW, I suspect that we have just witnessed the essential difference between the full "open-ended" WBR subscription and the 7-book "closed-end" subscription special. I'm betting that all the full WBR subscribers did in fact receive the Anthony Hope title this month, while only the 7-book special subscribers got the RLS tome "dumped" on them. Of course, if someone subscribes to that latter package but doesn't yet own that particular title they'll probably still be quite happy about receiving the RLS title; because it's a very nice book ... plus it's illustrated!

If you are reading this post and received The Prisoner of Zenda & Rupert of Hentzau title a few days ago then I'm sure I speak for all the readers of this thread when I say that we would love to hear from you confirming that the Anthony Hope title has indeed now been added to the WBR catalogue.

Jun 21, 2008, 6:02am Top

Hi All:

It is fascinating to discover here in the UK how many of these familiar WBR titles have been “re-hashed” by RD since the year 2000. They are turning up with new coloured covers in amongst the “new” releases. One way of padding out your old stock RD!

No one here has seen The Prisoner of Zenda yet.

Jun 21, 2008, 10:36pm Top

Wow, hasn't been much activity here since the "final word" was spoken on the list. I'd hate to think that I am at least partially responsible for killing such an interesting thread. On a personal note, I am now up to 48 titles. The problem I'm running into now is, if I don't take my list with the titles I have crossed off, I end up with duplicates. That is a losing deal. I bought one for $7, and when I traded it back in, they gave me $2.50. So I don't buy books from the series unless I have my trusty list. Each month or so when I go looking, my bookstore usually has one or two new titles, so I haven't had to resort to the Internet quite yet. Will see! Take care y'all.

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 12:42am Top

Room #237

One of these days I'll probably regret making this post, but until then allow me to welcome you to the scariest room on this thread. Since it's painted red Stanley normally just refers to it as the ЯEDЯUM, although Floyd thinks it looks and sounds better in Pink, just like the rest of the hotel.

Remember that all work and no play makes Jack a dull bog, as you can see. Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine! Shine on you crazy diamond. But hey, be very careful with that axe, Eugene, otherwise one of these days you're gonna cut someone into little pieces.

The time is gone, this post is over. Thought I'd something more to say.

42 . . . (which is, of course, 2x3x7)

Jun 22, 2008, 4:38pm Top

> 235 I have seen the different colored covers also . I noticed a Purple colored one from the UK EBay of Sherlock Holmes. I almost bought it to see if it was any different other than the color that I have. I was really dissappointed that Prisoner of Zenda was not released. I guess we will all have to wait till the end of July for the next release and see which one that is.

Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 1:10am Top

>236 orgelquaeler: "I'd hate to think that I am at least partially responsible for killing such an interesting thread."

Hey OQ, nice to hear from you again. But I have to admit, I'm a little confused. How could you possibly be "partially responsible for killing such an interesting thread"? After all, it was smudgie that posted a copy of the RD letter here; not you!

In the future could you please try and do a better job of staying in the character you were originally assigned by the LT management? Otherwise this thread will make absolutely no sense. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

>238 suit4u: "I was really dissappointed that Prisoner of Zenda was not released."

How do you know it wasn't released? You didn't receive it personally because you are on the 7-book subscription special deal and not the full-blown subscription plan. The WBR subscribers on the latter plan may well have received it. If they didn't receive the Anthony Hope title but some other new title instead then that would also mean that the list posted by smudgie was bogus. I'm not saying it is ... but like all predictions of the future it will stand or fall by what ultimately happens. At this juncture, although it is now June, we still don't know what title was released in May to the full WBR subscribers.

Jun 24, 2008, 4:19pm Top

So..... you miss me? Such taunting in 227-229! Please tell me what the issue is with posting the actual list from RD. I thought you'd all like to see it. Does anyone know if they have added Treasure Island to what they send out now?

Jun 25, 2008, 6:40pm Top

Rule42 You may be right I just seen The Prisoner of Zenda on EBay.

Edited: Sep 12, 2008, 5:46pm Top


Jun 28, 2008, 9:37am Top

Wait, now, has anybody posted the complete list?...

Jun 28, 2008, 6:53pm Top

You mean a "complete list" that also includes all the now long-lost esoteric titles that RD still doggedly *woof* refuses to tell anyone about (like all of those on my master's secret list)? Yes, I'm still waiting for someone to post such a list here too.

Jun 29, 2008, 10:31pm Top

>240 smudgie:

"Please tell me what the issue is with posting the actual list from RD. I thought you'd all like to see it."

Who claimed there was any issue with your posting it? I'm pretty sure that most folk reading this thread were only too pleased to see it. Plus the recent sighting of the Anthony Hope title goes a long way to validating its authenticity.

"Does anyone know if they have added Treasure Island to what they send out now?"

I'm not sure what you are asking here. RD has never denied that TI was part of the WBR series. In fact, as per your own posted list from RD, TI is identified as item #24 issued in 1987, and it was also one of the three titles included in item #125 (the "THREE BOOK OFFER") that was issued in March 2005.

>243 orgelquaeler:

The inventory of WBR titles provided in post #242 above IS the "complete list" ... at least WRT the USA WBR issues. It is my understanding that the WBR releases in Canada follow exactly the same schedule and format as the WBR releases in the USA, so the inventory in post #242 is most likely the "complete list" for North America. If you know otherwise then please share that knowledge here. * Rule42 swats a bat that just flew in the open French Windows off the top of his PC monitor *

However, the few WBR editions that have been identified in post #242 as being unique to the UK, Australia and/or New Zealand markets may very well still be incomplete. Again, it is my understanding that the WBR releases in South Africa pretty much follow the same schedule and format as the UK WBR releases, and I do have a pretty good handle on the UK WBR market. Nevertheless, I feel it would definitely be a great improvement were there to be some Aussie, Kiwi, Canuck and Africaan WBR-collectors contributing to this thread in addition to the current batch of Yanks, one West Welsh Brit (when sober), a displaced Kraut, and the occasional 3-legged mutt.

Edited: Jun 30, 2008, 9:25pm Top

>243 orgelquaeler:...a rhetorical question. Chill out, man.

P.S. Now up to 50 titles.

Jul 1, 2008, 4:58pm Top

I must be a glutton for punisment, I tried calling RD again today, to see if I could get on the regular subscription instead of the 7 book subcription. RD loves messing with my head! Agan she stated there is no different subscriptions only one. I asked what my next book would be and she stated The Grapes of Wrath, I told her I already had that book and if there was any way to change it. Of course "no". Asked if she had The Prisoner of Zenda on her list. Again"no". But she had a older list. She serched for a newer one and was not able to find anything. I asked how many books did her older list show. The response ,141. I asked if she would send me the list, she said she couldn't do that. She did name off a couple on the list that I already had.When I asked if I could switch The Grapes of Wrath ofr one I didn't have, She said no, but suggested I use a secondary market;"EBay". Why is this so hard is there two RD Co. that are working against each other. She did give me my Acct# and I went to Rd.com. They mentioned WBR on my acct. that I am signed up for, But WBR is not mentioned on their website. I guess I will try again next month.

Jul 1, 2008, 11:37pm Top

>243 orgelquaeler: & 246

"...a rhetorical question."

Oh, right ... but you didn't use the LT rhetorical font to indicate that, did ya? That way I would have known to completely ignore your post. Perhaps from now on I'd be better off simply treating all your posts as being rhetorical remarks? :)

Nevertheless, it still needed to be said. If there are any extant WBR titles still hidden out there on this planet that no one has yet identified on this thread, they are much more likely to be lurking in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or the Philippines than back here in North America. So my dear Don Quixote, instead of tilting at the windmills of French-speaking Transylvanian vampires and German-speaking Arthurian knights, perhaps those Sherlockian passions of yours and your trusty sidekick Dachshund Sancho Panza might be much more productively employed sniffing around those aforementioned Antipodean markets rather than the Great White Northern ones that you have been favoring as of late.

Just a thought. :)

"P.S. Now up to 50 titles."

Now that your personal WBR collection has reached that dizzy threshold you are hereby promoted to "WBR Woodie" status on this thread. Amongst many other advantages that now entitles you to one additional sarcastic dig at RD's marketing expertise every month. However, please also remember to show appropriate respect to all the more senior "WBR Silver", "WBR Gold" and "WBR Platinum" members here, such as venture, lotofwhiskers, sjflan, Novak and suit4u. That means averting your eyes to the ground and touching your forelock whenever you are in their presence, and always pulling over to the side of the road and allowing them to pass if they flash their lights at you. Thank you for your cooperation in these matters and I sincerely hope you thoroughly enjoy all of the new privileges that your hard-earned "WBR Woodie" status now grants you on the LTMB.

Jul 11, 2008, 1:23pm Top

OK then Rule 42, so whatcha bin doin in yer spare time then? You must have been dipping out on your reading by doing all this research. (Many Thanks!)

English lady here wants to know some more about this American “touching of forelocks” (is it legal?) also some more info about the bat please. :o)

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 12:12am Top

>247 suit4u:

"I must be a glutton for punisment ... RD loves messing with my head!"

Well, as I stated back in an earlier post on this thread, "IMHO, you would have to be some kind of masochist to deal directly with RD in order to buy these books!" :)

"Agan she stated there is no different subscriptions only one."

* Hecrule42 smoothed the ends of his moustaches and twinkled. * That claim simply CANNOT be true ... because if it was you too would have received the Anthony Hope issue at the end of May. If YOU currently have the only possible kind of subscription plan with RD for receiving the WBR series and YOU didn't receive that title then WTF are the people that did receive it? How on earth did that eBay seller obtain his/her copy in order to resell it? Why do I keep getting the feeling that Saddam Hussein must have bought all his WMD from RD using a similar subscription plan?

"I asked how many books did her older list show. The response ,141."

Ahhhh, there's that mystical number again. :) If I didn't already know that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything was 42 I would very strongly suspect that it was 141 instead. Even now I'm considering changing my LT handle to "Rule141"! Or perhaps I'll change it to "NumberFree" instead ...

"Asked if she had The Prisoner of Zenda on her list. Again'no'."

"Where am I?"
"In the Village."
"What do you want?"
"Whose side are you on?"
"That would be telling ... We want information. Information! INFORMATION!"
"You won't get it."
"By hook or by crook, we will."
"Who are you?"
"The new Number Two."
"Who is Number One?"
"You are Number Six."
"I am not a number — I am a free man!"
* Maniacal laughter from RD CS agent Number Two. *

From the sixties British TV series The Prisoner starring Paddy Fitz (a.k.a. Danger Man, a.k.a. Secret Agent Man).

You must be a rebel, suit4u, and resist the RD operatives at every twist and turn. Do NOT let them destroy your individuality and completely break your spirit so that you accept you are only a number and resignedly live your life happily ever after as just a 7-book subscriber. "You are Number Seven." No, no, no ... you must resist them with all your will, suit4u!

"I asked if she would send me the list, she said she couldn't do that."

And that would be the same list that RD happily sent out to orgelquaeler (see post #149) and dvdtherapy (see post #151). Whatever did you do to make the RD operatives so friggin' mad at you, suit4u?

"Why is this so hard is there two RD Co. that are working against each other."

Yes, yes, yes ... that might be it! Try calling RD on the other 800 number next time you call. :)

( Edited to add a link to a YouTube video containing the original TV series opening and closing credits. )

Jul 13, 2008, 10:06pm Top

Rule 42 Do you have the 1 800#?

Jul 14, 2008, 12:36am Top

I know of at least 3 800 numbers for RD. Since you don't seem to be having very much luck using the 1-800-SCREWME number you might want to give either 1-800-378-4722 or 1-800-463-8820 a try next. Good luck #7.

Be seeing you.

Jul 18, 2008, 3:03pm Top

"I know of at least 3 800 numbers for RD.....using the 1-800-SCREWME number Good luck #7.

Be seeing you.
(No you wont!)

Scott Nasty writes:

I’m typing this very small because I have to keep a low profile. WARNING Do be careful you guys with the 800#s. I dialled the one mentioned by #42 and within a couple of days I was snatched from a local bookstore at gunpoint by 3 guys in dark glasses and suits.

After two weeks of solitude with only 2 pre-1962 copies of RD to read, I was questioned about my copy of Pride and Prejudice then dumped on the beach at Skegness at midnight. It took me 8 days to walk home and find my library shelves were empty.

I have learned my lesson. I have secretly purchased WBR King Soloman’s Mines and I just read that one copy over and over again and sleep with it under my mattress. I try to hide my mental scars.

Do take care!

Jul 18, 2008, 10:19pm Top

Good Day to All

I was one of the original contributors to this thread awhile back (nearly two years ago now), and it’s nice to see so many new comments and participants who have added to it since then. I would just like to formally thank everyone who has taken the time to post information on this thread. Your input, insights and research are invaluable to other collectors/readers out there, and forums like this really demonstrate the true power of the internet. Special thanks to Rule42 who’s impeccable breadth and depth of information provided is truly second to none.

Although I have not posted anything in quite some time, I do still collect the World’s Best Reading series and reference this thread on a regular basis to find out what’s new or coming down the pipe – and sometimes just to get a good laugh! I can honestly say that because of everyone’s input, I have increased my collection from 93 books (two years ago) to 115 books (today) and counting.

I too have been frustrated with the lack of knowledge of the Readers Digest customer service reps and the lack of information available on this series in general. I have even gone as far as to instruct one of the Readers Digest customer service ladies to write down the link to this forum so they can educate themselves on their own products. There is clearly more information here than Readers Digest has on file.

Regardless, I still find the following link to be the most useful in locating some of the harder to find editions in the World’s Best Reading series:


I have most recently picked up Dracula, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Prisoner of Zenda/Rupert of Hentzau through this used book search engine. I have been using it for a couple of years now and have found that if you don’t see it right away, keep checking over the course of a couple of weeks - it will eventually show up. Of course, ebay is also a good source as well; however, you will typically have to buy someone else’s collection to get the one book you may be looking for.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone for your help and keep the posts coming – I’ll be watching!

Good Luck To All…

Edited: Jul 18, 2008, 11:28pm Top

Hello to everyone. I have been reading these posted notes for a few months. I have recently gone backwards to get a definite answer from Readers Digest personnel in New York about the W B R subscription. According to the man I talked to, the subscription circulates continually. Because it is operated by a 1980's computer system, it will generate it's own order for each account to be sent a book. No human has any decision as to what book the client will get. The Customer Service people can not tell us that we will get the newest book for they have no control of it. If they do, they are lying to us. If we send back two books in a row that we all ready own, they will cancel the subscription. We in turn will have to start all over again ordering a new subscription. Seems very stupid that until the top brass read their mission and purpose statements for real, and change their antiquated system to reflect the present needs of their clients, there will be no reason or order to the shipment by the distribution centers throughout the world who have no control over the order of the book distribution.
As I stated I went backwards to get this information: Distributor, Contact at RD in Pleasantville NY, Customer Service in NY.
Sometimes it pays to think outside the box. When the average person being asked is not given all the information needed to handle most questions asked, sometimes some make up answers in order to make themselves not seem so inadequate for the job they are trying to do. Unfortunately for a lot of RD employees they are not given the info they really need for the collectors of this series.
Thank you RULE42 for all the info you have presented here for all to read.
As to my collection I have all the books everyone listed in the major lists except for the Three Men in a Boat / Three Men on the Brummel. Most have come from Ebay and ADDALL book search. The last four books distributed by RD and two inserts came from the distribution center here by me.
Thanks again to all who posted info for the rest of us to read and absorb.

Edited: Jul 22, 2008, 7:12pm Top

>254 venture77: & 255

Thanks for the kudos agents #69 and #77.

BTW, when you read post #242 do the URLs of the book photo images work OK and display for you? Or do you just get the following LT error message when you click on them? ...

Sorry, but the page you requested can't be found.

Please check the url. You can also look for help in Groups, or contact us.

The URLs in my post are correct so if it's the latter then LT must have a server caching problem. Either that or RD agents have successfully hacked their way into the LT server(s) and are now suppressing them. :(

>253 Scott.Nasty:

"I was questioned about my copy of Pride and Prejudice then dumped on the beach at Skegness at midnight. It took me 8 days to walk home ..."

Well Mr. Nasty, I do hope you at least found your midnight sojourn to Skegness bracing! BTW, why did you walk home? Don't ya know it's much quicker by rail? :)

Jul 19, 2008, 6:48pm Top

>256 Rule42:

"Don't ya know it's quicker by Rail?

They watch the stations. Even you have seen through my "old salt" ploy.

Who are you really working for #42?

Jul 20, 2008, 6:41am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Jul 20, 2008, 6:52am Top

>257 Scott.Nasty:

Was the last message deleted by it's author?........or by someone else???

Well, Scott, something is going on here. Early this morning (Sunday) my front window was smashed. Running downstairs, ignoring my (and Heather’s) double-seater chairlift, I find a dachshund laying on the carpet with a note attached to the collar: “ Lay off #42 or the dog gets it.”

Are these books really worth dying for?

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 10:21pm Top

>257 Scott.Nasty:

"They watch the stations."

If the "they" you are referring to is MI5 or Special Branch, they also had a large number of their agents assigned to searching all the trains headed into the north of Scotland out of England as well as monitoring all the stations en route. As I see it, the only small oversight in your whole escape plan was expecting to find a German U-boat waiting for you off the coast of Skegness. Whatever were you thinking? You were given specific orders that your assigned rendezvous would be off the coast of Aberdeen. If you want my advice, Mr. Nasty, you really ought to read a lot more Buchan and Follett.

However, putting that small oversight aside, I would definitely like to commend you on your choice of disguise as a salty sea dog. It was impeccable. I know that I, for one, would never have been able to spot you in a crowd! Someday Mr. Nasty you'll have to share with me who or what your inspiration for such a clever disguise was.

>259 Novak:

"Lay off #42 or the dog gets it.”

The way it appears to me, Novak, the dog already got it. Typical RD! Clearly, its agents can't even execute a simple shakedown threat correctly. This, too, from the company that describes itself as the world's largest and most successful blackmail order company! :)

Are these books really worth dying for?

If you're a dog, yes!

( Edited to replace the broken link to a YouTube video containing the original inspiration for Scott Nasty's clever disguise. )

Edited: Jul 20, 2008, 9:48pm Top

>255 EDSOWN69:

"Because it is operated by a 1980's computer system, it will generate it's own order for each account to be sent a book." and "... until the top brass read their mission and purpose statements for real, and change their antiquated system to reflect the present needs of their clients, there will be no reason or order to the shipment by the distribution centers throughout the world who have no control over the order of the book distribution."

Ahhhh, I think that little insight into how RD's computerized ordering system operates might explain a lot. Thanks for sharing that with us, EDSOWN69. So, I think what you are saying is that because RD was far too cheap to fix any of its "change of millenium" issues on its mainframe back in the mid-to-late 90s, it now appears that although the RD editors have been happily adding new titles to this series for the last 5-6 years, due to a number of long outstanding Y2K bugs on the RD Sperry Univac mainframe none of the actual subscribers to these books have been able to receive a WBR title issued later than the year 1999!

I guess if it wasn't for the fact that disgruntled RD employees immediately auction off on eBay their own internal copies of these later titles, once they are fired or laid off from RD, none of us here that are collecting this series would have ever come across a WBR title issued since the Michener! Yes, yes, I think that now adequately explains everything that we are all encountering with this series! :)

Edited: Jul 21, 2008, 1:34am Top

>260 Rule42:

Sadly, we have to report that the dachshund later died. But the plot thickens.

On the way to “The Pet Semetary” I was stopped by what at first glance looked like a police patrol car. The sham policeman asked what I was doing with the dead dog. To let the man know that I was well aware that he was a RD agent and not a real police officer, I replied that “ I thought I might do roast potatoes, garlic cabbage and peas.”

My case comes up next Thursday. Can anyone on LT help?

Jul 21, 2008, 3:50pm Top

>260 Rule42:

"If you're a dog, yes!"

Hey, I resemble that remark! * woof *

>255 EDSOWN69: & 152

* smudgie's dog gently unfolds a yellowed and extremely crinkled piece of lined foolscap paper, takes out his fountain pen, and after slowly unscrewing the top, starts writing on the paper in a very careful and meticulous Gothic script. As the dog, in this slow and painstaking manner, adds a fresh line to the short inventory of items already written in a similar script on this tattered piece of paper, he is aided in his concentration on the task at paw by his drooling tongue, which protrudes extensively from his mouth and makes twists and curls in the air in direct synchronization with the flourishes and curlicues being fastidiously executed by the pen on the piece of foolscap. When he is finished writing, the dog holds the crumpled piece of paper at paw's length and approves of his own new addition to the list by admiringly reading back to himself the single line of calligraphy he has just appended. *

"Three Men on the Brummel by Percival Christopher Wren."

* The dog scratches himself with his rear paw while pondering over this newly discovered but long-forgotten WBR title. The mutt then mutters pensively to himself ... *

"Hmmm, I guess it must be Wren's sequel to Beau Geste."

Jul 22, 2008, 6:28pm Top

>260 Rule42:

"monitoring all the stations en route."

Wow! so they were looking in France too. These RD devils will stop at nothing.

"rendezvous would be off the coast of Aberdeen"

I don’t speak any French and got confused with the postcodes (zips to you!). I got directions from a man with a dog named Angus wearing a kilt.

"read a lot more Buchan and Follett."

Who? and Bollett ??? Well, yes I suppose I quite agree. I have sent in this request to RD for the new WBR releases. They only seem to be interested in my Direct Debit being honoured while I am in hiding.

"If the "they" you are referring to is MI5 or Special Branch.

You are a bit out of date here, Rule 42. MI5 have now been superseded by MI55. They have amalgamated with the UK government's hit squad and are now collectively known as HIT & MI55.

>263 smudgiesmuzzleddog:

Didn't he write a book called St Paul and the Cathedral from scratch?

Jul 23, 2008, 12:11pm Top

Well, after receiving "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" last time and having to pay to return it because I'd opened the box (like I could have known what it was any other way), I wondered whether or not to even open the box I received today. I took the chance, and the book was "The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton. So, that title is acurate. I still don't know why I never received "The Prisoner of Zenda". Oh well...

Jul 24, 2008, 4:29pm Top

> 265: Hi Engmaj08

"The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton.

So the good news is that there is, at least, a new title. Rule 42 will probably, once again, be proved right and the only copies that will appear for sale on the secondary market will be the ones that RD’s deserting sales staff will put in their back pockets on the way out.

Thanks for the post, any chance of a mugshot of the cover to let us know what to look out for on the shelves?

Jul 24, 2008, 9:34pm Top

>265 Engmaj08:

Wow, has it been 2 months already?! Thanks, post #242 has been duly updated.

"I still don't know why I never received 'The Prisoner of Zenda'."

I think the explanation is the one given in post #255. If I interpret the post correctly, RD is still using the original mainframe computer(s) it installed back in the eighties (or earlier) on which the software was programmed to automatically determine the allocation of new titles to all subscribers. It is probably a pretty safe assumption that, in order to ensure that RD continually "moved" accumulated inventory of previously released WBR titles, the mainframe software that allocated shipments to subscribers would randomly select an older title (from whatever WBR titles were flagged in the mainframe database as excessively accumulating in the RD warehouses) to be sent to that subscriber every 3 or 4 issues (for sake of argument).

By employing such a method of book allocation and distribution RD would not have to worry about ever sending duplicate titles to any of its WBR subscriber accounts - because the mainframe database would track all titles sent out on each account thus ensuring that would never happen - while at the same time RD also got to regularly recycle in (and thus sell) lots of its older accumulated book inventory.

When you sell books (or anything else) via mail order subscription you can never be quite certain what the subscribers will actually latch onto in large numbers and what they will effectively reject en masse. The mail order strategy is simply to send the new product out there to all of the current subscriber base and hope as much as possible of it will be purchased first time around; what isn't so purchased is then accepted back as "unopened returns" only to be recycled again some time later to newer subscribers that have never received that title before.

WBR titles that proved to be very popular with subscribers might have even sold out on their very first issue and thus have then been scheduled for a subsequent reprint run in order to satisfy all the subscriber demand. OTOH, WBR titles that turned out to be much less popular with the subscribers when issued will no doubt have been continually recycled - via the process just described of unopened return followed by future random selection - until they were finally all sold. The 3-book and 10-book offers were presumably also part and parcel of this older inventory clearance strategy.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that the problem of title duplication that many are complaining about on this thread did NOT exist back in the 80s and early 90s when the mainframe distribution algorithm was originally developed. Because back then there were no subscribers to the WBR series that had managed to accumulate 90+ titles in the after-market like there are now ... most of these books had not reached the secondary market yet and were still on the original purchasers' book shelves. Virtually all WBR subscribers back then would have been "virgin subscribers" who only owned WBR titles that had been purchased directly from RD (and which had been tracked by the mainframe).

Additionally, there was also no "world-wide web" where RD WBR subscribers could check in with each other as is now happening on this thread. Back then, every RD subscriber was relatively isolated and had no idea what other WBR subscribers were receiving that month. So the individual WBR subscribers could be allocated anything by the RD mainframe computer (so long as it was not a duplicate of one previously sent) and they presumably would all assume that what they were receiving was indeed the latest WBR issue for that bimonthly period.

Jul 25, 2008, 6:20pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jul 25, 2008, 6:26pm Top

>267 Rule42:

Hi Rule 42:

Thank you for your well thought-out logical explanation. It is fascinating that the WWW should impact on RD’s well planned and successful sales programme (it hurt me to admit that!) by permitting us to pool our customer experiences. You are quite right that RD ( or indeed anyone else) would never have been able to predict that this would happen in the present day, from way back in the eighties.

Interesting to ponder on RD actually using the info’ on this thread to determine future sales strategy. As a commercial enterprise they would be foolish to ignore so rich a source of free customer opinion.

Jul 25, 2008, 6:54pm Top

Cold! Hungry! Desperate! Back in a dark cell again. Given up reading all RD titles for ever. Never again.

Have instead started work secretly here in the dark on my own autobiography, "The Prisoner of Pleasantville", under my pen-name Scott Some-Hope. Please! Please buy it.

Hey Novak, how did you manage to squeeze in front of me here?

Jul 25, 2008, 6:59pm Top

That was close, They nearly caught me that time. The Abe in the next cell lends me his laptop.

Aug 22, 2008, 2:42pm Top

I put my need list on my profile. Send me your need list if you see something I need. Will trade.

Novak Heather's dachshund is mentioned in both Heart of the West and The Virginian. That;s what the cowboys are referring to when they say "Get a long little dogie".

Aug 23, 2008, 3:49pm Top

Hi Jefbra:

Good to hear from you. "Need List" is a good idea. Will be watching that one.

Heather has gone off with a guy called Ringo, took the dog too. She said I spend too much of my time reading. Now, I suppose Paris Hilton will start pestering me all over again. Has she got a dog?

Edited: Aug 25, 2008, 8:05pm Top

>272 jefbra: & 273

After we have all taken turns posting on this thread pimping our own "Need" Lists here, perhaps we could then all repeat the process for each of our "Want" Lists!

Then perhaps we should all think about addressing each of our "Interested in, But Only at the Right Price" Lists here?

"And after that?" I hear you all ask. How about our "Feel Totally Ambivalent About" Lists? Surely I'm not the only person posting on this thread that maintains one of those? :(

>273 Novak: "Has she got a dog?"

I don't know. But I did hear she has a really nice XXXXX hamster.

Aug 26, 2008, 7:51pm Top

>274 Rule42:

I could never Feel Totally Ambivalent About a hamster.

Aug 27, 2008, 2:21am Top

>275 Novak:

Ah, that's because you've still got all your nuts, Novak. But one day you'll wake up in the morning and find all your nuts are gone. Then, believe me, you'll feel totally ambivalent about pretty much everything in life. Running in place on your squeaky wheel won't seem like so much fun anymore. My advice to you, Novak, is to hide your nuts ASAP, before it's too late.

BTW, Abe from the next cell over called today. He wants his laptop and all his books back. He muttered something about you ruining all the business on his web site.

Aug 28, 2008, 6:11pm Top

>276 Rule42:

Now this is confusing, Rule 42 It is true that I have loaned my laptop to the nice boy in the next cell. He said his name was Scott. We haven’t seen him for a while and we think he may have escaped. With my laptop. One lifer here says he was called Scott Cleanaway. You know of him?

How do you know I am an Abe?

Sep 22, 2008, 4:47pm Top

I just love getting these books in the mail. The House of Mirth just arrived today. But the junk mail! And there was so much crap in the packing envelope today, I almost couldn't find the bill!

But these books are wonderful. I just love the way they feel.

Sep 22, 2008, 5:23pm Top

Just a mo ... The House of Mirth was July's title. If I were you. Ellsinore, I would search through all that spam and crap packaging again. Because somewhere buried inside it all you will probably find your copy of RD's September's WBR issue: Howards End. IMHO, the charm and wit of Forster's writing is frequently overlooked by today's readers ... so I'm afraid you might have to look pretty hard for it. :(

Sep 23, 2008, 1:26am Top

I seem, for some reason, to be on the tail end of their mailings. This is, I think, my third or fourth book since I managed to actually get subscribed, and I always seem to be behind what others are getting.

Edited: Oct 31, 2008, 1:06pm Top

Just FYI -- I still haven't received Howard's End.

ETA: Just looked at the date of my last message. I guess it should get here in two or three weeks.

Edited: Nov 7, 2008, 7:07pm Top

Hello all. Just joined this site yesterday.

I've been looking through the list of published titles, and I'm disappointed and baffled that they've published marginally classic authors like Galsworthy, Maugham, and Tarkington while totally neglecting much more important ones like Hugo and Scott (except for apparently publishing 'Ivanhoe' only in German for some reason).

I saw some of you talking about having contacted the World's Best Reading people at Reader's Digest directly, but haven't found a way to do so myself, yet? Can someone post or refer me to that information?

Nov 4, 2008, 8:55pm Top

You can try Post #252 like the rest of us! Good Luck! Ha! Ha!

Edited: Nov 7, 2008, 6:52pm Top

Ok, I'm going to throw my hat into the ring on what needs to be added to the set:

1. Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
2. Les Miserables (abridged) by Victor Hugo
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
4. The Story of King Arthur and his Knights by Howard Pyle
5. The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter

I would have included the Pyle version of Robin hood, but that's highly unlikely since they've already done the Creswick. Anyone who has ever tried to read the unabridged version of 'Les Miserables' will understand why I advocate using the abridged version in this set, but for those who haven't, it's because Hugo repeatedly goes off into extended tangents relevent to the contemporary political and social situation of France in his day, but which are irrelevant to the beautiful story of Jean Valjean and very much detract from the quality of the book for the modern reader. These tangents make up at least half the bulk of the original work.

While on this topic, I have to address this ridiculous statement, which seems to have gone unchallenged:

"Oh puh-leeese ... no damn Tolkien! He's an abysmal writer, albeit imaginative, that badly needed an editor. "

You may not like Tolkien, but to call him "an abysmal writer" is patently absurd. He was a genius, who was fluent in 13 languages, had a working knowledge of 8 more (not counting dialects), and invented 2 of his own (plus 4 more partial ones). He was an imminently respected scholar who was a contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary and single-handedly rehabilitated serious scholarship of Beowulf, which had previously been ignored and ridiculed in academia.

But, more to the issue, Tolkien's fictional writing itself is a work of literary genius which has abundantly shown itself to be destined for inclusion in the canon of the world's greatest classics. Its aesthetic quality (the sole criterion for inclusion in Harold Bloom's Western Canon) is the highest, beloved by millions (often to the point of obsession), including many greater minds than mine. C.S. Lewis, for instance, whom you acknowledge as deserving to be included in the World's Best Reading, said of 'The Lord of the Rings':

"No imaginary world has been projected which is at once as multifarious and so true to its inner laws," and

"If Ariosto rivaled it in invention (which in fact he does not), he would still lack its heroic seriousness." and

"here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart."

But Bloom's are not the only criteria for determining a classic. Using Mortimer Adler's threefold standard of contemporary significance, rereadability, and extensive relevance to the Great Ideas, Tokien's work again merits inclusion. Its absence from the Great Books of the Western World is due to its chronological position, not its literary one.

There is much more that can be said in support of Tolkien's literary and aesthetic merit, but as this isn't an academic thesis, I'll stop there. My last point is to reiterate that your personal taste is not sufficient grounds to rate an author whose work holds such an important place in the world's imagination as "abysmal". That's like saying that Wagner was an "abysmal" composer or that Van Gogh was an "abysmal" painter simply because you don't like them. Quite simply, you have no grounds on which to make such a judgment, and your attempt to do so only shows your own lack of discernment.

Nov 17, 2008, 4:18pm Top

I'm going to guess it was 42 who made the Tolkien comment back in the thread? Whatever your feelings are they made for some entertaining reading.

After working Addall I'm 5 short of a complete series as of now. A couple of the Jane Austen titles have become scarce for some reason.

Sorry to tell all of you the dog is dead - again. He was killed by a gay Episcopalian on the way back from Lambeth. He was very angry for some reason. With only the 3 legs the dog didn't have a chance.

What do you think of the republican's running Heather in the next election??

Nov 20, 2008, 11:51am Top

Now that's funny, especially to a traditionalist Anglican like me. Sorrry about your dog, though. Was his name Lucky?

Yeah, it was Rule42's comment I was responding to.

I don't concern myself with politics any longer, as I officially resigned from American society at about 10 PM on November 4th of this year. I still consider myself to be part of Western Culture, but as that has virtually ceased to exist, it's really just a name at this point.

I've got everything now through 2000, ending with "Far from the Maddening Crowd". I'm considering what is the best way to proceed, since the remaining titles seem to be scarce or nonexistent in the secondary market (I actually had to order the Hardy from England). I'm probably going to have to subscribe, but I'm not sure because a) There seems to be no clear answer to 'which book will they start my subscription with?', and b) Even if they started with "This Side of Paradise" and thus wasted no time on sending me stuff I've already got, it would take 6 years to get them all. And, of course, if they started later in the series, I'd either still have to find the earlier ones outside, or wait 20 years or so for the cycle to run through the series and get back to the ones I need.

Nov 20, 2008, 6:46pm Top

>285 smudgie: "Sorry to tell all of you the dog is dead"

* woof woof woof * No I'm friggin' not ... I'm still alive, I tell you! It's just the way I sleep. I'm a very quiet sleeper who hardly breathes, you see, because of this damn muzzle my master always makes me wear. :(

Anyways, so there I was, snoozing away and happily dreaming I was the main protagonist in a classic Edgar Allan Poe tale when I suddenly woke up to find I was at the bottom of a deep muddy pit with dirt being shoveled on top of me ... When I finally managed to scramble up out of that steep-sided hole it was only to discover two humans standing next to a big smooth stone with the word "SPOT" chiseled on the front of it. One of them was dressed as a policeman while the other one was wearing an embroidered smock with a big pair of black rubber wellies and had a sprig of corn sticking out of the corner of his mouth. The one in the smock was muttering something to the the law enforcement officer about roast potatoes, garlic, cabbage and peas that I wasn't quite able to make any sense of due to his strong Cornish accent. Then the copper nicked him and drove the corny country bumpkin off in his Panda car. Oh wait a mo, maybe that was a dream too? ... * image starts to go all wavy and slowly fades from view *

>286 MduPre: "I've got everything now through 2000 ..."

* After rolling around in the country church yard grass making little doggie yaps and yelps of delight as he laughs his doggie ass off, smudgie's dog finally turns over and gets back up on all four paws to find himself standing next to the grave of Thomas Gray. Somewhat ironically, all this time the dead poet has also been turning over and over and rolling in his grave too!

Spot now gently unfolds a yellowed and extremely crinkled piece of lined foolscap paper, takes out his trusty fountain pen, and after slowly unscrewing the top, sticks out his tongue and starts writing on the paper in a very careful and meticulous Gothic script. When he is finished writing, the dog holds the crumpled piece of paper at paw's length and approves of his own new addition to the list by admiringly reading back to himself the single line of calligraphy he has just appended. *

"Far from the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Kissme Hardy."

* As the dog rereads what he just wrote he starts to recite to himself a little rhyme he once learned way back in Obedience Training School ... *

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

* But even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, and even in our ashes live their wonted fires, so smudgie's dog casts one longing, lingering look behind him, shakes his doggie head, and lets out a long, sad sigh as, hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, muttering his wayward mutt fancies he starts to rove - now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love - towards the customed hill, along the heath and near his favorite tree ... where he finally lifts his rear leg and takes a pee. *

Nov 23, 2008, 3:41pm Top

>287 smudgiesmuzzleddog:

Oh! Oh! So touching, so touching. (sob!) You are to poetry what King Herod was to Children’s Homes.

Nov 23, 2008, 3:43pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 26, 2008, 9:44am Top

That was hilarious. After my hiatus from the thread I'm enjoying it as much if not more.
I've been trying to read all of the titles I have not read prior to discovering the series. I just finished Steele Rudd's "Selection". Having enjoyed the "Little House" series as a child when they were first published it was fascinating to draw comparisons between homesteading in the states in the late 19th century with what the Aussies went through.
Any guess as to what the next release by RD might be?

Nov 26, 2008, 10:05am Top

Received The Amabassadors by Henry James two days ago.

Nov 28, 2008, 9:37am Top

>290 smudgie:

Any guess as to what the next release by RD might be?

I feel it could be something by Henry James !!! Rule 42 is in their office putting the finishing touches to the release as we write.

Nov 30, 2008, 4:43pm Top

>291 suit4u:

"Received The Amabassadors by Henry James two days ago."

We were right again then, Heather!

(Dec 1st tomorrow and she is putting on her Xmas stocking.) No Hang-ups!

Edited: Dec 3, 2008, 4:26pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 4, 2008, 4:24pm Top

What happened to 42's master list with the hyperlinks. I feel a loss.

Dec 5, 2008, 7:28am Top

>295 smudgie:

Readers digest say they wont release the list or him until the ransom is paid in full.

Dec 7, 2008, 1:18am Top

I want to thank Venture for printing the most complete list of the RD WBR titles. I also have been collecting them for a number of years. Mine have been foumd at garage sales, bazaars, rummage sales, thrift shops and other random places, where ever I go I keep an eye out for them. i currently have bout 74 of them, all in prime condition except one "Tom Sawyer". About 80% of them have the enclsoed info sheet.
I also collect many other classics from other periods, I recently trimmed my book collection down to about 4-500 books, keeping only what I consider classics. All hardcover and in good condition except Fu-Manchu which is soft covered. My collection also includes religious books and cookbooks. Have you seen the Readers Digest Bible, it looks great with the WBR boos, the cover is also beautifully done.


Dec 7, 2008, 9:53am Top

Hi Jackz:

Welcome! I see you too have tried to talk to RD in the past. This is not good. You are now on the database. Soon they will try to recruit you as a double agent. Next they will invite you into their office with the promise of a “Free, hard to find ,WBR book” and a “chance to win $14,000,000. (No purchase necessary)”. If you succumb you will probably never be seen again. :o(

Just look at the posts on this thread and see the ones who have disappeared without trace or, even worse, turned into dogs!

Do take care, these books are dangerous!….(Evil grin!)

Dec 7, 2008, 10:43am Top

Thanks for the laugh Novak. I wonder what he's reading in captivity? Another "senior moment" on my part. I posted the list from RD in 183 and I'm asking what's next? I suppose I'll have to take some Ginko now. Losing it fast. Anyway..... has anyone received any of the last four on that list posted in 183? I'm 6 short of complete as of The Ambassadors. I'm starting to question whether Gulliver's Travels was actually published. I've never seen it anywhere at any price and 3 of the 6 Austen titles are giving me a hard time as well. I see you can get the Moon and Sixpence for $80 on Amazon or $15 on the RD website. That was a difficult choice to make!

Dec 8, 2008, 12:59am Top

Hi to all the RD collectors

I have already been thru the "lure" of the Readers Digest milliions and avoid them like the plague.

In checking I found Ventures listing of the collections titles and also visited the Wikipedia site he referenced and crosschecked all of the titles against mine. It certainly gives me some challenge to go out and find the missing books. I do have many of the missing ones published as clssics from other printing houses but want to keep the RD set pure.

My wife became disabled and it is next to impossible to get around to our regular stamping grounds like the garage sales, thrift shops and used book stores. I can't see my self spending 15 or 20 dollars unless it was the last one I was looking for. I guess that I'm spoiled.


Dec 8, 2008, 1:42pm Top

Careful on ordering from the RD website. I did this. Not only do the books never show, but my credit card didn't show the transaction, books never show up, customer service reps can't find squat. They'll even deny the website exists. I wish you good luck though.

Dec 24, 2008, 7:55pm Top

Merry Christmas all!!

Jan 1, 2009, 2:17pm Top

Happy New Year! I think I may be unique on this list--I bought all my books new from Readers Digest and read most of them as they arrived. I have read unflattering comments about Readers Digest customer service. However, I had an opposite experience. I contacted them and asked for a list of books--prior to 2000, I believe. They sent me a list and told me how to order the titles I was missing and still wanted, which I did. Obviously, the list they sent me was much smaller than the actual number of titles available, however, as I only have 52 titles. Even though I now know that is not all of the book, I think I'm done as they neatly fill up two shelves in my living room bookcase. I've enjoyed reading your posts. Happy hunting!

Jan 5, 2009, 5:55pm Top

Hi All,
Happy New Year to all. May your 401k accounts rebuild to their former glory! I see the Joseph Conrad book has been released. Has anyone received it yet?

DVD - You have me scared. I had to print out the order confirmation from the website to calm myself. That and a couple vodka tonics............ I hope it does show up as I would hate to experience what some of you have!

Just finished Dusty / Manshy. Extraordinary writing. Dusty had all four legs too!

Does anyone know 42s release date?

Jan 9, 2009, 7:13am Top


Does anyone know 42s release date?

I have called many RD 800 numbers but all the sales staff deny any knowledge of him or Josehp Conrad. They must be getting fed up with him by now.

Jan 14, 2009, 10:11am Top

Heart of Darkness is on the way from the UK so that mystery is solved! It does exist.

Do you think 42 will be released with the rest from Gitmo? He never should have shouted Allah Akbar in the supermarket. Especially in Crawford.

Edited: Jan 26, 2009, 8:15am Top

You know, smudge, we never did see the new US president and Rule 42 in the same room together. Now the former is so busy with his new job, the latter is not to be seen or heard. Hmmmmm…….

Managed to pick up Northanger Abbey and have just read The last of the Mohicans. Magic! Not seen HOD anywhere yet.

Jan 27, 2009, 9:18am Top

It does make you wonder....

I stumbled on a bookseller in the UK Googling. She has several of the more recent hard to find books yet. It started with Northanger Abbey but, as it turned out, she had misplaced it! I am still hoping she finds it. Gulliver's Travels, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey are the only ones I'm missing. I have seen the Austen titles here and there but have never seen Gulliver's anywhere. I'm taking a break from the WBRs and reading Memoirs of a Geisha on my wifes recommendation. Very good so far.

Jan 29, 2009, 9:07am Top

Hello Smudge:

Do be careful of those geisha girls, that’s how I started!

I have just ordered Journey “To the Center of the Earth” (WBR) from US as it is the last one I am looking for at present. (my spell check has just picked up the word centre above as being wrong, your’s, of course, would not.) It has cost me the earth, what with the $ being very expensive for us at present.

I somehow cannot take as much interest in the later volumes without the illustrations and the artwork, not to mention the afterwords. I note that everyone who picks up my copy of Ben Hur has to go and get one for themselves, mostly for the 1000 or so drawings.

I am reading “The Origin of the Species” at present. Some way back on this thread it was suggested there was a RD matching bible. Perhaps RD should do TOOTS to try and get a balance. It is a good book and a great read.

Feb 4, 2009, 10:37am Top

Secret Garden has made its debue. Has anyone seen Return of the Native or Agnes Grey?

Feb 11, 2009, 1:15pm Top

i had email today from RD saying that they had in stock ---
Prisoner of zenda
The ambassadors
House of mirth
Howards end
£16-99 each plus £3-49 postage .
most ive ever paid is £5 and i enjoy lookin in bookshops so dont think ill bother .

Edited: Mar 19, 2009, 11:53pm Top

Thank you all for the enlightment. Reading all these entries has been fun and informative. I started collecting WBR books in 1994. My first WBR came from a thrift store in Montgomery AL. I only shop thrift stores and only purchase if the price does not exceed $1.50. For me, the hunt is the best part of collecting anything.
In December, 1996 I contacted RD about the series. They sent me 3 sheets of paper: pages 24, 25, and 26 of something called Series Manual. The Price at that time was $18.98 with a Delivery Charge of $2.95. These sheets show 74 volumes with volumes 2 and 3 both being Wuthering Heights. ALso these sheets show the Wrap-Around volume 75 goes to the original Volume 5 (The Scarlet Letter).
I never imagined there were additional volumes in later years. I have only one book, that is not on the RD list..This Side of Paradise. I had no knowledge of the additional volumes in later years.
I've printed the lists you all have provided. I think that I just do not have the time to complete the series if I continue to limit myself to Thrift Stores and $1.50 max.
Thank you all for the information you so willingly give. Please continue posting.

Apr 4, 2009, 9:24pm Top

So, do you guys arrange your books in order of release or alphabetically? I have mine arranged alphabetically by author and then by title. I'm now just about at 70.

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 9:48pm Top

>295 smudgie:

My WBR inventory list wasn't actually removed; it would be more accurate to say that it was updated. In reviewing my original post #242 I felt that perhaps it was a bit on the long side for the usual ADD types that participate in message boards, so I decided to address that issue by shrinking it down to the size of a microdot. I then replaced my original text in that post with the resultant microdot containing that same text. Simply use your browser to enlarge the microdot currently displayed in post #242 10,000 times and you'll be good to go. I hope that helped. :)

>313 orgelquaeler:

Hmmm, interesting question. I order my WBR books on my bookshelves according to the Wikipedia listing for this series. That way, since that article is almost always missing some titles, I get to feel smug that I own a few titles that no one else even knows about! :)

( Edited in order to modify the original post ... well, duh! )

Apr 7, 2009, 7:14pm Top

Oh, ok. So between which two volumes do you stash Ivanhoe?

Apr 11, 2009, 5:24pm Top

I now stash that one between my WBR copies of the illustrated French edition of The Four Musketeers and the Creole language edition of Mark Twain's Life on the Ohio. But I used to shelve it next to my very rare WBR edition of Treasure Island.

Apr 18, 2009, 9:57pm Top

Hey everyone. I just found an interesting web site. It is part of the RD Store. At this site RD is selling 47 issues of the WBR from past and some what current issues.
The funny part is that they are listed at 30% OFF OF THE REGULAR COST $ 21.98 TO THE PRICE OF $ 14.98.

How you get to the site is really dificult. Go to the Wikipedia site for the WBR. Go to the bottom where there is links to the official website and click on to that listing.. You will be taken to the RD Store where is listed three books. Go to the left side where all books by titles is and click on that listing. You should see the 47 titles come up.
Just thought some of you might like to get new books for a lot less cost. Have fun collecting.
EDSOWN69 in the Land of Lincoln USA.

Edited: May 19, 2009, 4:57am Top

42! You're back. I'm flattered by the abuse. I just stack my books any old way between the Tijuana Bibles and the German version of Ivanhoe.

I've ordered twice off the website listed in 318 and never received the book. I had to do it twice since my CC expired before receipt of "The Moon and Sixpence" from the first attempt.

May 11, 2009, 10:40pm Top

smudgie, I ordered Northanger Abbey and another of the series from Dolphin Books and the excuse was that another buyer also ordered so they were unavailable. Perhaps she simply does not sell to the U.S. though she could be more honest about it.

May 19, 2009, 4:57am Top

Really? She told me she had misplaced Northanger Abbey. I did receive what I ordered quickly. Both had the inserts as well. Very strange....

May 28, 2009, 2:27am Top

Hello all, I'm back. I just placed an order for three titles from the link in message 317. Thanks for the tip. I won't hold my breath for their arrival, judging from the experiences most of you have had with RD, but if they do arrive I'll be up to 103. What's the official count these days?

May 31, 2009, 6:48pm Top

>322 sjflan:

Hmmm....103 and still reading eh? You don't sound a day over eighty :o)

Jun 2, 2009, 1:33am Top

Oh, I haven't read any yet. I'm waiting until I complete the set, then I'm going to read them in order, although I have yet to establish that order. I'll probably start with the blue ones. What color is Ivanhoe?

Jun 4, 2009, 9:24am Top

>324 sjflan:

Ivanhoe? Oh, yes, him. Well, he's sort of rusty colour mostly with oily patches on the bendy bits.

Jul 15, 2009, 6:46pm Top

>319 smudgie:

Hello Smudgie: With the sub-prime lending crisis in full swing; how did you get on when you asked for the moon and sixpence with your credit card?…………….

>317 EDSOWN69:

Has anyone ever had a book from the site mentioned?

Jul 29, 2009, 5:34am Top

I never have received any book from the website. I'll wait to see if anyone posts that they have. I suppose one could call the toll free number.

Jul 29, 2009, 8:17pm Top

I ordered a book also never heard a word.

Aug 13, 2009, 5:45pm Top

Didn't work for me either. I ordered three books and saw the charge hit my credit card account online, then the charge disappeared a few days later. Nobody at Reader's Digest could find any record of it. So I ordered the books again and had my credit card company verify the charge was really from Readers Digest. They did verify it, but then it disappeared again and nobody has any record of it. Weird.

Aug 28, 2009, 2:28pm Top

Have recently started collecting WBR,s, early days yet, 33 titles so far, long way to go.
Anyone interested in exchanging doublers,please let me know,thanks
Yours Robert

Edited: Aug 29, 2009, 8:06pm Top

>319 smudgie:-321, 326-329

"I ordered three books and saw the charge hit my credit card account online, then the charge disappeared a few days later. Nobody at Reader's Digest could find any record of it. So I ordered the books again and had my credit card company verify the charge was really from Readers Digest. They did verify it, but then it disappeared again and nobody has any record of it."

The investment Ed and I made in purchasing the old RD Sperry Univac mainframe this past March is working out much better than we had ever thought possible. It came with a full inventory database complete with book cover images and everything, so we are able to advertise for sale, on our web site, any of the book titles in the series ... even though we don't actually have any inventory to sell (other than a couple of ratty duplicates from our own collections). The mainframe system was delivered to us already pre-configured to automatically accept the credit card charges that people must make when they order from our web site, however when we issue CC charge credits back to these customers because we don't have the titles that are ordered, for some peculiar reason those credits get debited from the current RD computer system instead of ours. RD is so disorganized that it doesn't appear to have noticed what is going on. Meanwhile, Ed and I have grossed over 7 figures in sales since April, and the business just keeps on growing.

So I would just like to offer a very big thank you to everyone that has ordered WBR books from our web site, and please, please keep those orders coming. Ed and I have to supplement the loss in our 401K plans somehow otherwise we will not be able to retire before we're 85. So thank you all once again for making it possible for two old geezers to have some kind of decent retirement.


Lincoln, NE

Virtual books for real cash. You too can build a virtual library of classic titles that will last a lifetime, and then some!

Aug 29, 2009, 4:13pm Top

Reader's Digest files for bankruptcy

No wonder. Here is a group that wants to buy their product and can't. Those of you that are on the 1 book every 2 months please keep us informed


Edited: Sep 1, 2009, 3:24pm Top

>332 jefbra:

The latest news is that RD is currently operating under Chapter 3 bankruptcy protection. It had initially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 8/17/09 but then senior RD executives decided to condense the process. RD assures all its customers that there will be no noticeable degradation in its normal level of customer service during the expected 45-90 days of expedited bankruptcy protection while the company significantly restructures its outstanding debt with a majority of its secured lenders.

Edited: Sep 5, 2009, 10:06pm Top

I mean, worst case scenario, if they stopped the WBR series, it would finally make it possible to have a "complete set".

Edited: Oct 11, 2009, 1:56pm Top

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Oct 5, 2009, 10:46pm Top

Glances on as the knotted ball of tumbleweed drifts by aimlessly...

Nov 7, 2009, 11:10pm Top

It's been awhile since I have checked these postings....Personal problems!!
I gather, hopefully correctly, that you are selling WBR books over a web site. Will you please post the web site address. Or send it me at jackzdoris@yahoo.com. Thanks

Nov 8, 2009, 9:59pm Top

Posted messaage # 337 was intended for Rule42.

Nov 20, 2009, 4:48pm Top

Message removed.

Nov 20, 2009, 5:04pm Top

Yes and so is the latest The Confidence Man by Herman Melville which is on Ebay.

Edited: Nov 21, 2009, 12:37pm Top

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Nov 21, 2009, 6:41pm Top

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Nov 21, 2009, 9:02pm Top

>342 katiecat123: I also received Ethan Frome and Summer today. Return of the Native is easy Ebay or one of the other book searchs can find it. Tanglewood Tales has never been confirmed as a book from WBR. I don't beleive it is. And it is not on any of its lists.

Nov 22, 2009, 10:20am Top

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Nov 22, 2009, 4:36pm Top

Good luck with ever talking to customer service! As far as ISBNs as stated in prior messages they are none after 2004. You are welcome to view my library to see that Princess and Return of the Native does exists.

Nov 23, 2009, 1:20pm Top

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Nov 23, 2009, 1:30pm Top

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Nov 23, 2009, 5:12pm Top

Check your inbox messages.

Edited: Dec 14, 2009, 7:52pm Top

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Nov 25, 2009, 10:41am Top

Also, does anyone know anything about the last book posted on Wikipedia, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time?

Edited: Nov 25, 2009, 11:56am Top

Message removed.

Nov 25, 2009, 2:48pm Top

>337 jackzdoris: & 338

"I gather, hopefully correctly, that you are selling WBR books over a web site."

Unfortunately, you gather incorrectly. I'm not selling any books via a website, and I don't own a Sperry-Univac mainframe computer, nor do I own a business called WBR Я US, nor am I located in Lincoln, NE. Post #331 is simply satire based on the shared experiences of other LTers documented in the various posts that it references. Sheeesh!


P.S. Before you ask, I also don't own a 3-legged dog with a wooden leg !!

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Dec 1, 2009, 4:13pm Top

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:45pm Top

Hello, I am new here. My wife and I are trying to collect this series but we only have around 20 so far. What are your recommendations for getting our set to grow? From what I have read some of ours seem to be slightly harder to find (like Gulliver's travels) but when looking to buy we always see the same ones on sale on ebay. We want to get the set without having to buy half of them more than once. Suggestions? Thanks!

Dec 2, 2009, 9:01pm Top

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Dec 6, 2009, 10:38pm Top

Jacque85, I have some of WBR from the original series that I will consider getting rid of if you are interested. I think I left you a messege at your member page with my email address. I know there is not enough time for me to comple the series so, if you can find the messege I left for you, please contact me.

Edited: Dec 21, 2009, 6:52pm Top

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Dec 10, 2009, 9:28pm Top

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Dec 11, 2009, 1:00pm Top

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Dec 13, 2009, 3:31pm Top

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Edited: Dec 19, 2009, 8:29pm Top

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Dec 23, 2009, 10:34am Top

Does anyone know where I can get Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, or Heart of Darkness?

Dec 29, 2009, 5:03pm Top

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Dec 29, 2009, 7:05pm Top

It's nice that the list on Wikipedia is fairly clear and concise--but it stops with what is numbered as #123, listed as A Brief History of Time. Could some generous soul with knowledge of current releases from WBR complete the list on this site, so those of us who are novices can add to the Wikipedia Site. I attempted to get a complete list from Reader's Digest, but it seems they operate in secret, naming no names and giving little information. Curiouser and curiouser! Thanks--in advance!

Edited: Feb 3, 2010, 2:42pm Top

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Dec 30, 2009, 12:24am Top

Thanks for taking the time to make the list; I realize there will be quibbles concerning some of the oddities in other languages or those releases without a date, but the excellent alpha title list is much appreciated! Now the job is not only to collect the titles--but to start reading all the titles one has yet to read (and I've been avoiding Hardy for decades!)

Edited: Dec 30, 2009, 1:33pm Top

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Jan 1, 2010, 10:23am Top

Stumbled accross these pages. I have collected RD WBR series for several years now. Have given up a time or because couldn't find any more at the used book stores. I go on the internet - ebay from time to time to see what titles are out there. Recently in late 2009 I found two more titles at a used book store so maybe they are continuing the series. They had a date of publication from 2007 maybe. Obscure titles I thought - will have to look on my shelf.
I have never had luck contacting RD and they are no help. There only mission is to get you to sign up which I would never do.
So if you still have a list of your books please send to me. I have about 80 some titles now and so I know if you have 90 plus you must know some titles that I don't know about. Thanks so much!

Jan 1, 2010, 10:23am Top

Stumbled accross these pages. I have collected RD WBR series for several years now. Have given up a time or because couldn't find any more at the used book stores. I go on the internet - ebay from time to time to see what titles are out there. Recently in late 2009 I found two more titles at a used book store so maybe they are continuing the series. They had a date of publication from 2007 maybe. Obscure titles I thought - will have to look on my shelf.
I have never had luck contacting RD and they are no help. There only mission is to get you to sign up which I would never do.
So if you still have a list of your books please send to me. I have about 80 some titles now and so I know if you have 90 plus you must know some titles that I don't know about. Thanks so much!

Jan 1, 2010, 10:25am Top

Hi is your name Denny and are you in Ohio? I am in Virginia. I corresponded with Denny about collecting the RD books several years ago.

Jan 1, 2010, 10:57am Top

hi Rule 42
I hope this chain still exists. It is now Jan 1, 2010 and I finally had a minute to go back and research about one of my favorite subjects- which is collecting books. and i found this chain again. I see I was there before. and I see your answer which was well researched (above). I do apologize if I did not answer you then. Where does time go? Three years!

I have found two titles in the RD series recently that I didn't have - so maybe I should pursue this again.

I do better with email so I will have to try harder to stay on top of the LT. Hope you get this still
Edenton, North Carolina

Jan 2, 2010, 11:04am Top

This chain exists, though it has been gathering dust for about a year and a half. When RD finally sent (me and others) that list, I think that killed it. Just a note to the newbies: You can find a "complete" list if you look around April 2008 posts. It has everything up to the end of that year. Anybody with information on books published since then, please share said info. The books are still in publication, and I believe they publish about 6 titles a year.

I think it has long since been established that Tanglewood Tales does not exist in the WBR series.

Just a note, that in keeping this forum as easy to read as possible (with almost 400 posts), please do not give us the complete list of WBR books you have collected. If you are providing information, like an e-bay link that will be useless in 10 days, please come back and delete your post.

I am now up to about 73 Titles. I am realizing, just like everybody else, that some titles will be harder sought than others, but I have so far been able to find even some newer titles at my local bookstore. I can't afford to be TOO obsessive about completing the set right now, and I assume that some of the now-rare newer titles will come down in price as they start to re-circulate in the public sphere. I think I can get Dracula online for just $49.95 plus shipping!!!!

Jan 2, 2010, 7:33pm Top

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Jan 4, 2010, 7:07pm Top

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Jan 8, 2010, 1:22pm Top

Thank you for your list msg367 29/12/09, have recently started collection August 2009.
Have 64 books with inserts, 30 without inserts and 30 duplications. Do you think only books with inserts count as
collectable? Duplicated copies available free to fellow collectors. Happy Hunting 2010.

Jan 10, 2010, 12:19am Top

Found a new 2010. Where Angels Fear To Tread / A Room With A View by E.M. Forster.

Item number: 350297902018

on eBay

Jan 13, 2010, 2:45pm Top

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Jan 13, 2010, 2:55pm Top

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Jan 16, 2010, 9:53am Top

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Edited: Jan 16, 2010, 10:14am Top

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Jan 18, 2010, 8:50am Top

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Jan 18, 2010, 7:43pm Top

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Jan 23, 2010, 12:54pm Top

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Jan 24, 2010, 6:18pm Top

For any of you who may be interested, there is now a Facebook group devoted to the WBR collection at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=265985874037&ref=mf . Not trying to divert anybody from all the effort which has gone into this page, but I feel like the more resources we have, the better.

Jan 25, 2010, 9:10pm Top

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Jan 26, 2010, 9:48am Top

I have a question. Is Paradise Lost an actual book in this series? Every time I have seen a "copy" on ebay (two or three times) it has been a safe that looks like a book. Does anyone actually have a copy of the book and can confirm that it is actually part of the series. I noticed the picture posted earlier conveniently does not show pages, just the cover. I have seen the debate going and thought that I would throw in my two cents.

Jan 26, 2010, 10:15am Top

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Edited: Jan 26, 2010, 8:23pm Top

Ya, won't ever see me paying $75 (or $35) for any of the books in this set, since you can get them from the bookstore for $5;

P.S.-Paradise Lost isn't on my "official list". I think its existence has been debunked. If you get a hold of one, let us know.

Jan 26, 2010, 7:48pm Top

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Jan 27, 2010, 3:29pm Top

I ordered Little Men and Sons and Lovers directly through www.rdstore.com for $10 each. A real bargain, except the books arrived with inventory stickers on the spine that are IMPOSSIBLE to remove. Also, there are no illustrations and no inserts. I'm extremely disappointed. If anybody knows how I can get the adhesive off without damaging the book's surface please let me know. So far I've only done the pick, pick, pick method.

If I don't send these back I'm at 101. The newer editions aren't as nice-looking as the older ones so I am less motivated to add to my set unless the price is right.

Jan 27, 2010, 3:36pm Top

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Jan 28, 2010, 9:58am Top

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Jan 28, 2010, 12:41pm Top

I have Paradise Lost. Its published by Readers Digest and looks like Worlds Best Reading. But its actually hollow and can be used to store valuables.

Jan 28, 2010, 4:22pm Top

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Edited: Feb 2, 2010, 7:48pm Top

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Feb 2, 2010, 1:21am Top

Frankenstein sold for $112.50 on eBay today. Wow. Is it really that rare? I don't have it, does anybody else? You would assume they would make a somewhat uniform number of copies of each book in a series. So what happened to all the Frankensteins?

Feb 2, 2010, 7:18am Top

It only sold for that because somebody was stupid enough to pay that much. I can wait a few years, then I can get it for $5 at the bookstore. Even some of the newer titles have been coming through cheap.

Feb 2, 2010, 10:10am Top

It takes at least two people to bid it up. If someone was stupid enough to pay $112.50, that means somebody else was willing to pay $110.00. I've never seen it on eBay or Abebooks.com or in any bookstore. But I'm with you. At that price I'll wait or just go without. The most I've paid so far is about $22 for a few of the titles I had to get all the way from New Zealand. Most everything else has been in the $5-8 range.

Feb 2, 2010, 10:19am Top

>399 sjflan:

Only $112.50 !!! WOW, whoever won that copy got it at a steal compared to this one a few days ago: 270517182799

Almost a 30% discount, the lucky devil !

And just think, that $166+ copy didn't even have the insert plus it had the previous owner's initials written on the front endpapers. Personally, I feel the seller of that one migjht have done even better with his listing if he had smeared some doggy poop on the book before listing it ... he probably would have got over $500 for it if he had!

Yesterday I finally completed the paperwork for a second mortgage on my home so I can go bid on this little baby that is ending soon: 280458638515. No insert, lots of water damage, and it no longer has the original binding ... how rare is that? I bet there is not another copy like it anywhere! I'm reckoning that one will require at least a four digit bid in order to stand any chance of winning it. I really wish all the pages were dog-eared, but what can you do, eh? Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to getting your mitts on rare classic fiction.

And to those of you that have been pimping either your own or other people's eBay listings on this thread please keep up the good work. Thanks to you guys my RD WBR collection is now increasing in value faster than my 401K or my home ever did. If things continue at this rate I'm going to have to keep my pristine copy of the WBR edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls in a safe it will be so valuable.

Oh, I do soooooo love collecting this series ....

Feb 2, 2010, 2:51pm Top

Where are the pictures on this website? Other wise, send me an email and I will send you a picture.

Feb 2, 2010, 2:58pm Top

This last message was intended for Kitiecat123 and the picture in question was Paradise Lost

Feb 2, 2010, 5:28pm Top

I would like to see a picture of the Paradise Lost book safe also.

Rule 42, I have a few duplicates in my collection. I would be happy to submerge them in water and dog-ear the pages for you if you like. Would you be willing to trade your pristine copy of Frankenstein for a "unique" copy of The Innocents Abroad? I can also have my children fashion custom inserts for anybody who is interested.

Feb 2, 2010, 6:52pm Top

"And to those of you that have been pimping either your own or other people's eBay listings on this thread please keep up the good work. Thanks to you guys my RD WBR collection is now increasing in value faster than my 401K or my home ever did. If things continue at this rate I'm going to have to keep my pristine copy of the WBR edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls in a safe it will be so valuable."

Well put. My wife and I started collecting these because we are poor and they were an inexpensive way to provide good literature to our children. I guess somebody always has to step in and ruin things. It is so typical of modern day ethics. First, you create a need (making relatively simple items seem rare and ultra-desireable), then you fill that need (by selling said items at a high price)

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Feb 3, 2010, 1:10am Top

>405 sjflan:

If you could scratch and rip the finished surface of the front board of your copy of The Innocents Abroad as well as dunking it in water, dog-earing all the pages, and having your little Dylan write his name in crayon on the FFEP in addition to individually customizing the insert for me, then I would most definitely want to purchase it from you. I think it would be really cool to be the only person on my block to own such a highly original - dare I say "very rare" (there! I said it!) - copy of that particular WBR edition. It would give me super-duper bragging rights amongst all my bookish friends for literally ages and ages. :)

Would you accept $500 for it? I would probably be stealing it from you at that price but that is all I can afford right now because economically things are very tight here. Of course, once my current batch of eBay listings for my recently patented "Dr. Stanley's Special Snake Oil Liniment" all finish at the end of next week I'll feel a little flusher and will perhaps be able to offer you more. I'm just hoping you'll be willing to cut me a good deal on this one. You can see from that $166 Frankenstein eBay listing how much popular demand for WBR editions with ripped boards there is right now, and in order to not let this latest literary fad pass me by I'm quite desperate to purchase a very rare customized Twain anyway I can. If you could also possibly bump all the corners I think I would be in hog heaven!

Ooops, gotta go now ... one of my pet rocks just escaped from her cage!

Feb 3, 2010, 1:15am Top

>408 marfalous_star:

"I bought one on Amazon about a month ago for $20. I think it all depends are where you look and from whom you buy."

Or perhaps there is some actual merit in that famous quote attributed to P.T. Barnum?

"As for Frankenstein, since July 2009 I have seen it on eBay four times. The first went for $55, the second went for around $60 then the last two were just these last weeks at $162 and $112 respectively."

Hmmm, $55/$60 versus $162 and $112. That's a 200% and 300% increase in price in just the last week - and both were seriously flawed copies, with the more expensive one missing its insert. If those ridiculous prices were for pristine "like new" copies it would be bad enough, but those were both only worthless "reading copies". Both of the sellers effectively stated they were such in their respective listings (but, of course, couched in somewhat different terms).

It's "interesting" that you only posted links on this thread to those last two eBay listings but not the first two. Do you think that there might just possibly be some causal connection between the price differential involved here?

Feb 3, 2010, 1:31am Top

>407 marfalous_star:

Read the last paragraph of post #29 on this thread and, in particular, click on the "U.S. Patent" link and read what it says there carefully. Note especially the date of the patent and to whom it was issued.

RD used that patent to produce a "book safe" in the design of a WBR edition of Paradise Lost. The "book safe" looks just like a real book in a photograph, especially in a face-on photograph of just the front board. You could not tell if a book had been hollowed out in its center just by looking at a face-on picture of its front board. Ditto the "book safe"! Your photograph could be of either a real WBR edition of Milton's work OR the RD "book safe" designed to look like one. That is the issue. The Paradise Lost "book safe" most definitely exists - that had already been established when I made post #29 nearly 3 years ago.

The $64,000 question is whether it was designed to look like an actual issue in the WBR series (and the book edition ALSO exists) or whether the Paradise Lost book design was utilized by RD only for the "book safe" (and there exists no corresponding book edition). The photograph in your link neither proves nor disproves the existence of the actual book edition.

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Feb 3, 2010, 3:25pm Top

The picture of Paradise Lost at http://www.illegal-tintagel-mast.com/boo... is the picture of Paradise Lost that I have. It is true this book is not a book but a book safe. I can provide an interior picture of the book if you send me an e-mail asking for it.

Edited: Feb 4, 2010, 7:12pm Top

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Feb 4, 2010, 8:43pm Top

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Feb 4, 2010, 9:02pm Top

One thought on "Paradise Lost". If you have the book-safe stacked with the rest of the collection, then you found an actual copy, wouldn't your set look silly with two copies of the same work. I would almost put money on there not being an actual book. I wonder if the book safe has a few pages in the beginning to look more genuine, or if it is a pure book safe with no real "pages" at all.

Feb 7, 2010, 2:19am Top

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Feb 7, 2010, 7:52am Top

#352 LOL 42. The dog is back! He's very disappointed in the timing of his return as he missed Gulliver's on Ebay by minutes. One of his few open spots on the shelf. The dog feels the WBR series has surpassed gold as the newest asset bubble. Judging from the latest posts and prices I'd have to agree.

Feb 7, 2010, 1:17pm Top

#417 KeithMateo

Try your local Goodwill store. Moby Dick is one of the titles that seems to be in abundance. I picked up a pristine copy with the insert for a friend just a few days ago for $1.29. You shouldn't have to hunt too hard or pay too much for a good copy of Moby Dick.

Smudgie -- if you need my kids to "weatherize" some of your books to make them more valuable let me know! Otherwise, I'm with Rule42 -- if it's beat up and/or water-damaged I'll wait for another copy to surface.

Feb 7, 2010, 3:27pm Top

#419 sjflan

After I posted the message I found a bunch that fit the bill. Thanks!

Feb 9, 2010, 2:39pm Top

>418 smudgie:

"One of his few open spots on the shelf."

Well, I'm quite sure you were able to nicely plug a couple of the few open spots in your WBR library with your copies of the German language edition of Ivanhoe and your French language edition of Dracula. What's next on your agenda? A Russian language edition of Robinson Crusoe perhaps? :)

BTW, in fairly recent SEC filings, RD claimed that it publishes the WBR series, in various regions around the world, in two languages - but it didn't state which ones! I've never been able to determine what that other language is. One possibility is that it refers to French editions of WBR titles released in French speaking regions of Canada (and, of course, France and any old French colonies). Another possibility could indeed be German editions of WBR titles released in Germany and Austria - but Ivanhoe isn't one of them. From a marketing potential, Spanish would be the most obvious second choice language because of the large number of Spanish-speaking national markets that could open up for RD. OTOH, perhaps in claiming support of two languages RD was only referring to the fact that it published these titles in both American English and British English editions ... two great nations separated by a common language and all that!

Feb 9, 2010, 3:57pm Top

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Feb 9, 2010, 9:07pm Top

I paid $5.99 for "The Magnificent Ambersons" in new condition with insert at my local bookstore just last month.

Feb 10, 2010, 1:38am Top

I paid $9 for Black Arrow today at a local book store. No need to pay through the nose on eBay if you can be patient.

Feb 10, 2010, 10:53am Top

Hey orgelquaeler. The book safe book has no pages at all.

Feb 10, 2010, 12:57pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 10, 2010, 9:27pm Top

Indeed, every night I get down onto my knees and pray to the god that is Half Price Books.

Edited: Feb 13, 2010, 6:42pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Feb 12, 2010, 5:53pm Top

>407 marfalous_star: & 428

"But if this is not appreciated, I can stop."

Can you? Can you really? It doesn't appear like you can to me. There have been a number of posts made above mildly admonishing your compulsive obsession with taking over this thread and turning it into your own personal patch of the web where you can continually pimp and shill the eBay listings of selected titles in the WBR series listed by your friends and others. Yet, despite that, you are back doing it again.

I and others have tried the indirect approach but apparently satire and irony are completely lost on you. So let me now try the direct approach. What you are effectively posting on these boards is SPAM. SPAMMING is against the terms of the LT TOS to which you agreed when you became a member of LT. Using the LTMB to drum up internet traffic for eBay listings that are concurrently active makes you an active shill for those listings. What you are doing here might be acceptable if you gave equal weight and attention to ALL eBay listings of WBR titles, but you continually focus solely on a few eBay listings of the more outrageously and exorbitantly overpriced issues ... thus almost guaranteeing that their prices will be driven higher still.

At the end of the day, your recent "contributions" to these boards amount to no more than trying your utmost to create as much of a pricing bubble for selected WBR titles as you possibly can. How on earth can you equate that result with your hypocritical claim that your postings here are only trying to help other fellow collectors accumulate titles in this series? If you really wanted to help others with collecting this series surely it would be much more helpful to draw attention here instead to those eBay listings that offer large sets of the WBR books (e.g., lots of 20 or more)? I know I would have personally saved a large chunk of change on what I've spent on this series if someone had initially pointed out to me that I could have kick-started my collection by buying my first 70 or so titles in the WBR series with a few job lots on eBay where I would have ended up purchasing all those titles for an average price (after S&H is included) of about $3-$5 each. Most certainly less than $8 each.

OTOH you appear to only be interested in helping to direct traffic to listings of books that sell for secondhand prices that are much higher than they cost if you purchased them brand new directly from RD? How exactly does encouraging other collectors of this series to pay through the nose for books they could buy much cheaper (if they were a little more savvy about it) help them in their overall quest? Alternatively, how do your actions here in assisting in directing unmerited largesse into the pockets of greedy eBayers help RD (which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2009 and is currently still in that status) continue to produce quality titles in this series? Personally, I would much prefer that RD directly received $166 for each of its newly published titles rather than watch opportunist eBay sellers receive that much for copies they have clearly fished out of the bottom of dumpsters, or in the case of one of your friends' listings that you recently pimped here, out of the bottom of a toilet!

What on earth makes you arrogantly believe that no one else reading this thread is capable of conducting their own eBay searches for these books? If you attempted to do what you are doing here on the eBay message boards you would be permanently suspended by eBay in a heartbeat. So why do you persist in doing your shilling of selective eBay listings on these boards instead? I'm sure I speak for many others that follow this thread in the background when I say: marfalous_shill, please, please, please, cease and desist your spamming of this thread. Thank you.

Feb 12, 2010, 7:32pm Top

>419 sjflan:

"... if it's beat up and/or water-damaged I'll wait for another copy to surface."

I think it's very apt to describe that recent overpriced copy of Gulliver's Travels as having surfaced ... because it looked to me as if it had literally surfaced from the bottom of that eBay seller's toilet bowl! LMAO here. Only a complete fool would buy an item described as being sold "as is" from an eBay seller that has a stated policy of "No Returns Accepted"! But apparently there were as many as four fools fighting over that particular waterlogged item in an attempt to earn themselves exactly that privilege. I just hope none of those foolish bidders found that particular listing as a result of the shill postings pimping it on this thread.

Feb 13, 2010, 10:15am Top

42 Amen. Thank you for your eloquent bashing in the previous posts. Some of us, who are not near any kind of bookstore, rely primarily on Ebay and Amazon for locating the series. Gulliver's was quite amusing. I was disappointed at first that I had missed it until I read the description. I'm sure they would bid on Swindle's Gullible's Travels as well. I have 9 (or 10-A Brief History Of Time"?)spots to fill and 2 are in the pimps listing above at $26 with days to go. You won't find my bid in either. Has anyone successfully ordered from the National Word Power website?? It remains unclear in previous posts.

Edited: Feb 13, 2010, 7:54pm Top


Apparently, politeness does not come in such abundance as your sarcasm. All you ever had to type was, "Please stop posting eBay listings. Thank you." instead of a thousand word essay. Although, I should feel flattered at having so many words posted in my direction on a public message board instead of on my profile page.

Feb 14, 2010, 10:10pm Top

>432 marfalous_star:

Well, if I had posted my message to your profile page you most likely would have deleted it, just as you have recently deleted almost every other LT post or message you were able to eradicate. Having my message immediately erased would have meant it was a complete waste of effort on my part writing it in the first place. Besides, it was the readers of this thread that you were spamming, not the readers of your own profile page. Perhaps, Miss Fawn Hall, I should feel equally flattered that one of the very few posts you've made on this thread that you haven't subsequently shredded was made, and specifically left in place, to simply lambaste me?

Feb 14, 2010, 11:03pm Top

In my defense, I say this:

I believe this community is made up of intelligent readers who enjoy this series and perhaps enjoy collecting this series. I believe these intelligent people can make their own searches and discover any of the books I happened to have posted on their own. I also believe that anyone who may not be a member but perhaps read this thread is also intelligent enough to make their own searches and discover any of the books I happened to have listed on this website. Therefore, I do not believe that my posts have impacted the interest in these auctions to the degree that I am being accused of.

"It's "interesting" that you only posted links on this thread to those last two eBay listings but not the first two. Do you think that there might just possibly be some causal connection between the price differential involved here?" Rule42 #410

"I guess somebody always has to step in and ruin things. It is so typical of modern day ethics. First, you create a need (making relatively simple items seem rare and ultra-desireable), then you fill that need (by selling said items at a high price)" Orguelqualer #406

I don't think that any one person can be held responsible for the bidding on an auction of another person.

That being said, I was also accused of believing myself superior to others who read or post on this thread:

"What on earth makes you arrogantly believe that no one else reading this thread is capable of conducting their own eBay searches for these books?" Rule42 #429

The argument cannot go both ways. Either I have generated interest that would otherwise have been ignorant of the eBay listings or my posts had no impact on the interest of the listings as those who would have been fully capable of finding said listings would have done so anyway.

And furthermore, I was never told explicitly to stop posting the listings. Instead, I was told:

"And to those of you that have been pimping either your own or other people's eBay listings on this thread please keep up the good work." Rule42 #402

The one stipulation that I received early in the thread:

"If you are providing information, like an e-bay link that will be useless in 10 days, please come back and delete your post." Orguelqualer #374

I have complied with without complaint. So why would you assume that if you asked me stop posting listings that I would ignore your requests? Based on my past behaviors, such assumption is arrogant and impolite. It can also be inferred from this stipulation that it is acceptable to post eBay listings here. Never did I vouch for the condition of any eBay listing nor did I advise anyone to bid on any of these listings.

I have treated everyone here with respect and courtesy and expect to be treated the same way.

Feb 15, 2010, 1:01am Top

I vote on Smudgie and Rule42's side. We can look up eBay listings ourselves if we are interested. If the prices weren't so ridiculously high it wouldn't be so obnoxious, but if you would have bothered to read the whole thread you would see that we old-timers are patiently collecting these books at bargain prices. You've kind of taken over with information we really aren't interested in. A GOOD lead from a fellow LTMB'er was that the rdstore.com sometimes carries somewhat recent titles for $10. Do you see the difference?

But thanks for the Goo Gone tip. It worked great. I discovered that it also gets bubble gum off little boys' chests.

Feb 15, 2010, 9:39am Top

Get over it. We've all had 42's acrimonius posts directed at us. Everyone has their part to play. Who else would share RD SEC filings with us! (I'm sure the second language referred to is German BTW) I do agree with Flan that none of us needs any help finding the books on Ebay. Everyone has their own techniques for locating the series from unknowing listers. The purpose of the thread has always been to find the more rare sources and keep the cost of collecting low. That said what is the official word on "A Brief History of Time"? Should it be number 128? Is it printed in English or German? The Wikilist needs some work I see.

Feb 15, 2010, 11:37am Top

>435 sjflan:

"A GOOD lead from a fellow LTMB'er was that the rdstore.com sometimes carries somewhat recent titles for $10."

Just a minute, wasn't the "fellow LTMB'er" that made that recommendation back in post #393 YOU, Sally? Oh dear, IMHO that's just not right! Here we are criticizing other LTMB'ers (how do you pronounce that BTW? Litumbers?) for pimping pages in their posts that exist off of the LT web site and in the middle of all that controversy and contention you start posting approbation and praise for previous personal plugs posted on this selfsame page (try saying that three times very quickly!). I'm afraid that level of pimping is just way too ouroborian (ouroboric?) for my delicate sensibilities. I mean, whatever next? What sort of Pimp Hell or crazy pandermonium will such self-referential post plugging lead us into if we don't all club together and squish it out right now? Sheesh, the next thing you know Litumbers will be pimping unique phraseology and words in their posts that occur elsewhere in that selfsame post.

Hmmm, now I remember my mother once telling me that you should never squish a Pimp Hell because you'll only end up spreading it. Oh my, what to do, what to do? :(

Feb 15, 2010, 12:28pm Top

Wasn't me, Rule42!

It was somebody else in an earlier post. I visited the rdstore.com on their suggestion and merely reported back to the group that it was true those hard-to-find titles were available for just $10. If you can't find the original post perhaps it was (gulp) marsomething's that she erased?

I don't pronounce it. I just read it in my head.

Feb 15, 2010, 4:21pm Top

>436 smudgie:

"We've all had 42's acrimonius posts directed at us."

Hey, I resemble that remark! Not "all" have ... mostly it's just been you, you schmuck! :)

BTW, I believe Acrimonius was a Roman legionnaire. Perhaps what you really meant to say there was 'acrimonious'?

"The purpose of the thread has always been to find the more rare sources and keep the cost of collecting low."

Actually, I believe that was never the intent of the thread at all as started by its OP. I think mbahawk would have much preferred to talk about and discuss the content of the books (particularly the illustrations of the earlier editions) rather than have all the discussion on the thread confined mostly to identifying which titles are in the series (an understandable focus given the nature of this series and how the publisher goes about supporting it - or perhaps that should be, failing miserably in supporting it - but a very lamentable focus, nevertheless), or even the latest twist of emphasis (created by someone that will remain nameless) that has now shifted the thread discussion even further away from the literary content of these books onto solely that of which of the titles are the most expensive or difficult to obtain (which by the merest coincidence just happen to be some of the books that person also has listed up on eBay).

The focus on the accumulation of these books over their content is probably why the OP became quickly disenchanted with the direction the discussion on this thread almost immediately took off in, and thus he never returned back to it. Personally, I don't blame him, and I have to admit I feel similarly disillusioned with the direction this thread has taken, particularly in the last few months. It appears to me that many of the people posting on this thread are more intent on collecting the books like Pokémon cards than they are interested in actually reading them. If people want to collect something that "looks purdy on their shelves" IMO they would be much better off collecting Hummels instead. Unlike Hummel figurines these books have a much greater utility value to those of us that thirst for knowledge, wit and shared human experience. Many posting here don't appear to realize that you have to actually put the effort in to also read the books - rather than just track down, buy, hoard, shill and brag about them - in order to attain those benefits.

"That said what is the official word on 'A Brief History of Time'?"

I find the fact that you even ask that question to be very, very troubling indeed! :(

"The Wikilist needs some work I see."

It always has. IMO most of the information on the WBR series that has been added over there in the last couple of years or so has been gleaned from this thread, so your using it as a way to double check the accuracy of what is posted here is a bit like comparing your firsthand life experiences to those portrayed and simulated in a movie in order to convince yourself that you are indeed alive.

Edited: Feb 16, 2010, 9:05am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
It is funny how ignorant and like a hypocrite you sound Rule42. You say you want the book series to enhance your reading and intellectial knowledge but you can get the exact same text and stories with the exact same words from Barnes and Noble for a mere fraction of these, "so called", inflated cost. You would only spend a mere penny, I should say only about $10 to obtain these stories to merely read. If they want to collect, then let them collect. I will not let the fact that I cannot afford these editions of these treasured stories keep me from my academic pursuits of knowledge that is expanding daily.

But please save all of us the BS speech of "I want these just to read". Give me a break.

If you want to start a thread on this site to discuss reading these books then start one on you own that is dedicated solely to the purpose of "just reading and not selling or buying" of these books. That is just my humble suggestion.

By the way, if you want a society were you can get everything you want and we all have the same exact items try communism. Read the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. Look it up, genius! Last time I remember in the United States we were a capitalistic society and the inflated prices of these books are actually a good thing. They are doing what we expert economist call, "establishing market value". Simple econ101 that a child can understand. And, if you want a feverous and heated discussion on why you are so wrong on so many levels on this topic economically and socially feel free to leave a post on my page, moron. Otherwise, leave these people alone.

You are nothing but brutish bully and if I met you in person I would be less polite.

You are a punk and a vile human being. An insignificant little man that is mad because he wants what someone else has, isn't willing to have the drive and ambition to get it financially, and cannot have for one reason or another.

They are books, and if you like to read the stories and are not here to "blast people" for your simple childish 13 year old ammusement then buy the cheaper versions from other publishers. Otherwise shut your piehole!

Feb 16, 2010, 12:05pm Top

"If they want to collect, then let them collect."

EXACTLY!!! Rule42's complaint is that these people aren't here because they are collecting. A mere few minutes research will show you that marfalous_star and katiecat123 are using this thread to advertise THEIR OWN eBAY LISTINGS!!!

But they don't have the nerve to say "hey, I've got some books on eBay you all might be interested in." That's against LTMB rules, but at least it's respectable because it's honest. No, these ladies think they being are sneaky about advertising their own listings.

Feb 16, 2010, 6:30pm Top

I have posted eBay listings of multiple sellers, not just KatieKat or myself. But that is neither here nor there.

Let us come to an agreement and move on.

I have agreed to discontinue posting eBay listings or listings from other websites on the board at the request of members and also because it detracts from the hunting aspect of collecting these books. For this, I apologize as I did not intend to cause grief. I am interested in the pricing patterns of these books and perhaps this history amuses me more than others. I propose that if one wishes to discuss current listings of books on eBay or otherwise, I suggest we do so on our profile pages in order to keep the board clean to book discussions only.

Likewise, I propose that if a member has a grievance against another member, it too is restricted to profile pages for the comfort of other members.

I am advocating that we treat each other with resepct and courtesy to encourage the collecting of this series. In that way, we may post topics, observations, and questions concerning the books without fear of derisive comments and certainly not name-calling.

>435 sjflan:

We have discussed A Brief History of Time earlier in the posts, but to summarize, no one here can confirm its existence as it does not show up on any official RD list nor have members with subscriptions during that time received it as part of their order nor has it showed up for sale on any book site anywhere to the knowledge of these members. It is therefore speculated that it does not exist.

Edited: Feb 17, 2010, 8:49pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
>441 sjflan:

Thank you, Comrade Sally, for pointing that out. :)

>434 marfalous_star: "I have treated everyone here with respect and courtesy and expect to be treated the same way."
>440 marfalbooks: "You are nothing but brutish bully and if I met you in person I would be less polite."
>440 marfalbooks: "It is funny how ignorant and like a hypocrite you sound Rule42."

It would appear that out here in the Russian capital the words "hypocrite", "courtesy" and "polite" have quite different meanings than they do in Columbus, OH. Now I'm kind of curious exactly how less polite Jessica / Jason could be in person. :)

Jessica's testosterone levels are obviously raging today ... or maybe it was just Jason's estrogen levels that were peaking a few posts ago. Not only does Jessicajason Pettypatty have problems not understanding that shilling eBay auctions is unethical, he/she appears to also have difficulty deciding which gender he/she is on any given web site, and whether he/she should make him/herself an innocent victim of a brutish bully, or just go all out on the attack. BTW Jason, what are you wearing today, sweetie?

>440 marfalbooks:

"You would only spend a mere penny, I should say only about $10 to obtain these stories to merely read."

Thank you so very much Jason - may I call you that, BTW? - for so concisely making the point that Comrade Sally, Comrade Dave, Comrade Smudgie's dog, and myself (Comrade BrutishBully) have all repeatedly been trying to explain to you here ...

Indeed, the B&N Classic fiction series available from any B&N book store is probably the closest competition there is to the WBR series of classic English fiction sold by RD via subscription. At "about $10" you appear to understand the correct pricing levels for the B&N titles. However, you equate "a mere penny" with $10 when in fact the latter amount is three order of magnitudes larger.

Likewise, your claiming that a ripped and seriously flawed edition of the Shelley (eBay id.: 270517182799) is genuinely worth $162+ when, in reality, it is barely worth $1.60 (two order of magnitudes smaller) similarly demonstrates your woefully poor grasp of basic arithmetic.

Those of us posting here that can handle 5th grade math may all be communists in your eyes, but it would appear that you are the one who has all the red flags.

>442 marfalous_star:

Ooops, stop press ... looks like the estrogen is kicking in again! :(

Feb 16, 2010, 7:25pm Top

Does anyone have a complete list of the B&N Classic fiction series?

Edited: Feb 16, 2010, 7:32pm Top

I believe the first three titles in the B&N series are ...

Madame Et Monsieur Shill by Ray Bradbury

Plausible Denial by Mark Lane

Conflict of Interest by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

I'm still working on trying to track down some of the other titles. If anyone else knows of any please feel free to post them below.

Feb 17, 2010, 4:39am Top

This is a friendly reminder that the LibraryThing Terms of Service prohibits personal attacks on other LibraryThing members. You may criticize another member's words or ideas to your heart's content, but not the person. Name calling and insults are an easily identified instance of personal attack.

Thank you for your attention.

Feb 17, 2010, 3:41pm Top


So......the second language is Yiddish?

Edited: Feb 17, 2010, 9:09pm Top

>447 smudgie:

So who rattled your kennel?

I see from searching eBay that you have just put up for auction your very rare WBR foreign language editions of Ivanhoe and Dracula. Am I correct in now assuming that you are posting back here in order to help "establish" that both your listings achieve their correct "market value" as those here that are not "eletist (sic) communists" like me would appear to prefer calling that process? A shilling for your thoughts on that one. Make that 100 shillings ... after all, what's a mere couple of orders of magnitude between friends?

BTW, smudgie, are either of you or your faithful dog interested in purchasing any red flags? Ooops, I mean flags in lots of different colors only some of which will be red. But that is neither here nor there. I've been collecting the red flags on this site for quite a few years now but I've finally reached the stage where I'm prepared to sell off my very rare flag collection to the right sort of person (please contact me privately on my profile page to find out how you can download a copy of the necessary means test that you will be required to complete).

Also, while I'm thinking about this, should you or your dog have a grievance against me, please restrict posting it to my profile page for the comfort of other members in the same manner that other LTers have been doing recently. Member comfort is a serious concern of mine and I always try hard to please. Unfortunately, what the last LTer forgot to point out is that any oral stimulation of members will require an additional fee to be levied. :(

Edited: Feb 18, 2010, 10:21am Top

Staff here are very understanding of lapses of the rules. It is hard, we admit, in the heat of the moment to always be polite and distinguish between attacking words and attacking persons. People slip. But when a topic is warned specifically through the very rare act of staff intervention, I would expect that to have at least a temporary effect on the tenor of the conversation.

As before, if members have accusations to level against other members for spamming, sock-puppetry and so forth, they should do so to staff. Even if every accusation were true and worthy of punishment, that excuse violations of this or any other kind.

Members are on notice that further attacks of this kind will lead to suspension of Talk access, suspension of accounts, or deletion.

Feb 18, 2010, 5:31pm Top

42 - Sorry. It wasn't me at all. My guess is a thin skinned newbie. I'm not sure how the lenghthy URL got in my post either. I enjoy the comments. Keeps me on my toes? I'm not sure what you are trying to say about the purpose of the thread. It certainly appears you were instrumental in the direction. #20 "there are now three of us that are gold card-carrying members of the "RD WBR 70+ Club" etc. I've reread a lot of the posts and don't see much on content of the books at all. I know when I posted comments on "On Our Selection" it was ignored. Anyone willing to go off in that direction I'm with you.
The books are "purdy" and well constructed. One of my reasons to collect books that have been read before is the value they represent. I'm doing it for my grand children. Many of these titles I enjoyed as a youth and I hope they will too some day.
You may want to reserve your comments on grammer. They do seem petty. Without spellcheck I have to rely on these darn trifocals.

BTW - Where is Novak? Still in Guantanamo?

Feb 26, 2010, 6:20pm Top

450> Cold ! Hungry ! Don't like Jamacia...........

Mar 5, 2010, 11:20am Top

Now then ! children, I am rather cross with all of you !

I turn my back for a while and when I return you are all squabbling. It’s not good enough !!

As a punishment to the ringleaders I have hacked into your copies of “Silas Marner” and interfered with the illuminated text headings on chapters 15 and 16 by reversing them. THIS IS JUST A WARNING !! Those of you who find this has happened must be the guilty ones……………..

Any more unpleasantness on this thread and just imagine what I could do to your precious collection of WBRs. Now, be warned and play nicely.

(Wonderful what computers can do these days is it not?)

Mar 5, 2010, 7:35pm Top

LMAO Novak. I actually looked. Any other wierdnesses in this set that you know of?

Mar 26, 2010, 9:25am Top

OMG - I just searched the US Ebay site for series books. Seems the economy is rockin' N rollin' again. I'm of a mind to clear the shelf now. Screw the grandkids they can read paper backs! I figure I can get close to a year knocked of my working life sentence by selling them now. See you all in Uruguay. The dog and I are outta here soon as I sell them.

Novak - Barely have time for this so my profile will remain bare for some time to come. Maybe I'll just take pictures of the library to save time.
I would have checked Marner but it's on the bottom shelf.

Edited: Apr 3, 2010, 4:02pm Top

Oh! come on MONTAG !!!! Where are you?? By now you MUST have noticed that I snuck in and stole post 451 on this thread to stop you from getting it.

I'll bet you're just burning with envy...................

Edited: May 23, 2010, 10:54am Top

Novak & Montag,
You're needed in Texas!

May 27, 2010, 5:09pm Top

Hey Smudge: Glad to hear that Texas is still there, why do you need us though, don't you know we are getting over an election here......................

Jul 11, 2010, 9:41pm Top

I guess I am officially out of the "World's Best Reading group". I saw a copy of Madame Bovary in Columbus last week for $8.95. That is one of the titles I need, and I just walked past it with no regrets at all. You can rip the buttons off my shirt and drum me out of camp.

Jul 15, 2010, 7:19pm Top

Well now, Railsplitter, that's just your loss because it is a good old story. With a bit of dealing you could have got it for $4.50 and been pleased with yourself :o)

Are you sure you are not just smarting about post # 451???

I'm happy, I just picked up "Frankenstein" for next to nothing........

Jul 20, 2010, 12:05pm Top

Ok, Novak, I am back to officially collecting the series. Boy, am I easy! Maybe the book I passed up last week will still be there when I get back to Columbus.

How are things in Cornwall. I've never been to England, but it would be my first choice as a travel destination abroad. So much history, good and bad.

My son works for Rolls Royce Energy Systems in the states and he travels to England for meetings at the headquarters.

Jul 20, 2010, 4:01pm Top

I guess the recession has hit WBR. The best they could do this time was rehash an old book that is already in the series. Wuthering Heights has a new face lift!

Edited: Jul 22, 2010, 1:14pm Top

Hello again Railsplitter. Now! You know very well that when you pass up one of these books in a store, then change your mind, when you return…..it’s gone….It never fails, trust me !

In Cornwall we probably have 20 folks who subscribe to RD WBR and then pass the books over to charity shops etc; then we have 450 busy people trying to buy them before someone else sees them. Still, at least we have more than our fair share of coastline in this beautiful peninsular of a county.

As suits says above, I have noticed "Wuthering Heights" with a different colour cover, so it has been re-released? Glad I'm not a subscriber, I think I already have three copies and I don't even like the story..............

Sep 25, 2010, 7:05am Top

The newest is Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott. At least it's not a rehash of an earlier work.

Sep 29, 2010, 8:28am Top

Hello everyone, am still collecting , now have 118 books, 97 with inserts,
21 without, obliged if anyone has an updated list of titles, thanks
Yours Robert

Sep 29, 2010, 4:15pm Top

Check out wikipedia Worlds Best Reading it has complete list, including the latest ones.

Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 4:58pm Top

Hi everyone,

Have been collecting for some time and now have about 100. Like many people I suspect, I am now finding it much harder to get the last few dozen ...

If anyone in the UK has duplicates of any of the following and would like to sell them, could they please let me know?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
For the Term of his Natural Life - Marcus Clarke
The Prince and the Pauper - Mark Twain
On Our Selection - Steele Rudd
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
The Caine Mutiny - Herman Wouk
Dusty / Man Shy - Frank Dalby Davison
The Robe - Lloyd Cassell Douglas
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
The Moon and Sixpence - W.S. Maugham
Main Street - Sinclair Lewis
The Magnificent Ambersons - Booth Tarkington
The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
The Man of Property - John Galsworthy
Hard Times - Charles Dickens
The American - Henry James
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Confidence Man - Herman Melville
Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Where Angels Fear to Tread - E.M. Forster
Adam Bede - George Eliot
Jo's Boys - Louisa May Alcott

I have quite a few duplicates so it may be feasible to trade perhaps, I don't know. Do people recognise the titles shown above as fairly difficult and typical at this stage of collecting the series? Many are American writers that perhaps didn't sell in high numbers in the UK?

Thank you


Dec 1, 2010, 7:35pm Top

Hello all,

I have 37 titles in this series. I just ordered 6 titles from www.alibris.com for less than $30 including shipping. There are more titles available.

I haven't read all of the postings in this very large listing, but will endeavor to do so.

The first 37 books I have are from the 1990's. They all have the inserts. I wanted my kids to have some good books to read when they were younger. They didn't read any of them. they were/are into SciFi. Now, I want to collect the rest of them to read for myself as I recently retired and have lots of down time on my hands.

Peace and Love to all,

Don, aka oldarmybear

Dec 4, 2010, 4:11pm Top

The latest to come out is The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler. Question what makes a classic?

Edited: Sep 30, 2011, 5:14pm Top

This is a list of the titles I currently have in my possession. From the Looks of it I have a long way to go. I will add titles seperately as I receive them. Best regards to all...

Worlds Best Reading List

A Connecticut Yanke In King Arthurs Court, Mark Twain, 1984 (no insert)
A Journey To The Center of The Earth, Jules Verne, 1988
A Passage to India, E M Forster, 1989
A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, 1984
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith, 1989
A Study in Scarlet and The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1986
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The, Mark Twain, 1986 (no insert)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The, Mark Twain, 1986, (insert missing)
Adventures Of Robin Hood, The, Paul Creswick, 1991
Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, The, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1987
Anne Of Green Gables, Betty Smith, 1992
Around The World In 80 Days, Jules Verne, 1988

Ben Hur, Lew Wallace, 1992
Beau Geste, Percival Christopher Wren, 1995

Caine Mutiny, The, Hermann Wouk, 1992
Call of the Wild, The/ White Fang, Jack London, 1985 (no insert)
Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling, 1994
Celebrated Jumping Frog & Other Stories, The, Mark Twain, 1992

David Copperfield, Charles Dickens, 1986 (no insert)
Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternack, 1990

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, James Hilton, 195 (no insert)
Good Earth, The, Pearl S. Buck, 1992
Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1991
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1985 (no insert)

Emma, Jane Austin, 1994 (no insert)

Further Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, The, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1993

Heart Of The West, O Henry, 1993
House of the Seven Gables, The, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1985

Innocents Abroad, The, Mark Twain, 1990
invisible man, The/Island of Doctopr Moreau, the, H.G. Wells, 2004, (no insert)

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, 1984

Kim, Rudyard Kipling, 1990
King Solomons Mines, H R Haggard, 1994

Last Of The Mohicans, The, James Fenimore Cooper, 1984, (no insert)
Legend Of Sleepy Hollow & Other Tales, The, Washington Irving, 1987 (no insert)
Life On The Mississippi, Mark Twain, 1987
Life With Father, Clarence Day, 1993
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, 1985
Lost Horizon, James Hilton, 1990

Master Of Ballantrea, The, Robert Lewis Stevenson, 1995
Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes, The, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1988
Moby Dick, Hermann Melville, 1989
My Antonia, Willa Cather, 2004

Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens, 1987
O Pioneers, Willa Carther, 1990

Prince and the Pauper, The, Mark Twain, 1988

Red Badge Of Courage, The, Stephen Crane, 1982, (No Insert)
Return of Sherlock Holmes, The, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1991
Robe, The, Lloyd C. Douglas, 1993
Roughing It, Mark Twain, 1994

Scarlet Letter, The, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1984
Sea Wolf, The, Jack London, 1989
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen, 2003, (no insert)
Silas Marner, George Eliot, 1986 (no insert)
Song Of Hiawatha And Other Poems, The, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1989
Strange Tale Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, The, Robert Lewis Stevenson, 1991

Tales From The Arabian Nights, 1991
Tales of the South Pacific, James A. Michener, 1995
Tess of the d'Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy, 1985
Tales of Suspense, Edgar Allan Poe, 1986 (missing insert)
This Side Of Paradise, F.Scott Fitzgerld, 2003, (missing insert)
Three Musketeers, The, Alexandere Dumas,1999
To Build A Fire & Other Stories, Jack London, 1994
To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee, 1993
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1987, (no insert)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Jules Verne, 1990
Twice Told Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1989, (no insert)

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1991

Virginian, The, Owen Wister, 1988

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, 1982, (no insert)

Yearling, The, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, 1993

Edited: Dec 6, 2010, 3:45pm Top

Hi All,

I just received "Life On The Mississippi," Mark Twain, 1987, from my order at www.alibris.com The volume is in excellent condition, has the insert intact, and was wrapped in three different layers. I am quite pleased with the service I received from alibris thus far. (I added this to my list in #469)

Best Regards,


Dec 7, 2010, 7:23pm Top

Hi All,

I just did a check at the alibris site posted above they have eight of the first twenty books listed on the RD list from post 183.

Best Regards,


Edited: Dec 9, 2010, 12:54pm Top

Hello Everyone,

Today I received: "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," Mark Twain, "A Study in Scarlet; the Hound of the Baskervilles," Arthur Conan Doyle, and "The Call Of The Wild/ White Fang," Jack London. All arrived from the Alibris outlets in good condition. The London tome had a tag on it that left a sticky mess on the binding that I can't get off. This brings my total to 41 volumes. ( I hope I'm not going to be shunned because of the low number of books in my collection. I assure you that I will be in the elite 70 plus tomes club by the end of next summer...)



Dec 9, 2010, 5:47pm Top

Greetings, all,

A few months ago, a family friend of mine came to me with several large boxes of books to be donated to a second-hand bookshop I worked at at the time, and in the midst of the lot I found a few real gems. They were several books from this, the World's Best Reading, series. I've read them through and have fallen in love with them already, and with them proudly displayed on my shelf have been eagerly looking for more to slowly add to the excellent collection.

A week or more ago, though, a good friend of mine spotted "The Jungle Books" volume and instantly took to it with it's excellent illustration and presentation. I've been searching avidly for a second copy of this since to give as a gift. Unfortunately I'm quite stumped - I can't find the exact same book anywhere online or in any local store, and even similar editions (which don't seem quite as nicely presented, in my opinion) aren't very available, especially on such short notice.

Would anyone here be able to shed some light on where I might be able to locate a copy of this? The copy I have is dated 1997, with a neat green hardback cover and excellent illustrations by Paul Jouve and Francois Louis Schmeid.

Edited: Dec 10, 2010, 8:35am Top

Hey guys, the goo gone worked for me too, thanks,


Dec 10, 2010, 11:48am Top

Additions to post 183:

Prisoner Of Zenda / Rupert of Hentzau
The House of Mirth
Howard's End
The Ambassadors
Heart of Darkness
Return of the Native
Agnes Grey
Secret Garden / Little Princess
Where Angels Fear To Tread
The Confidence Man
Adam Bede
Ethan Fromme & Summer
Fathers and Sons

Can anyone confirm these additions? Are there more? Think they will do "A Room With A View"?

Dec 10, 2010, 5:13pm Top

Have them all and Jo's Boys and The Way of All Flesh.

Dec 10, 2010, 6:29pm Top

Hi Again,

I received The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes today. It is in near new condition and has the insert intact. The only thing I could find wrong with it is that the former owner wrote his name in ink on the flyleaf.

I am still waiting for delivery of The Scarlet Letter to complete my first order from Alibris.Com. I am very pleased with their service. The books I have received so far came from different book sellers in their network. I am pretty confident that all of my future orders will be processed and received promptly.

For you Tom Clancy fans I recommend his latest in the Jack Ryan series. It is called Dead or Alive and according to Borders books was just released on the 7th. I picked it up late yesterday and find it hard to put down...

Best Regards,


Edited: Dec 12, 2010, 3:33pm Top

I checked alibris. they have one of the
Adam Bede books. It is listed as being in good condition with a crease down the spine. Here is a link to that page:




Dec 13, 2010, 3:37pm Top

Hi, Today I received "The Scarlet Letter," by Nathaniel Hawthorn. This completes my first Alibris.com book order. I received all six books on my order in less than 14 days. That's pretty good service if you ask me. I'll be placing another order after the first of the year...

Best regards and Merry Christmas to all.


Jan 7, 2011, 11:08am Top

Placed an order today for The Red Badge of Courage, Wuthering heights, and A Tale of Two Cities. Cost $16.55 USC incuding shipping... Don

Jan 19, 2011, 2:08pm Top

Order from alibris completed today. Twelve days isn't bad considering there was a holiday included in the deliver time... Don

Jan 31, 2011, 8:35pm Top

another remake this month. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jan 31, 2011, 10:22pm Top

Haven't been posting for awhile, have to care for for a disabled wife. She has a higher priority then the books.

I will soon be celebrating my 86th birthday and I am still looking for more books to add to my collection. Right now I have 84 of the WBR set. Many of the books RD has published I have in other fine sets, a lot I can't find . Sometimes I find a good buy from the Weston Press publishings, they are really beautiful but cost an arm and leg.

I wish that I had the years left to catch up with RD but what I have has made me very happy. I have been reading since I was 7, lots of good books that have become friends

I can't even begin to remember all the books I have given to nice people, relatives friends and hospitals and re-hab homes.

Its a great way to go thru life.

Feb 2, 2011, 5:42pm Top

42 where are you? You didn't jump on my error requesting "A Room With A View"!

Has anyone else tried ordering from Amazon UK and had every order cancelled? It seems there is one bookseller masquerading as several. The cancellation note reads verbatim from each different one.

Feb 3, 2011, 6:57pm Top

My first post - thanks for the thread-

Smudgie, I recently tried the U.K. for the first time. I have 90 volumes & a lot of my missing ones seem to be U.K. only. I ordered three books from two sellers, through AbeBooks.

The first told me they couldn't find the book I wanted.
The second asked for an additional $25 shipping - on top of the high shipping cost to the U.S. they had listed! When I refused to pay more, they canceled my order.

I guess those U.K. releases will be hard to come by. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Also, does anyone have a solid update on the releases since "Jo's Boys" ?

Thanks to all for the help...

Feb 4, 2011, 9:49pm Top

bballer, try alibris.com. they are very reasonable and have many of the RD titles. I have ordered from them twice and was quite pleased with the results... Don

Feb 5, 2011, 2:24pm Top

Thanks Don - I have used Alibris quite a bit. One nice thing is that if you can wait an extra couple of weeks, they will have the book sent to their warehouse - then ship it to you for their normal $3.99 fee. Much better than what the Brit. bookhouse wanted.

The problem is they don't list most of the books I'm after - but thanks anyway.

Feb 11, 2011, 10:21am Top

Hey fellow fans,

Do the new titles come with the author inserts? Are there any in the series that were issued without them?

Edited: Feb 11, 2011, 11:07am Top

>484 smudgie::

Hey Smudge: UK Amazon is a waste of time for "our books" even if you live in UK. They never have the books they are offering, can't see the sense in it, must be a scam in it somewhere. I've given up on them years ago.

>488 wishihadtime::

Hello Wishes: Glad to see you're still about !! They still have inserts, but sadly no more artwork and no afterword. (sob, sob :o) Have you read any of 'em yet?

Can you all put your thinking caps on and think of an insult that will tempt old 42 out of the woodwork? Maybe he's past it, though!

Feb 11, 2011, 4:25pm Top

Thanks for the return welcome Novak!

I am currently reading Tales of the South Pacific. I just finished section "Wine Mess at Segi" last night. My read count is now at 13....83 to go!! Definitely slow progress but I'm giving it my best shot.

About 42, maybe you could follow Lizzy Bennet's advice and just laught at him. Rule seems a tad proud, maybe it would work ;-)

Feb 12, 2011, 6:31am Top

Hello Wishes: Tales of the South Pacific was where WBR all started for me. I got it in a junk shop for a few pence (probably a quarter, to you!) and had to give it a clean before reading it. Still got it. Went on to read most everything that JAM has written since.

I think you could be right about 42. Lizzy and Jane would probably have got the inspiration for the prejudice bit from him maybe………….

Still, best not to chase him. An anagram of his name is: to lure for.

13 books is good. Just be still and let ‘em creep up on you. Wellworththetime

Feb 13, 2011, 4:56pm Top

Wow, I just found this group. Like everyone I had tried to find a listing of the WBR books through RD with no luck. After several years, thought I would try the internet again and found the Wiki sit listing.

I first discovered these editions when I spotted one of the Sherlock Holmes books. Since I'm a Holmes fan it caught my eye. After I saw how nice it was, I started watching for others. It's like a treasure hunt! I never know when I'm going to find one. I search bookstores and thrift stores mostly and usually pay $1 to $5 dollars each. I haven't bought off the internet yet but may for the UK and AUS releases. So far I have 49 titles but nothing that hasn't been listed by others. If I find a unique one, I'll let everyone know. I've seen duplicates of ones I already have and I guess I should start picking those up to sell or swap.

Happy hunting and reading!

Feb 15, 2011, 8:08am Top


As mentioned earlier, there are reports of WBR books advertised on AMAZON for sale. When the buyer has ordered and paid, the seller then gets in contact to say the book has been previously sold and there will be a full refund. THE REFUND IS NEVER MADE. In many cases the buyer does not notice. For those who stick out for a refund AMAZON are very unhelpful.

It is a SCAM. Amazon are so difficult to contact when things go wrong that this is happening again and again. The warning is clear. Do not order your WBR books from AMAZON. Also post here if you have problems with your WBR orders from AMAZON.

Edited: Feb 17, 2011, 2:28pm Top

>491 Novak:

Oh how I DREAM of being still....well mostly the small ones around me being still!

Feb 23, 2011, 3:23pm Top

I was just wondering if anyone has solid information to update the Wikipedia list: The last release they show is Jo's Boys, & I think there are a few since then. Any help?

Feb 23, 2011, 5:27pm Top

I recently found a bundle of WBR pamphlets at a garage sale. When I asked about the books they went with, the owner thought his wife had sold them years before.

Anyway, I bought the bundle cheap, and was pleased to find I needed three of them for my collection.

I have 10 others that are duplicates, I'd be glad to send them to you in trade for any duplicates you may have that I need. To save space, I've listed the extras I have and the ones I need on my profile page.

Please take a look and e-mail me if you see any matches we can make. Thanks!

Mar 1, 2011, 2:16pm Top

@493 Novak: My wife and I have bought a number of world's best reading from amazon sellers and those on the UK site. I agree that you have to be careful for people trying to scam, but I don't think that amazon or its UK site are any more prone to people scamming than any other site such as abebooks (which we have used for a number of books also).

Edited: Mar 9, 2011, 6:51pm Top

I have joined the 50 volume club with the acquisition of Little Women. I have three more books to come from my last order from Alibris. It will be April before I can order any more from the set... Happy St Patrick's Day to all of you Irishmen out there... Don

P.S. At the rate I am going it will take a year and a half or more to get to 100 volumes... sheesh... Don

Mar 15, 2011, 1:48pm Top

I've finally made the 15 book mark and so far I've only accidentally bought one duplicate, the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Is there an active trading community for these books?

Mar 15, 2011, 10:22pm Top

Message 500...

I am the original poster (Mbahawk)...

When I initially posted over 4 years ago (Oct 16, 2006), I never would have imagined the interest - and sometimes the emotionality - that WBR would generate.

While there may never be a complete and comprehensive list, the assembled list is impressive.

Long ago, I'd posted that I had a WBR copy of Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales. This was an error on my part, my volume is the far more common, Tanglewood Tales.

I must say that the overall civility of the current WBR posters is far improved.

What more can be said of WBR? Will we have another 500 messages?

If so, I hope that the conversation proves as informative as the last 500.


Mar 15, 2011, 10:24pm Top

Oops.. I misspoke above, I thought that I'd had Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales... but I had Tanglewood Tales... Hopefully, Post 502 will be better... LOL...

Mar 16, 2011, 5:32pm Top

Hi mbahawk, It can't be that long ago that we started posting to this topic.

I haven't been looking for anymore WBR titles. If I bumped into one I would probably buy it, if it was one I needed.

My main interest has always been Lincoln books, military history, Marine Corps, etc.

Glad to see you are still around.

Railsplitter, formerly Montag

Mar 24, 2011, 4:44pm Top

The latest addition to come out is Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis.

Mar 25, 2011, 3:07pm Top

I found all sorts of Reader's Digest books for sale on abebooks.com.

Mar 25, 2011, 6:21pm Top

>500 mbahawk:. Hello mbahawk: I see you are still trying to confuse us. Good to see you are still about.

>502 Railsplitter:. Well now, Railsplitter (nee: Montag) Nice to hear from you again too. It took mbahawk's return to pull you out of retirement, did it? Surley you must have felt a surge of envy when I used up Message 451 after you had waited all that time for it to come around :o)

Great to know you are still out there and thanks for getting the WBR thing started. I only had one book, Tales of the South Pacific then. Well over 100 now and have read most of 'em.

Footnote: I have just read David Copperfield. At home I read my WBR edition. Travelling I used my Kindle. At work I had the paperback. My findings? Wonderful tale, but the WBR with the artwork and the afterword, plus the quality of a nice feeling real book, was the only one that did the story justice.

Edited: Apr 8, 2011, 11:23am Top

Hello, Happy spring to you all. I just ordered four more volumes from AbeBooks.com. I am hoping their service is as good as alibris. Currently reading non fiction political books. (I switch back and forth) Coopers "The Last of the Mohicans" is next on my to read list. Good reading, Mates.... Don

Apr 13, 2011, 6:26am Top

Hi Don: Abebooks are great. We organised about six of us in UK to send for a total of 26 WBR editions in one hit. They arrived very promptly, were in good nick and cost us only a fraction of what we would have to pay in UK. You lucky people!

Edited: Apr 13, 2011, 3:09pm Top

Hello Novak, I received The Adventures of Huck Finn and Tales of Suspence from Abe Books in todays mail. Took about a week to get them. I am still waiting for Tom Sawyer and Kidnapped to complete this months order. I am quite pleased with the condition of the tomes and their service in general. I have found both Abe books and alibris to be competive in the speed of delivery and price. I live in a small rural town and the used book marke is almost non existant so I am relying primarily on net services to aquire my collection. I don't think at this time I want to subscribe to RD as I can get the used books in very good shape for much less. I wish you and all of our reading companions a good day and a pleasant spring time... Don

Apr 16, 2011, 5:53am Top

Hi All!

I just received another copy of Wind In The WIllows from Amz UK. No Problems and cheap. It'll go on Ebay soon. I see the crooks have made it to Amz US, Fathers and Sons and Etahn Frome from "Awesome Books USA". I have received all of the refunds and complained to Amz but they are still out there. Look for seller names in all caps with an underscore between names. GREENER_ BOOKS, AWESOME_ BOOKS_001, THE_BOOK_FACTORY and a couple more. If they have 100 listings for the same book you have to assume they are not on the level. They stick with certain titles. It's pretty easy to see who they are after a while. The latest claim is the increased security on shipments into the states for missing books. So far no lost money so I keep on trying. I see some of the latest editions coming out on Ebay periodically but they are rather expensive. I'm hoping the price will become reasonable over time.

Still looking for Gulliver's, Persuasion and Moon. Drives me crazy! I have finally gotten my wife to start on the series. Pulled her in with Shute's Alice then Oh! Pioneers and The Good Earth. She's picking up on Austen now.

My latest adventure is reading the Harvard Classics series. That is a task but I'm finding some enjoyment. Anybody else taken on the 5 foot shelf?

I see Wiki could use some ISBN numbers. They also list Wuthering Heights when it should be Ethan Frome.

Best To All!

Apr 17, 2011, 11:08am Top

Hello Everyone. At Novak's request I have updated my profile and posted my WBR list there. I hope you all have a good reading week... Don

Edited: Apr 20, 2011, 12:07pm Top

received "Kidnapped" in the mail today. That brings my total to 56 books with only Tom Sawyer left to complete this months search. I will probably buy four next month to get me over the sixty volumn mark. I truly love these books. They will make a marvelous endowment to one of my grandchildren... Don

Edited: Apr 22, 2011, 10:35am Top

I hope you aren't getting tired of my posts... received Tom Sawyer today, from Abebooks.com. It is in excellent condition. It only shows light wear at the cornes. I am quite satisfied with the service. My next buy will be, if Alibris or Abe books has them,
will Silas Marner, David Copperfield, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales.

I just finished reading "Kidnapped." I thought it an exellent read. I finished it in two days time. Steveson penned a quick moving adventure involving a young heir who is betrayed by his uncle, a ship wreck, and the lad's journey in quest of his inheiritance. The tale sucks you in and keeps you turning pages to find out what will happen and ends with an unexpected twist. I believe you all will also enjoy the read...

Happy reading friends,


Edited: Apr 25, 2011, 3:05pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Apr 23, 2011, 11:22pm Top

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas I have 2 of these books.
Dracula by Bram Stoker SOLD
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain I also have 2 of these.
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling SOLD
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Howards End by E.M. Forster SOLD
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville SOLD
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton I have 2 of these books also.
The Secret Garden A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room With A View by E.M. Forster SOLD
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott SOLD
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson SOLD
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Virginian by Owen Wister
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy SOLD
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev SOLD
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler SOLD
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen SOLD
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte SOLD

These are all the books I have in this series. I do have some that have copyright dates as late as this year and lots of them are from between 2004 and 2009 but I also have some from the eighties. These books are all for sale as well. If there are some you are needing you can reply to this thread or email me at dherrig_55@hotmail.com if you have any questions. All of these books are in like new condition and I don't think any of them have actually been read.

Edited: Apr 22, 2011, 10:38am Top

LOL, Thanks, Novak. I have corrected the typos in my previous post.

Regards, Don

Apr 23, 2011, 10:04am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Apr 24, 2011, 11:19pm Top

Does anybody collect the ImPress Mystery Books from readers digest??

May 5, 2011, 9:28am Top

Hello fellow readers,

I just finished reading "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." What a delightful time I had. it has been many years since I last read it and had forgotten the joyful romps of Tom and his pals. Twain was marvelous in his discription of life in a small Missouri village. I plan a trip later this summer to Hannibal where it is reputed that was the center of this tale and the boyhood home of Samuel Clemmens, aka Mark Twain... Don

May 7, 2011, 6:52am Top

Is it possible to get these new or are they now discontinued?

Edited: May 15, 2011, 7:04pm Top

Hello Nexus. You will have to subscribe to World's Best Reading through Reader's Digest. As far as I know you can only get the current series through subscription. You will have to go hunting like the rest of us to get back issues... Don

Well Gang,

I have joined the semi-elite 60 plus volumn clique with the completion of this months alibris.com order. When The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories arrives this week (I hope), I will have acquired 61 books.

I finished readng Huck Finn today. It was another joyous boyhood romp through the Mississppi river Valley. Huck goes off on a big adventure after escaping from his drunken father. He along with a runaway slave named Jim, float the Mississippi on a raft and encounter many adventures. Late in the book they are joined by Tom Sawyer who exasperates their troubles with his wild immagination. Mark Twain, aka, Samuel Clemens tells of these adventures in his unique style that keeps you turning the pages. Next up for me will be Twain's "Life on the Mississpi." Good reading, Mates and Best Regards... Don

May 21, 2011, 6:56pm Top

Hello all:

Glad to see this thread is alive and well. It's been awhile since I posted.

I recently received a copy of "The American" as my latest selection from Reader's Digest. Problem is that I had purchased a copy on the secondary market after they told me I couldn't buy past issues (it was issued a few years ago). I am thinking of returning it, but the process is pain-staking and my fear is that they may cancel my subscription as they did on the last return a few years ago. Anyone receiving current issues from Reader's Digest experience the same thing?

May 22, 2011, 12:59pm Top

@ 473 (shard)

I believe the illustrated Jungle Books (1997) version you are referring to was issued in the UK (even though my copy does state it was printed by RR Donnelley & Sons in the United States). I believe I purchased this version from an overseas seller on eBay a few years ago. It also seems to be absent an ISBN number, which could also indicate that it was not offered here in the US. Another version of The Jungle Books was issued in the US in 2005 (ISSN number 1544-4449. I recently picked up that version at a local thrift shop. This version has a brown cover, gold lettering and a green binding near the same color as the 1997 version. Unfortunately, as with all of the new issues, it is not illustrated. I've seen the 2005 version occasionally on eBay, however, it usually comes at a premium.

Hope this helps.

May 25, 2011, 1:57pm Top

Hello everybody. Been a while since I posted anything. Need some info for last years and this years book issues.
In 2010 I received "FATHERS and SONS", "WHERE ANGELS FEAR to TREAD / A ROOM with A VIEW", "ADAM BEDE", a reissued "WUTHERING HEIGHTS" I sent back, "JO'S BOYS", and "THE WAY of ALL FLESH".
This year I have gotten "SONS and LOVERS", a reissued "THE ADVENTURES of HUCKLEBERRY FINN" - sent back, and a reissued "THE AMERICAN" sent back.
Have there been other NEW ISSUES instead of the reissued "Wuthering Heights", "Adventures of Huck Finn", and "American" books sent out during the two year period ?
Need to know if there are three books that I do not own since I have collected the entire set from all different countries known.
Also am wondering how I can not post something under original name for being removed from membership when I did not ask to be; but yet am still listed as a member on the membership list? Now I slightly changed my listed name to in order to be able to post the above ???
If you have info, I would really be grateful for the help in finding out about the items listed above.
Thanks everybody.

Jun 6, 2011, 11:59am Top

I talked to a customer rep. from R. D. the other day who
informed me I had all the books. I asked him why I was getting
duplicates and he told me they were only sending out the
books they had left over. I then canceled my subscription.
I hope he knew what he was talking about.

Jun 15, 2011, 5:35pm Top

Today I added Treasue Island, Oliver Twist, and The Prince and The Pauper to my collections. I have a couple more books in route and will post them to my profile listing as I receive them. I love these books. They are indeed the world's best reading... Don

Edited: Jun 16, 2011, 12:59pm Top

>517 dherrig_55:

Hi Dan,

I bought some books from you a while back.

I don't collect Impress, but have picked up a few I was interested in reading.

Are you looking to buy, sell, trade or ?


Jun 16, 2011, 1:04pm Top

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder that I have some extra pamphlets I picked up from a garage sale a while back. I have posted a list on my profile page as well as some pamphlets I am missing. Please take a look & let me know if we can work a trade.

Also, thanks to whoever updated the Wikipedia list. I've heard that RD is mostly rereleasing old titles. Does anyone have information on new releases following The Way of All Flesh?

Thanks to all of you for the information & help. I'm up to 102 titles and finding the remainder a real challenge to get ahold of.


Edited: Aug 22, 2011, 1:39pm Top

Today I added A Christmas Carole & Other Tales and The Old Curiosity Shop to my List. I have to reorder The Virginian. The Alibris issue I selected was no longer in stock

Jul 18, 2011, 9:19pm Top

Frankenstein on Amazon for $130.0! My collection must be worth a fortune.

Jul 20, 2011, 12:00pm Top

Not sure about that, lol - I found some Rudyard Kipling and Jack London from this series a couple of months ago at our library's booksale: 50 cents each. I guess it depends if there's a collector out there who wants it bad enough, and a seller who knows that collector probably exists.

Jul 20, 2011, 2:59pm Top

Hello Friends. These are the volumes I have added to my collection this month...

Twice-Told Tales
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips, and Other Stories
Tales of the South Pacific
Beau Geste
The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains

I am enjoying these books more than I can say here...

Best regards,


Jul 20, 2011, 10:09pm Top

Those are great books! Hawthorne, Hilton, DuMaurier, Mitchener, Wren, Wister all great authors...

Jul 27, 2011, 8:14am Top

I believe Babbitt is the latest edition. Can anyone confirm this?

Jul 27, 2011, 8:35pm Top

The latest I received was a copy of The American which I already had. No bill came with the package, so I thought it was going to be free. No such luck, I later received a late notice. RD still cant get their act together. Dont understand why the remakes and getting copies of what has already been sent. Especially with all the classic possiblites out there.

Jul 30, 2011, 2:50pm Top

>533 smudgie: & 534

A friend who subscribes told me he just received Babbitt this week. He's sent back the last few "repeats" - I'm glad I'm not a subscriber.

I'm with suit4 - can't understand what RD is doing when they lack so many great classics in the series. My enthusiasm is greatly diminished.

Aug 4, 2011, 10:32am Top

I placed an order with alibris books for the following volumes yesterday:

Oliver Twist
by No author noted

The Prince and the Pauper: a Tale for Young People of All Ages
by Emerson, Everett H., and Merrill, Frank T

Treasure Island (the World's Best Reading)
by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Old Curiosity Shop (the World's Best Reading)
by Charles Dickens, Hablot Knight Browne, George Catt

A Christmas Carol and Other Stories (the World's Best Reading)
by Charles Dickens

I may just order a couple more through Abe Books dot com. They list a couple of the UK/AUS only volumes, but they are a bit high... Don

Aug 10, 2011, 6:35pm Top

Well, I finally finished reading, "Life On The Mississippi." I must say I thought it not up to par. Due to certain turmoil in my life the past couple of months, it was an on again off again read. It flowed pretty well and held my attention,but half way through it started to drag. By the time I got to the last page it was like reading a travelog. I will scan a couple of volumes to see if anything tickles my fancy before I start my next read... Good Reading Mates... Don

Edited: Aug 15, 2011, 11:33am Top

I remember that someone on this blog had a daughter who reproduced the 4 page inserts. Does anyone know who that was or what number the blog was?

Aug 15, 2011, 7:22am Top

Scored a good one this weekend. A campground had a 'take one, leave one' bookshelf in the office. I left behind a beat up paperback and walked out with the RD edition of The Scarlet Letter - in perfect condition no less, I don't think anyone ever opened the cover.

Aug 19, 2011, 1:55pm Top

I see there is a new re-release out. There is a 2011 edition of The Scarlett Letter listed on E-bay.

It has black boards & red lettering. It does show an insert. Attractive, but I'm not going to spend $10 for a book I already have in the series. I guess R.D is continuing their re-release strategy - sigh.

Aug 22, 2011, 1:44pm Top

Added Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen, 2003 to my collection. I purchased it through www.AbeBooks.com The book is in very good condition but did not have an insert... Don

Sep 7, 2011, 6:50am Top

After seeing the remake of The Scarlet Letter on ebay thought for sure the new book would be just that. But no! A remake of A Tale of Two Cities instead:-( RD I dont want remakes, there are too many good books to do instead.

Sep 10, 2011, 5:22pm Top

I sent the last two books that were reprints back and apparently Readers Digest has dropped me from their mailings. Does anyone know what the last 2 books were?

Edited: Sep 30, 2011, 5:27pm Top

The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas
The Prisoner of Zenda/Rupert of Hentzau, by Anthony Hope
Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence, 2008
Lorna Doone, R.D. Blackmore, 1995, no insert
The Invisible Man/The Island of Doctor Moreau, H G wells, 2004, no insert

Got them all from AbeBooks.com. All in excellent condition. There are many more from this collection listed on their pages. Check them out, but please don't buy the ones I still need... lol... Happy reading... Don

Oct 3, 2011, 2:18pm Top

Score! After recently bidding on Gulliver's Travels and Persuasion, which went for a ridiculous price of $108 each on Ebay, I was able to secure Gulliver's for less than $18 including Royal Air Mail. Thank you Google!

Any new issues past Babbitt? I'm taking post 535 confirms Babbitt.

Oct 16, 2011, 9:01am Top

"Happy Birthday WBR Thread on LT!"

I'm the original poster for this thread.

Never did I imagine that I'd generate the interest or the number of responders!

It's too bad that Reader's Digest is on the decline and never quite figured out to market this line well.

But here we are five years later.

To all of the posters, thanks for your interesting and informative posts.

These are great books, produced with a decent quality and at affordable prices (especially when you buy used - like i do.)

Five years down, how long will it go on?!??!

Oct 30, 2011, 3:37pm Top

>545 smudgie:

Babbitt appeared on eBay a few months ago (without an insert), so I can confirm that one. And A Tale of Two Cities was the next release (it has also appeared on eBay).

Nov 14, 2011, 7:06pm Top

Hello, Friends. No new aquisitions to report. I have embarked on a journey reading the works of Sir Authur Conan Doyle. I love his Sherlock Holmes mysteriers. I'm sure I'll be a happy reader for a couple of weeks. I will most likely rejoin my quest for the remainder of this wonderful series after the holidays... I wish you all a joyous holiday season, regardless of your choice of which to celebrate... Don

Dec 2, 2011, 8:37pm Top

After two books that were previously issued (Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities), RD issued "The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford. (2011, ISSN: 1544-4449).

Recently, I was able to obtain a copy of Paradise Lost by John Milton. Note that this is a book safe and not an actual book. I believe it was offered to subscribers of this series in 1993 (based upon some information I found inside of my copy of Heart of the West).

I know the existence of Milton's Paradise Lost has been discussed at length in earlier posts, and links to photos of this book were provided, but with all due respect, I am skeptical that this book in the Reader's Digest form even exists. I don't believe it was issued in book form in this series. If anyone actually has the book (and not just seen on a bookshelf somewhere), please add your thoughts.

Dec 12, 2011, 9:22pm Top

547 - Jacques, A Tale of Two Cities is number 6 on the list unless it's a new release??

Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 7:11pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 15, 2011, 12:16pm Top

549 - Milton's PL was never listed on the "official" list RD sent out. I posted it in post 183. There have been, by my count, 18 additional titles including The Good Soldier which I just added.

Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 7:11pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 19, 2012, 8:50am Top

Happy New Year to all,long time since I was on, at present have 122 books in collection, and still searching ?
68 duplicate copies available. Searching for Lord Jim, Howards End, Adam Bede, Where Angels Fear to Tread,
The Moon and Sixpence, Jo,s Boys, Stephen Hawkins ? Dusty (Aus), For the termof his natural life.(Aus)
If I can help anyone , please contact.
Ps is a book complete with /without loose 4 page author bio?
Yours Robert

Jan 24, 2012, 8:48pm Top

Finally, one thats not a rehash, Upton Sinclairs, The Jungle. Thank you WBR!

Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 12:51pm Top

I'd like to thank everyone on this post for all their fun and helpful comments through the years. I've been collecting Reader's Digest World's Best Reading series for a few years and this thread has been essential for all my information about the series.

With the exception of a few of the newer releases I have collected all the books on the official list (I'm still looking for the other ones though, just in case) and at least one that isn't (I bought the not WBR Ivanhoe in German).

I was wondering if you guys could help me again. For the last year or so, along with picking up the newest releases, I have been purchasing variations.

I have the re-releases:
Wuthering Heights
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Scarlet Letter
A Tale of Two Cities

The international variations:
Barchester Towers (British)
The Jungle Book (British)
Beau Geste (Australian)
Lost Horizon / Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Other Stories (British)

I was curious if anyone knew of any other variations out there. The Barchester Tower variation took me by surprise so I thought there may be more out there I am unaware of.

On a similar not, several months back I purchase a Wuthering Heights book on eBay with a cloth cover that claims to be WBR. This is the first of it's kind I have seen without the faux-leather. Inside the book is identical to the 2010 release. On the spine where the author's name usually is there is a "WBR", then the title in the exact font as the 2010 release, then the author in a plain text (not matching the 2010 release) and finally, "Reader's Digest" in it's typical logo form (not stylized to match the font). The cover has only the title in the same font without the author's name and instead of the birds, on the 2010 cover, there is a woman standing on a hillside by a tree with a golden moon and leaves flying away in the wind.

I know it's a long description but I hadn't heard of this kind of variation (if it is a variation) and was wondering if anyone else had.

As much as I love this thread I am pretty sure I have not read the entire thing so if I am repeating a question or going over something that was already discussed, I apologize.

Thanks for all your help and good luck to all with their continued collecting.

Feb 12, 2012, 2:26am Top

I am up to 26 of these so far. A looong way to go!

Mar 17, 2012, 7:00pm Top

Next addition should be coming out soon. Any bets as if it is a remake or not?

Edited: May 9, 2012, 6:11am Top


Hi Grand-Moff:

Yep! Can confirm I have the the latest (and the old) Wuthering Heights from RD and it has a different board cover to everything else. Why? Well, we are dealing with RD here, you know.

Like me, you are mad enough to pick up mutations from other countries too. The Brit' copy of The Jungle Books, by the way, has an “s” on the end as it is two books in one. It also has good graphics, and afterword which I think your US one is missing. Are you mad enough to have two copies of “Journey to the CENTRE of the Earth” because the covers have different spelling..?..!!! Ahemmm! Some of us are.

Just to make you smile......The RD bible also compliments the set if you like.

You know......................I always wondered who bought the other copy of Ivanhoe !!

Mar 25, 2012, 5:37am Top

557> Nexus 99: Welcome. Enjoy it while you can, it will soon take over.................

558> Hi Suits:

Sky news report that our main contributer to the WBR thread has at last been released from captivity by the pirate faction at Readers Digest. Allegedly, the ransom was paid by someone called cash4u, with some books also changing hands.

He is in good health but bad tempered. When one of the reporters suggested he was gay he became unmanageable. He turned to a cameraman and said “I'm going to smash him, here hold my purse”.

It is feared he will return to this thread under the codename of Rule 43 hoping no one will make a connection with his past. We must all be on the lookout. (it may get crowded up there)

How do you feel about claims that this thread had become a bit less light hearted of late?

Mar 28, 2012, 8:00pm Top

560> Hey Novak! Do you think he could shake up someone at RD, as he did here? Im tired of waiting for another remake or in this case, this months feature Oliver Twist from what 97. You telling me RD held on to this book that long just to give to me over ten years later!!! Their warehouse must be HUGH!!!!

Mar 29, 2012, 6:24am Top

Hi Suits> Good to see you are still justifyably angry. I reckon Readers Digest, since going broke and then starting up again (in the wife's name), have learned from us on this thread. They tour the second-hand bookshops buying up all their old books cheaply. Then, when they think they have too many of one title, they sell 'em back to the customers at full price. And so the wheel of fortune turns.............for them. Dickens of a good read though, Oliver Twist.

Stay hungry
Stay foolish

Where can he be now????

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 7:30pm Top

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Go 'way, don't come 'round here no more
Can't you see that it's late at night?
I'm very tired, and I'm not feeling right

All I wish is to be alone
Stay away, don't you invade my home
Best off if you hang outside
Don't come in - I'll only run and hide

Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Make no sound, tip-toe across the floor
If Novak hears, he'll knock all day
I'll be trapped, and here I'll have to stay

I've done no harm, I keep to myself
There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health
I like it here with my 3-legged friend
Here come those damn questions again

Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?

Is it the man come to take me away?
Why do they follow me?
It's not future books that I can see
It's just RD fantasy

Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?
Where can he be now?

Oh-oh-oh, where can he be now?
Oh-way-oh, where can he, where can he
Oh-oh-oh, where can he be now?
Oh-way-oh, yeah yeah yeah

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 7:44pm Top

It's himself all right. No-one else would remember all the words to a Men at Work single, not even Down Under and that went to #1.

I'm so glad you're back on the thread Ruley, praps you can help me. I've had a legal notification from Mrs Readers Digest (nee: Readers Digest). They say that since RD went bust and started up again in the wifes name it can now only be refered to by it's new name: Mrs Readers Digest You've been in their clutches for a while now...... was this your idea?

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 8:49pm Top

But I'm not back on this thread, Novak. Which part of my previous post did you not understand? I completely lost interest in this thread over 2 years ago ... and this thread had "gone to the dogs" long before then once the shills took it over. Unfortunately, there are now too many streakers contributing here whose posts upset Ethel. :(

However, lest you think that all I'm doing is trying to avoid giving you an answer to your question, I need to also point out here that you will not be able to make any sense of my response to it below unless you first familiarize yourself with the fundamental financials involved with distressed debt opportunities, such as the one that currently exists in the case of RDA.

The fact that RD went busty and you now have to refer to her as "Mrs Readers Digest" is quite inconsequential, Novak. What you really need to focus on are the opportunities for great wealth accumulation that have now arisen due to RD's demise. As you can easily determine for yourself, the greatest LTM EBITDA margins are to be found in the area of DRTV, with the RD Fitness Product showing significant strength recently. So what exactly does that mean to owners of large quantities of WBR stock such as yourself and others posting here?

Well, it means that the value of the heaviest tomes in this series – such as The Three Musketeers, Sons and Lovers, Main Street, David Copperfield, The Caine Mutiny, Moby Dick, Dracula, Ben-Hur, and possibly Barchester Towers – will likely all go through the roof as demand for these more "fitness-enhancing" volumes significantly outstrips available market supply. So my advice to you, Novak, is to round up all of the available copies of these bulkier WBR titles that you can lay your hands on, and hide them in a very safe and secure place, because their market value is soon going to sky-rocket.

Possibly a very good place to hide these nuggets would be inside your copy of the Paradise Lost book safe – surely no one would ever think of looking for them there! I bet you now wish that RD had published War and Peace in the WBR series after all. I wish you lots of good luck in all your future RDDDI ventures.

Edited: Apr 21, 2012, 1:41am Top

Myself and lots of others (I'm sure) checked out the RDA site. Ruly, where do you get all this info? I learned so much, I was reading for hours, I burned my toast.............

It's Mrs Readers Digest because RD went broke, Ruly. NOT busty.

I expect now she's involved we'll get some Mills and Boon stuff soon.

Before I am accused of being a sexist for that remark, I can prove that I am not. Recently when a fellow male asked to leave our flight because the pilot was a woman, I was the only one who jumped to her defence and told him not to be so stupid, old fashioned and sexist.

After all, it's not as if she had to reverse the thing.

Edited: Apr 28, 2012, 11:32pm Top

Oh, I'm quite sure that no one would ever accuse you of being sexist after proffering such a gallant defence, Novak. BTW, I'm so sorry to hear that reading that DDI blog caused you to burn your toast. Been there, done that, many times myself – so now I've learnt to never try and cook toast while surfing the web. Instead, I usually wait until the weather forecast comes on the telly before I start to make toast. That way, there's no chance I'll get distracted.

"I expect now she's involved we'll get some Mills and Boon stuff soon."

OMG, Novak ... that's quite some vaticinal talent you have there! RDA have just announced that starting this summer it intends to offer all its subscribers a 2-for-1 pairing of a FREE popular Mills & Boon title with every rehashed WBR classic tome that it sends out. According to RDA's press announcement, the proposed book pairings have been carefully selected by a cadre of RD's top editors so that each title in the pair addresses a similar theme or motif. Below are the first six offerings that have been announced in this exciting new mail order initiative ...

MAY 2012
Which side of paradise is the right side? You decide.
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Far Side of Paradise by Robyn Donald

JULY 2012
A lost horizon or a hidden summit ... is there really any difference?
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr

Whether Transylvanian or American, vampires will always be a pain in the neck!
Dracula by Bram Stoker
American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout

Just in time for the holidays, a pair of Christmas classics ...
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Heavenly Christmas by Carole Mortimer

From the innocents abroad to the innocence of a broad, they both make compelling reads.
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
My Innocent Indiscretion by Eva Cassel

MARCH 2013
This month we're serving up a mind-splitting set of schizophrenic psychos ... or, if you prefer, we're delivering a double doppelgänging dose of dual personalities.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Identity Crisis by Laura Scott

Apr 24, 2012, 4:04am Top

567> That's her. She's the pilot of our 747, the one I bought my copy of "Ivanhoe" from. Ruly, that is incredabubblle. How do you do that? Ahhhgggggg! The toast.....................The toast.............

Edited: Apr 26, 2012, 11:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Apr 28, 2012, 10:15pm Top

>568 Novak: "... the one I bought my copy of 'Ivanhoe' from."

Novak, you really shouldn't go around buying dubious copies of "Ivanhoe" from every Magyar-speaking woman of questionable repute that you happen to "bump into" on your travels. A much smarter approach would be to only buy the genuine article from a reputable garden equipment company. So in future, bro, avoid purchasing spurious hoes from Hungarian hos named Ivana and buy yourself a Spuro hoe from a huge garden hose / hoe wholesaler (thank you, Santa) named Ivan. It also comes with an Armoury Tool Holder Trolley so that Ivanhoe's suit of armour can be washed in situ before being wheeled away and stored until it's next required. Even smudgie has finally given up on his cheap imitation German-branded Ivanhoe and now exclusively buys only genuine British Ivanhoes.

Apr 27, 2012, 6:46pm Top

569> Don't be so shy WBR, we can take it.

570> But she was so helpful and the book was a bargain even though it is all in German. All I gave her was my Paypal # and password. Anyway I don't do gardens but I've an hose of my own..!

Now then.....BARCHESTER TOWERS (Anthony Trollope) I am reading this at present and very good it is too. My RD copy is from 1996 with drawings by Edward Ardizzone and afterword by Sally Shuttleworth. It was printed in USA by R.R. Donnelly & Sons Company.

Can anyone tell me if this has been re-issued since then? On making enquiries about a copy for sale on-line the seller said his copy did not have drawings or an afterword but was WBR. Have RD done a “Change the color of the cover and sell some more” on this one too?

Further.....Is it just me or has the secondary market on the later WBRs dried up lately?

Apr 27, 2012, 11:53pm Top

Oooh, nice segue, Novak ... from Ivana Ho to Anthony Trollope. Very clever! :)

Regarding your question about BT, you've clearly been so busy posting on this thread that you have never bothered to stop and actually read it. The re-release of BT without illustrations (nor an Afterword) was initially identified as such in both of the WBR inventories listed in posts #183 and #242, and was actually discussed as an "international variation" in post #556 ... a post to which you even responded back to in post #559!

I personally own the same illustrated UK edition of BT that you do so I have never pursued the later reissue, but I do not believe that it is that difficult to locate relative to any of the other post-2003 unillustrated issues, all of which (I think) are released simultaneously in ALL of RD's current English-speaking markets around the world. The BT title has a similar status to The Jungle Books in that it was released pre-2003 (in 1996?) only in the U.K. and S. Africa when the US & CA, UK & SA, and AU & NZ branches of RD were each independently issuing their own new titles, and all the titles so issued were still illustrated.

Note that this is NOT the same issue as RD having now gone on another hiatus WRT issuing new titles in the WBR series but instead recycling old WBR titles (sometimes with different colored boards) to its current subscribers. That recent development is simply due to the financial demands of RD's current bankruptcy status. It presumably costs much less to simply reprint an existing title (or even to pull stockpiled copies of an extant title out of the warehouse) than it does to newly layout, format, proofread and then publish fresh titles. The original hiatus from 1996 through 2002 (when existing titles were likewise recycled in the U.S. and Canada markets rather than new ones being added) was probably also due to a similar bout of corporate cost cutting.

Edited: Dec 4, 2012, 12:19pm Top

Thank you Rule 42, as usual, you are right again. I did read it but I've been asleep a few times since then. Your pic of the latest Bar' Towers is the only one I've ever seen, so thanks for that too. I never persue the later issues but I'm always in bookshops and if I see 'em, I buy 'em. As I was commenting tho', they seem to be getting scarce.

Can you imagine the Readers Digest (Mrs) steering committee meeting..?....

Him: "Have we checked on-line what that LT mob are saying about our books?"

Her: "Yep..! 26% say they prefer WBRs with illustrations. 26% don't want illustrations."

Him: "What about the rest..?"

Sales manager: "Brainless..!"

Him: "Hmmmmm. What about our inside informer, whatshisface..? Rule 24 or something, what's he say?"

Her: "No contact. We think he's asleep or writing poetry again. I don't know what we pay him for."

Him: "OK. Do the illustrations cost us any money?"

Sales manager: "Only if we can't steal them or if they are not out of copyright. Then we have to pay cash for 'em."

Her: "Thats agreed then. Leave them out..! ..... Coffee?"

Edited: May 2, 2012, 5:52pm Top

Hi, I'm new here, although I have 123 WBR's and have been following this thread ever since it started. I have come across 4 new books all published in the UK in 2011 by Vivat Direct Ltd. (t/a RD). Full cloth binding, no faux leather, symbolic picture in black and silver to front and rear covers, silver gilt writing to spine. The titles are
3 Men in a Boat & Bummel, Kidnapped and Study in Scarlet & Hound of the Baskervilles
And the one you really want to know about, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.ISBN 978 0 276 44662 7.
These books have dull grey or dull fawn covers, with WBR written across the top of the spine and
Readers Digest along the bottom of the spine, includes the four page biographical pull-out. No Pegasus!
We have what we call Charity Shops in the UK, where people donate there unwanted items including books which are then sold on fairly cheap. these 4 books were all priced at 3 pounds, say 5 dollars each.
I only bought the last one of course since I already have the earlier editions of the first three.
Happy hunting and happy reading.

May 3, 2012, 4:43am Top

Hi Busker: Thanks for the info.....We see you joined LT on May 1st 2012. Should that not read April..?

Edited: May 9, 2012, 6:28am Top

>567 Rule42:

Hey..! Your Innocence of a broad (Eva Cassell) got me interested so I decided I would look that one up and read it. Now I find it is published by Spice Briefs.

Well..! I just couldn't wear those, could I..?

May 10, 2012, 6:55am Top

>549 lotofwhiskers:

I have just been offered a copy of "The Good Soldier". Has anyone a shot of the cover? I'd like to be able to recognise it.

Edited: May 11, 2012, 3:29pm Top

>575 Novak: ... You really need to change the configuration of the calendar function on your PC back to its default "Gregorian" setting. I'm not quite sure why Microsoft even offers the "Julian" option but please believe me, Novak, when I tell you that no one other than yourself uses it! :)

>576 Novak: ... Why ever not, Novak? David Beckham does. Even under his skirt!

>577 Novak: ... I hope this helps.

May 10, 2012, 7:13pm Top


Thanks for the shot of "The Good Soldier", Rule 42. Do you feel, as I do, that Readers Digest are taking their cost-cutting a little too far on the later editions..?

Edited: May 11, 2012, 10:10am Top


Now look..! You cannot blame Microsoft for the calender. It is clear that when it is dark in USA it is Wednesday in UK. Even Readers Digest and his wife can't change that.

May 23, 2012, 9:20pm Top

Great another retread. So tiring RD!

May 23, 2012, 10:13pm Top

I guess RD puts the "read" in "retread"! :)

Hmm, now that RD is back out of bankruptcy protection, instead of the reorganized company being called Mrs. Reader's Digest, maybe it should be called Retreader's Digest instead?

But you really cannot blame RD for now cashing in on its unique ability to think up extraordinary uses for ordinary things. You may not know this, suits, but RD actually has unparalleled expertise when it comes to all things pertaining to the reuse of old tires. It's beginning to look like there are now 4 ways to reuse them ....

May 29, 2012, 9:25am Top


Brilliant wordplay you two..!

Retreaders Digest..! Oh, I love it. Let's wait and see if they can get 40,000 miles out of a set of books.

May 29, 2012, 5:29pm Top

"Let's wait and see if they can get 40,000 miles out of a set of books."

IMO, to get 40,000 miles out of a set of retreads might be stretching things a little. You might be able to get that sort of mileage out of a brand new set of Michener Pilot Sports, a pair of high performance Pirandello Cinturato P7s, or even a set of slightly used Machiavelli Ultra High Performance All-Season P Zero Neros. Unfortunately, a pair of Verne retreads probably won't last you much longer than 20,000 leagues. We're talking faux leather here, Novak ... not actual rubber!

Of course, your expected mileage will vary considerably depending on how quick a reader you are and how recklessly you apply the brakes when someone interrupts your reading.

May 31, 2012, 3:20am Top

We can see why you feel deflated, Rule 42. Maybe you should keep a low profile and tread carefully for at least a good year..? (Slick, eh...?)

May 31, 2012, 6:04pm Top


I have just recieved WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD. by EM Forster for my latest book from Retreaders Digest.

I don't want this title because I already own it. The point is, this latest book does not corner anywhere near as fast as the old one.

Edited: Jun 1, 2012, 9:59pm Top

>586 Norma.Snockers: ... If your latest book doesn't corner anywhere near as fast as the old one did, it might be because you need new snock absorbers! :)

>585 Novak: ... Keeping a low profile and treading carefully for at least a good year was exactly what I was trying to do until you kept pestering me, Novak. Did you not read my earlier post #563?

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Make no sound, tip-toe across the floor
If Novak hears, he'll knock all day
I'll be trapped, and here I'll have to stay

Jun 3, 2012, 8:34pm Top

Sad thing about this model was that it didnt come with a owners manual. The first time they came off the line it came with the OM. How am I supposed to know when to pull maintence?

Jul 25, 2012, 1:27pm Top

Does anyone have a list of new books issued in 2012?

Aug 17, 2012, 11:02am Top

Is this chat closed? If so how come?

Aug 22, 2012, 2:54pm Top

I have 132 of these books.

Aug 22, 2012, 3:30pm Top

I was also removed without asking to be. I signed up again.

Aug 24, 2012, 8:33am Top

Now have 144 in collection, have also 70 duplicates , if anyone needs any
let me know, based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Robert Murray

Sep 7, 2012, 5:53pm Top

I only have 134 in my collection. I thought I needed
only 2 more. I guess I have to start looking harder.
My source is wikipedia, any others out there?
I need Phantom of the Opera and The Moon and

Sep 22, 2012, 2:55pm Top

Hi. More news from the UK concerning what I am going to call the New Style (NS) WBR.
As per my post 574 I now have two more of these new style WBR’s in my collection.

The War of the Worlds + The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, ISBN 978 1 780 20032 3
Publication date is given as 2011. Slate blue cloth covers. Picture to front cover taken from the Orson Welles film depicting Martians attacking, the picture is in black with silver beams burning everything up and people scattering everywhere. Rear cover shows parts of a clock in black with silver hands and roman numerals. WBR is across the top of the spine and Readers digest along the bottom. As far as I can tell the wording throughout is as the earlier edition of 2005, although the pagination is different, 318 pages for the 2011 edition as opposed to 310 for the 2005 edition. The four page bibliographic insert is also considerably different in the NS edition.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, ISBN 978 1 780 20031 6 published 2011. Dullish green full cloth covers, picture to front in black of Crusoe looking out to a silver sea with a gun in his hand accompanied by his dog, picture to rear shows a desert island with a distant ship sinking in a silver sea. Spine with title and WBR and Readers Digest in silver. Wording as the 2005 edition but again the pagination is different, 303 for the 2011 as against 297 for the 2005 edition. I do not have the four page insert for the 2005 edition so I can’t compare the two. Will keep you informed.

Sep 26, 2012, 1:44pm Top

Robert, how do I get in touch with you? I am interested in whether you have have several titles I'm looking for.


Oct 7, 2012, 10:44am Top

I am still a member of the Worlds Best Reading from Readers Digest. I was very surprised to receive "Babbitt" in the mail last week. It was 1 of only 2 books I needed. It is my understanding that they are not printing any additional books since 2011. The problem is, you never know when they might start printing new books again.

Oct 7, 2012, 10:48am Top

I need "Moon and Sixpence". Do you have this one?

Oct 16, 2012, 1:20pm Top

Does anyone have information on releases after "The Jungle?"
That is the last one shown on the Wikipedia list.
I can't get any info. from RD - big surprise!

Thanks in advance.

Oct 17, 2012, 7:56am Top

Can you please send title list of your 70 duplicates to mmmbuhagiar@hotmail.com please (should be 'a' with circle round it between mmmbuhagiar and hotmail.com but not showing up on preview... I have 85 and would be happy to discuss purchase of those I don't have, mostly more recent one's.

Thanks very much.


Oct 27, 2012, 1:12pm Top

RD is still trying to get rid of their old stock. Two cycles in a row. Sea Wolf and this time Prisoner of Zenda. So apparently they are no longer printing new additions. At least they are not sending them to me! Of course if you are in need of an old book thats OK. Or if you want to have a newer, older book thats OK too. But not all the old ones come with inserts. Your choice I suppose.

Nov 28, 2012, 8:55pm Top

>601 suit4u:

Suits, are you actually paying RD for these books and keeping them? Even if they are re-treads and you already have a copy.

Nov 29, 2012, 4:05pm Top

>602 Novak:
No I have sent them back. But so far Im still on the mailing list so thats good. I havent been deleted yet :-)

Nov 29, 2012, 4:53pm Top

When you say "mailing list", there's only budwray, Norma Snockers, Rule 42 and you left on the list. How long can RD hold on if you keep sending 'em back? By the time some of these books go onto someone's shelf they must be as well travelled as Bill Bryson.......

Nov 30, 2012, 8:44am Top

I really dont want to come off the mailing list. Perchance someone at RD screws up and actually orders a new book to be made. At least at $30 is cheaper than $70 to $100 dollars on the secondary market that it takes to get Persuasion, which is the only book Im missing. To sad though, RD has a great product and doesnt know how to manage or sell it.

Dec 1, 2012, 7:36am Top

RD has a great product and doesnt know how to manage or sell it.

Oh, they know what they're doing ok. Go back and read post 573 ;o)

Jan 24, 2013, 3:37am Top

Things must be getting tight at Retreaders Digest. They have contacted me with an offer to buy my collection back again. Maybe they're running out of books.............. ;o)

See new topic............................

Jan 2, 2018, 11:04am Top

If you still have the book I'll be willing to buy it from you. Where Angels Fear to Tread/A Room with a View by EM Forster are what I'm currently looking for.

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