The Happy Reader is a new magazine published by Penguin Classics in collaboration with the creators of the award-winning Fantastic Man. For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, it is a chance to reengage with classic literature and to stay inspired and entertained.
The concept of the magazine is excitingly simple: the first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one Penguin Classics title from an array of surprising and invigorating angles, through fashion, art, lifestyle, history, film and more.
The Happy Reader never patronizes, nor does it seek to baffle its audience with literary name-dropping or pedantry, wearing its bookish curiosity with a playful lightness of touch, delighting in the potential for whimsy and humour.
The magazine is centred on the concept of ‘precious print’, as embodied by Penguin Classics and Fantastic Man. It explores the myriad advantages of the printed word and image: beautiful typography, high dwell time, the matte charm of ink on paper, the calming luxury of being ‘offline’. The magazine is a design object in and of itself.
In this issue:
The actress Kristin Scott Thomas is hailed as a national treasure in not one but two countries, having reached the top of her profession in both Britain, her country of birth, and France, the country she has come to call home. She is also a voracious reader, et voila — the perfect impetus for two wide-ranging Happy Reader interviews in London and Paris.
Then, after our new best friend provides us a list of recommended reads, the issue travels west and then west some more, with Willa Cather’s O PIONEERS!, a bittersweet novel that evokes the fearful glory of the American frontier. Horseback preachers, prairie chickens, and pickled gherkins all make brief appearances in our special Nebraska-tinged section, with contributions from notable Great Plains-based writers Amanda Fortini and Clancy Martin, the comic book artist Dash Shaw, and many others besides.