A great little literary magazine, I first stumbled upon The Happy Reader whilst browsing in a cute bookstore-cum-cafe (the world needs more of these).
The Happy Reader is a bookish quarterly magazine devoted to all things literary. Able to be read in one sitting, the first half is an interview with some kind of literary luminary, and the second half is a miscellany of articles and ideas centered around one classic book.
The first issue’s bookworm is actor Dan Stevens, who discusses a year in the life of a Man Booker judge (read 140 books in 52 weeks, please and thank you), hiding Hilary Mantel’s new book from Maggie Smith, and fragments of literature permeating his dreams.
Stevens also articulates a beautiful ode to bookish hero/ines of children’s imaginations: “I was massively into Roald Dahl, but wasn’t everyone? The book Matilda had a huge effect on me: she loves books and is able to sort shit out. This idea that a child with an active imagination, engaged with reading and libraries, is a good thing. She’s much younger than most superheroes, and really like books. If you like books and you’re young then that’s the one to read.”
Each issue opens with Snippets: Tidings, whispers, events and curios to gladden the vernal bookworm. My favourites so far have been an anecdote on a bookshop’s regular customer, the former Archbishop of Canterbury; Lorde’s recommended reading list; and a profile on world’s most literary tennis player.
The quarterly is home to lovely words, and it’s presented in the most simple and satisfying format. Most delightedly, The Happy Reader lives up to its name; it not only profiles happy readers, but it creates them.
When I read The Happy Reader, I am a happy reader.