Reader's Digest Loves New Yorkers, Why Is The Feeling Not Mutual?

by Rachelle Hruska · May 14, 2008

ReaderNoelle Hancock"s piece titled "Are New Yorkers Actually Rude? Discuss!" for NY Mag"s Daily Intel, brought out quite the commentors. The first thing I thought of while reading it, was the poll that Reader"s Digest had done last year that I made sure to spread around my midwestern circles via emails, fbposts, phone discussions, and any other way possible...It was important for me that my friends from home KNEW that my city was nicer than they ever thought...the NICEST in fact in the WORLD...and a completely scientifically conducted poll could back me up.

Out of 36 cities worldwide, Reader"s Digest found that New York topped them all. Putting more than 2,000 people to the test in each location, New Yorkers turned out to be the best bunch: 90 percent held the door open, 19 out of 20 store clerks said "thank you," and 63 percent of men and 47 percent of women helped with the flying papers. So what if the study only tested a very small % of people here, and was only compared to other huge cities worldwide, not the little "Omahas"....For me it validated what I already knew, New Yorkers ARE actually (*GASP) nice...if not a little bit egocentric.

Every time I brought up the Reader"s Digest survey to my metropolitan friends here, I had to endure the incessant questions that came, not about the topic at hand, but regarding the magazine itself. "That is still around?!" "Who in the hell reads Reader"s Digest!?" etc. etc.

Was the Reader"s Digest craze something that was just unique to my midwestern upbringing? To my "weird" family? I can"t understand it. It"s a great little reader. Has some inspiring stories, jokes, endless anecdotal features, advice columns, beauty tips, interviews, and those word power vocab tests that I relish at wining...the list goes on and on. And the best part about it is that its all contained in a miniature magazine that you can pocket and take with you anywhere. The peices are long enough to keep you interested, short enough to not loose your attention. Oh I could go on and on with the benefits of the Reader"s Digest, the random information I have picked up from it that has come out at dinner parties, and the countless memories of seeing them laying around my parents house. Even ones from years ago can still become interesting reads-another benefit.

The company has been having their share of trouble, probably due to the decrease in readership. I gave out 5 subscriptions last Christmas, though I"m pretty sure they weren"t combed through as feverishly as their larger contemporaries.

As far as New Yorkers" politeness levels go? I"m putting my money on our citizens being some of the nicest around....Reader"s Digest told me so:)