The Happy Reader Issue 14

by The Happy Reader

€8.00

The Happy Reader is a 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:

GRACE WALES BONNER is a 28 year old fashion designer from south-east London. She has been feted by the worlds of both serious culture and high glamour, but here’s the unusual part: her clothes come with reading lists. Interviewed by Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri for this Happy Reader cover story, Grace explains how she sees herself on some level as a researcher. She visits libraries, digests acres of complex ideas about politics and identity, and expresses them, among other things, via the realm of clothes.

The Book of the Season this winter is Joris-Karl Huysmans’ AGAINST NATURE (1884), perhaps the most decadent novel ever written. Its relentless inventory-keeping thrills and inspires some readers and baffles others, and is highly relevant to this season of non-stop accumulation. Contributors include Jarvis Cocker, Lydia Davis, Rob Doyle and Jeanette Winterson.