Stoicism and celebrity in The Happy Reader

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by Steve Watson in June 2019
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Seb Emina is the editor of The Happy Reader, the literary magazine made for Penguin Books by the publishers of Fantastic Man. The first half of each issue features an interview with a celebrity reader, while the second half explores ‘the book of the season’, a Penguin Classics title that inspires a range of articles and asides.

This beautifully simple structure allows Seb and his team to play around with their editorial approach, ‘breaking’ the magazine by working in jokes and obscure references, and geeking out with crazy footnotes and marginalia that bring new dimensions to the text. The 13th issue is out now, featuring Hollywood star Owen Wilson alongside Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Seb dropped into the Stack office to speak about the making of the magazine.

As you’ll probably tell from our interview, I’m a big fan of The Happy Reader, and it’s also fantastic value for money, so if all this leaves you wanting more, go and pick up your copy for just £4. Bargain.

Or if you’d like to hear more conversations about making magazines, head to our archives on Soundcloud or iTunes, where you can trawl through hours and hours of editors, art directors and publishers speaking about what they do. (And of course if you follow us while you’re there, we’ll be able to deliver our future episodes to you as soon as you’re ready.)


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