Magazine for the nearsighted

The magazine Leisure debuted in 1963. It was distributed exclusively at barbershops and featured articles intended to be of interest to male readers, on subjects such as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, golf, skiing, travel, hobbies, photography, etc. But what made the magazine unique was that all the articles were printed in extra large type. This was so that barbershop customers who took off their glasses to get their hair cut could still read the magazine.

I’ve found several newspaper articles referencing the existence of this magazine, but I haven’t been able to find any copies of it archived anywhere. It doesn’t even appear in library databases.

Eureka Humboldt Standard - Sep 18, 1963

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 24, 2020
     Category: Magazines | 1960s | Eyes and Vision

I found a similar short newspaper mention of this magazine in the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, on page 4, August 29, 1963.
Posted by Fritz on 01/24/20 at 11:45 AM
Since it was distributed free, libraries considered it just another throwaway and didn't bother with it. Imagining the condition of a copy that'd been in a barbershop a couple of years before someone did a clear-out of the rattiest bottom-of-the-pile stuff, it's doubtful anyone wanted to keep one.

The idea, as a service, is good, but it doesn't seem to me to tick the right boxes as a business. If the advertising was also in large print, there wasn't much space for the publisher to make a profit, and if it wasn't, it wouldn't be very effective. Also, being free, they couldn't charge the same advertising rate as magazines which could claim a certain tier of paid subscribers. To my thinking, it falls somewhere between an advertising throwaway and a real magazine, without the income potential of either.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/24/20 at 11:11 PM
On top of it, it misses two major revenue bringers of the future: women and Internet. Nowadays, a reader in big fonts could make ten times the revenue of this telephone book with no expenses in paper. Plus, they forget that 80% of everyday expenses are made by people who would never approach a barbershop. Therefore, the newspapers of the future would be Facebook ads with cute kittens, in large, girly handwriting.
Posted by Yudith on 01/25/20 at 10:26 AM
Clearly there was a business model here, judging from all the older members of my family who subscribed to the large print edition of Readers Digest.
Posted by Brian on 01/26/20 at 09:41 PM
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