I could go straight to the computer on Sunday morning to read about what’s going on, but I still walk out to the mailbox in the dark to get the newspaper.
The Sunday paper is not instant. I like that. I dissect it slowly, separating ads from the rest. The ones from stores I’m likely to shop at go into a special pile, along with the comics, coupon circulars and Parade Magazine.
I’ve found Parade interesting since I was in junior high school when my Social Studies teacher referred to an article I’d seen. After that I figured if he read it, there must be some good material there. Its editors have toyed with me recently though, reducing its dimensions and therefore the type size. Don’t they know their clientel likely have to use glasses to see it?
Earlier than that, comics were one of the first published pieces I was able to understand. They will always have a special place in my heart. Hi and Lois Flagston haven’t kept up with me, having gone from my parents’ to my contemporaries’ to my childrens’ ages, but they have kept up with the times. I still think their kids’ feelings are right on.
News stories in the paper are more telling that ones you hear on TV. Thanks to the good old inverted pyramid, I can read the first paragraph to get important stuff, but am more likely to read all of it because there is useful information I can use to substantiate my opinions and awareness of the world. This is sadly missing from TV and radio newscasts — not the correspondents’ fault, for it is the nature of the medium and its audience. I just like to go back over information to let it sink in.
The noisiness (and channel noise – remember Marshal McLuhan?) of electronic devices inhibits my reception. And, in this land of the free, I turn the page and go on if I don’t care to learn about something a newspaper offers; with a television, I’m just one of a large group being held hostage until the next story which I may be interested in.
Halfway through I make a cup of tea or coffee to rest on a coaster on the coffee table. I have to do all I can to make the experience last. It comes only once a week.
After parsing off the sports section and Sudoku puzzle for my husband, who’s fine with getting news that bounces off a satellite and rides the silent radio waves into the blast of television, I get into features and opinions. I’m glad people still write in to the editor and am interested in what they’re thinking. Also glad that they are willing to back up their opinions with names and addresses, which we don’t get from trolls who contribute little but disturbing responses to otherwise useful pieces on the Internet.
Book reviews can be seen online, but I like to read them, like the books themselves, savoring the touch of pages of thin, organic substance (not to mention the snackle sound and ink smell). This reader finds that computers and their screens work better for writing and for catching up with friends.
I have a plan for when major newspapers start to fold. I’ll save Sunday editions for two years, filing them in a cabinet which will resemble 104 stacked mailboxes in a 4×26 array. When there are no more printing companies and paper deliverers, I’ll go to the slot which corresponds to the week on the calendar, make my cup of coffee and settle down to divide the sections. Only that already will have been done.