My husband and I had a newspaper war. Our subscriptions to the local papers lapsed and I didn’t renew them. It was sort of an experiment to see if we would really miss not having the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News delivered to our home. Everything is available to us on line and I scan half a dozen news websites a day. Often by the time we get the morning papers I’ve already seen or heard the stories. My husband, however, moaned about not having a newspaper to hold in his hands when he woke up. He felt uninformed going to work without having read the sports section and the agate. When I went out of town he renewed our subscriptions.
I was miffed. I thought he was being parochial. What’s so important about holding a newspaper when you have so much information at your fingertips? He told me he was going to get me a Kindle so I could download my books instead of buying them. The notion horrified me. Books are meant to be held. There was no way I would read a downloaded book. Then I read about the sale of the Rocky Mountain News and I felt guilty. Is it people like me who could cost all those journalists their jobs? Am I driving a nail in the coffin of a venerable old friend and speeding up the newspaper’s march towards obsolescence? Should I join Facebook’s “Don’t Let Newspapers Die” group?
Today the giant Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy protection even as the local newspaper arrived at our home like it used to. Despite my initial protests I find myself enjoying the paper again. I linger over articles rather than scan the headlines on line. I like seeing the letters and editorials, Doonesbury, the advice columns and especially movie times. I’ve realized the newspaper isn’t just for information. It’s also for entertainment and it brings a pause to my busy life. I would never read the New York Times wedding section on line but I pore over it every Sunday to see who’s marrying who, how they met and what they do for a living. And forget about reading the New York Times Magazine on line. I didn’t sacrifice much living without newspapers but my life is better with them in it. Hopefully this is what saves them. Newspapers are a lifestyle choice. They feel good in your hands.
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