Saturday, August 08, 2009

Read All About It

I've been an avid fan of newspapers for many, many years. My mom and dad love to tell the tale of me, pre-school aged, sitting with a copy of The Boston Globe, upside-down. When asked what I was doing, I replied "I'm ponderin' the world sichapashun." I have no memory of this, but it sounds like me imitating my father's southern drawl, so it's probably true.

I still read at least one newspaper a day, quite often more. I think non-newspaper people find this startling, because they have images of their friends reading every single word in The Boston Herald, passing out in their cornflakes, and getting nothing else done all day. What we actually do is skim, scan, and read the juicy bits. I, personally, read the first few leads. Then I scan. I read the gossip page. Scan some more. Read the editorial page, picking anything that matters to me and ditching the rest. I never read letters. A quick perusal of the Sports page, then I leave it for anyone else who cares. My Sunday and Weekend Editions are a more leisurely, luxurious process. I milk those all weekend.

Newspapers can be an amazing bonding experience, too. My father is another newspaper person. He often drops his Herald on the chair next to me in the morning to save me the buck. And we're both bad about reading articles out loud, as if the entire world MUST be fascinated by what fascinates US. Ahmed, too, is a newspaper guy. One of my absolute, all-time favorite things in the world is to lay in bed on a crisp fall morning, snuggled under warm quilts, sharing a pile of weekend newspapers in silence. We'll go an hour without a word, two nerds with glasses on the ends of our noses, to grunt a brief "did you see this?" and receive a muffled "hmph" of response.

You know it's real when you can tell the difference between a "yep" hmph, a "no" hmph, and a "not interested" hmph. And you know it's forever when you don't really care which hmph is which, because you're exactly where you want to be... you just like the sound of that hmph.

I hate to see the gradual decline of print news. I know everyone blames the internet, but to be honest we stopped having ours delivered because we went through dozens of incompetent delivery persons. In the end, it probably costs me no more to buy one paper daily at the stand, pick up the odd edition of another when I see something interesting now and then, and avoid the soggy, sloppy, and unreliable slings and arrows of delivery. Plus it's part of my routine in the morning... and I actually love it when my dad beats me to it and hands off his ratty, pre-read copy to me. It's something we share, still, after all this time. I only share my newspapers with the very best people.

Now, if you'll excuse me... it's Saturday morning. I'm off to grab the weekend Ledger and spend some quality time, ponderin' the world sichapashun. Hmph.


  1. Good post. Your mention of the decline of print news got me thinking about the tactile comfort of physical media as opposed to electronic versions. For instance, the Kindle device sounds wonderful, but I cannot bring myself to purchase one and forego the unmatched joy of turning the paper page.
    -Carolyn P

  2. I'm not much on newspapers. I hate getting dirty fingers. lol

  3. Kristen, get out of my head.

    Though I used to love the Sunday comics. What is Ziggy up to these days?

  4. I flip-flop on the newspaper. I sometimes go through periods where I want to read a hard copy. But mostly, I get my news online...