Sunday, January 6, 2013

Printed News

I just spent two hours reading the paper.

Contrary to what most people seem to think about my generation, I love the newspaper and printed news, and most of all I love the Sunday New York Times. I usually start with the Magazine section, then Style, Arts and Leisure, Sports, Travel, Week in Review, then the Book Review, and lastly the Front Page. It really does take me close to two hours to get through all of that because (get this) I actually read most of it. I skim all the headlines and articles, and read about 1/3-1/2 of the stories on average. I love them Modern Love column in the Style section, the final essay in the Magazine, and the random articles in Week in Review. I tolerate the Sports section (mostly because I think the Washington Post sportswriters are better), but it usually has one or two good articles. I always read the music articles in Arts and Leisure, and at least one Front Page article.

I don't know why I stick so strongly to printed news. My family has always gotten the paper delivered: Washington Post during the week, New York Times on Sundays. We recently started getting the Sunday Post as well, except it's delivered on Saturday, so I get a preview of the greatness that is the Sunday Times. I've been reading the paper basically since I could read, starting with the comics (which I still read religiously) and working my way up. Even on a school day, I still sit down and read most of the front page, and the comics, and the Metro section if I have time. I skim Sports, and whatever extra excerpt there is (Food on Wednesday, Weekend on Thursday, Magazine on Sunday). Whatever I don't get to in the morning, I read when I come home, even if it's at 9:30 at night when I get home from work. It's just something I do. I feel uninformed if I don't read the paper, out of the loop, behind. I treasure that I'm able to pick up the paper in the morning, shake it out of its tight plastic covering, and flip it over to see the day's news. Even if I've already heard about some of the headlines via Facebook or regular Internet escapades, I always go back and read about them in the paper anyway.

Some may say my paper reading ways are a waste of time, that I could just get up to the minute news on the Internet, or save paper and subscribe online. Yeah, I could do that. But really, would it feel the same to sit down for two hours on a Sunday morning at my computer screen, or an iPad? Can I drink tea and not worry about accidentally spilling it on my my news? My computer doesn't smell like ink, doesn't leave a dusky trail on my fingertips. It's just not the same. So, to you, doubters, haters of the printed word, I say this: my two hours with the paper are some of the most relaxed and happy times I have during the week. It's my unwinding time, when I can fill my head with ideas and thoughts not my own, when I can learn about everything that's bigger than me, far off places and new ideas, music, art, lives. The Internet is just not the same, even if the words and articles are identical. My two hours with the paper ground me, and let my mind float, every single day.

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