Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paper or Plastic?

What is the best way to handle newspaper delivery when we travel? Do we call the delivery boy and let him know the house will be vacant? Shall we rely on our neighbor's kindness to pick up the newspaper each morning? Maybe we should just cancel the delivery permanently.

Most, but not all, of the content of our local newspaper is available online, but still requires a subscription.  It's a couple dollars less per month than home delivery. Would I sit at my computer and read the paper as thoroughly as I do the paper version?  Probably not. I don't have an IPad or a portable device that would make reading it a bit easier.

My environmentalist daughter would argue that the amount of paper we recycle each month with a newspaper subscription warrants an electronic version.  But the same daughter, wearing her journalist hat, decries the demise and downsizing of newspapers and magazines and argues for the paper version.

I'm rapidly becoming old-fashioned, I guess, but I like the feel of the newspaper in my hand as I settle into my leather easy chair in the mornings, cup of tea steaming beside me. Reading the paper has been a part of my morning routine for a long time, and I am loath to give it up.  Reading my computer screen, even if I can read it on my laptop while sitting in my easy chair, just isn't as comfortable. And how would I work the crossword puzzle?

I bought an electronic reader recently, a Barnes and Noble Nook, and I love having the whole world of books accessible to me as I travel. But I am surprised: I miss the simple pleasure of looking at my bookmark at the edge of the book and noting how much more I have to read.  Seeing the page numbers at the bottom of my Nook screen just doesn't give me the same pleasure.

I'm a toucher: I want the feel of paper in my hand. Give me technology but leave my newspaper alone. 

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