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1 shutdown  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:18:31am

Memories of sharing a newspaper:
1- I am 10. My father gets up and is gone before me in the morning. The newspaper is always left for me on the kitchen table, re-assembled into its “delivery” constellation, although I know he has read it. There is always a note on top of the paper. “Have a great day”. Or “Feed the dogs”. Or the next installment of a running joke “You know you are getting old, when…”. To this day I reassemble the newspaper after I read it.

2- I am in college. My housemate and I spring for a subscription of the Sunday NYT. We crawl to the kitchen, away form our hangovers and towards the coffee, around noon. Do the puzzle together. We remain close friends 25 years later. I hate crossword puzzles.

3- I am a father. My youngest daughter and I compete to see who can solve the Jumble in their head fastest. My son drags sections all over the house to read them. I have to hunt them down all morning.

I owned a nook. I gave it away.

2 Eclectic Cyborg  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:35:46am

This is why I still pick up papers every now and then. I’ve actually started a collection which stretches back nearly 10 years now. It started when I picked up a few magazines and newspapers immediately following 9/11 and went from there, it has grown to include many major events of the past 10 years:

- The London terrorist attacks
- Japanese Tsunami from this year
- Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games
- Death of Pope John Paul II in 2005
- The loss of Shuttle Columbia in 2003
- The beginning and early phases of the Iraq War
- Death of Saddam Hussein
- The 2004 NHL lockout (I’m Canadian, it was a huge deal up there)
- Indian Ocean Tsunami
- Hurricane Katrina
- New Orleans Saints 2010 Superbowl victory
- BP Oil Spill
- Electoral victory of Barack Obama
- Death of Osama Bin Laden

I look forward to showing this collection to my kids and grandkids and passing it on. Somehow, it’s more exciting than just clicking some links on a computer screen. I’ve already taken steps to properly preserve it so it lasts through time.

3 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:36:34am

re: #1 imp_62

What wonderful memories!—both the ones you have and the ones you’re building with your daughter. Thanks for sharing them. ;)

4 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:42:41am

re: #2 dragonfire1981

I look forward to showing this collection to my kids and grandkids and passing it on.…I’ve already taken steps to properly preserve it so it lasts through time.

That’s a terrific idea and will be a great gift to your kids. Kudos to you for your efforts.

Somehow, it’s more exciting than just clicking some links on a computer screen.


5 Fozzie Bear  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:43:07am

My mom still gets a physical paper. She brews a pot of coffee every morning, and sips it while thumbing through.

I love to go and visit her in the mornings, and pass the sections back and forth, and sip coffee on her back porch, while the birds flit about the feeder.

There’s something about this experience that simply cannot be captured by an electronic device.

I have to call my mom now.

6 Bob Levin  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:43:36am

Before we wax into melted candles, newspapers have worked hard to earn their present position. And a certain blog highlighting the Dan Rather scandal let everyone know that there are alternatives. Charles and Glenn Reynolds, historically, let us all know that the pile of fire hazard that would build up so close to the couch needn’t bother us anymore and we wouldn’t be any worse for wear.

However, I miss the size of the old papers, the different ways they could be folded to fit your reading needs. Watch a movie with Spencer Tracy reading the paper—it was a comparative tent. Nowadays, I see the local paper, a paper with national reputation, and it looks like it was printed in a high school. There are no reporters left, it can slide under a door crack, and the quality of what’s considered objective….well, there’s a reason some of us post here.

7 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:51:04am

re: #5 Fozzie Bear

There’s something about this experience that simply cannot be captured by an electronic device.

I have to call my mom now.

Awww. ;o)

8 What, me worry?  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 10:51:21am

Ugh… I guess I’m the only one.

I hate the paper. It’s big and bulky. The print is too small for me to read with my aged eyes. The stories are often cut up from page to page. Far too many ads (ok, so is online and 2x as annoying because they flash). But the worst of all is the terrible waste.

I have zero nostalgia for the printed paper. They could dry up tomorrow, I wouldn’t care a wit!

9 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:00:39am

re: #6 Bob Levin

Killjoy! Heck, even crusty old Fozzie went soft over this one. ;)

I think it’s pretty clear from the responses that it’s less about the content and more about a method of delivery which allows us to create little traditions around it that help keep us connected on a personal level.

10 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:03:34am

re: #8 marjoriemoon

Oh no, not another Grinch coming to steal our warm & fuzzy newspaper nostalgia! Tsk, tsk. ;)

11 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:18:46am

For a lot of kids, their first job was a paper route.

12 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:22:07am

I have no nostalgia for print newspapers. I see that those who miss the print editions do so because they have fond memories associated with enjoying the paper with loved ones.

Print newspapers have gone the way of the phone booth.

13 shutdown  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 11:32:44am

re: #12 Alouette

I have no nostalgia for print newspapers. I see that those who miss the print editions do so because they have fond memories associated with enjoying the paper with loved ones.

Print newspapers have gone the way of the phone booth.

I disagree in genreal with the notion that electronic media have made physical papers and books obsolete. This is not just an issue of nostalgia, but one of how the human mind receives, processes, and retains information. The mind processes and deals with physical books and newspapers differently than it does the electronic. It will take numerous human and technological generations before there is factual obsolescence of physical media.

14 Locker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 12:04:40pm

I love physical newspapers because I’m damn sure not gonna leave my Kindle behind in the bathroom (subway, coffee shop, etc) for the next guy to read.

15 Charleston Chew  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 2:38:12pm

While it lacks the sensual pleasures of a newspaper, the web does give you more and better information, making you smarter. So it’s a -1 for the “heart” and a +1 for the brain.

Also, it’s cheaper, and making information cheaper is good for society. Democratized knowledge improves democratized government.

I get the nostalgia, but would be a hypocrite to endorse it because I was born poor in the middle of nowhere and never read the NYT until, thanks to the web, it was available everywhere for free.

16 PhillyPretzel  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 5:44:08pm

I get both the print and the online editions of The Wall Street Journal. I know the WSJ is having its problems with Muckraker Murdoch but I will admit there is still something about physically reading a paper. I like reading the paper online; it is very convenient for me.

17 CuriousLurker  Thu, Jul 21, 2011 8:11:00pm

re: #13 imp_62

re: #15 Charleston Chew

re: #16 PhillyPretzel

As Charleston & Philly mentioned, there are definitely benefits in terms of cost, convenience, usability, accessibility, and what have you, but I’m with imp on this one. We do indeed use and process physical books & newspapers differently than electronic versions—at least I know I do.

And what about the people who write what we read? When putting pen—or even pencil or typewriter—to paper, a certain amount of careful thought had to go into what you were going to say prior to committing it to paper. If you messed up, it was a LOT of work to go back and change things.

Now with a few split-second keystrokes thoughts & ideas can be rearranged. There is no longer a penalty for acting on a whim. Is that a good or bad thing? I don’t know. What would our literature be like if history’s famous authors had access to computers?

Come to think of it, what would religion be like if there had been HD camcorders around when the prophets were alive to record all of their exact words & deeds for posterity? Now there’s a thought I hadn’t had before…

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