A Quiet House
House Rules

Am I a Dinosaur?

When I was growing up, my parents subscribed to two daily newspapers. In the morning, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was delivered. In the evening it was The Pittsburgh Press. My older brother had a paper route that got him out of bed before dawn. He taught me to fold the paper so that it could be thrown accurately from the sidewalk (in half horizontally, and then each outer third to the middle, tucking one into the other). My recollection is that he quit shortly after receiving his Christmas tips, but that's another story.


All that is to say that newspapers have always been a presence in my life. Today we subscribe to two daily papers, both delivered in the morning, thrown haphazardly from a car window in their plastic sleeves and landing somewhere between the sidewalk and our front steps.


During the week, I compulsively read them both. Even if it is late and I am retaining nothing of what I read, I turn every page before I turn off the light. On Sundays, reading the paper is pure pleasure. Peter and I dawdle over breakfast, each with our usual order of sections, often quoting news tidbits to each another. It is a sacred ritual.


But a ritual that may be coming to an end. To quote a recent newspaper article. "the public appetite for printed news has vanished." I had been concerned about this for a while as I watched papers shrink in both page size and number of pages. And recently our neighbors revealed that they had cancelled their papers and now read them on two laptops at their breakfast table.


The worst indication of the forthcoming demise of print newspapers is the closing of the 53-year-old "Out of Town News" kiosk which is the landmark of Harvard Square. Not that I regularly went there to buy Le Monde or some such paper, but just knowing that I could, was a comfort.


Have I ever read a newspaper online? Yes. Do I like doing so? No.


Am I a dinosaur?


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Anne Gibert

I'm absolutely with you, I would so much rather read a real newspaper. But in the boonies where I live the local paper which used to be pretty good, has been sold to a national chain, and I can't get the New York Times delivered, so I strain my eyesight to read it on-line. And the other problem is disposal. You either have to think of an imaginative or useful thing to do, like logs (don't have a wood-burning fireplace) of mulch (looks terrible). I tend to get all my news from NPR since I can't stand TV news. Is there a solution?

Sharon McEachern

I agree, it's nice to hold (and smell the newsprint and ink) of a newspaper. But we have access to so much more via the Internet. For example, an example of the fallout from our current economic crisis which I never would have thought about -- family cemetery plots are being separated. A sign of the tmes , and one that effects seniors, is illustrated by what's happening in Mooresville, N.C. The town has repossessed 11 cemetery plots because people haven't paid their bills. There is an article on this story at Ethic Soup blog at:


Sharon McEachern

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