Picking up my newspaper at the end of the driveway early one morning, I realized that I might be the last person in my block who still had a newspaper delivered. I know I’m the only one who has two delivered on Sunday. For about thirty seconds, I told myself all the reasons that sensible people get their news from the internet. Then I reminded myself that I don’t read newspapers for the news.
Newspapers have never existed solely to provide top-breaking news coverage. That’s the role of radio, TV, and the internet. Newspapers are for other things. They’re for unfolding clean and crisp and reading local letters to the editor with the second cup of coffee at breakfast. They’re for in-depth coverage of public figures, scientific discoveries and social issues. They’re for thoughtful and intelligent reviews of books and movies and plays. They’re for Dear Abby, crossword puzzles, comics, and the horoscopes that nobody believes but everybody reads. They’re to pass back and forth to somebody you love on lazy Sunday mornings on a sun-dappled terrace with a pitcher of bloody Marys. They’re for lining bird cages, paper training puppies, catching paint drips, and wrapping breakables when you move.
Newspapers are a way of life. At least they’re my way of life, and I will continue to subscribe as long as publishers print them.