Thursday, September 04, 2014

Ritual interrupted, NYT does not arrive

This morning our New York Times did not arrive in the front yard.  It usually is delivered around 6am, sometimes earlier, and requires walking out on the downward sloping driveway and through a grassy area to wherever it is thrown from a moving car.  A small nuisance but it is worth it.

The delivery is almost always reliable, but blips are not unknown.  The ritual here is to get up earlier than would be preferred but when sleep no longer seems to be a viable option.  That generally means going downstairs, drinking cold water and making coffee well before 6, and ready for the newspaper to arrive as I read whatever book or magazine is ongoing at the moment, or spend time checking the financial news on the internet.

Of course, by necessity this morning I went to the internet and read a few NYT articles, but it is not the same.  The physical newspaper is necessary.  It an ingrained habit going back to the days when I had morning and afternoon paper routes in my hometown from the age of 12.  It was delivered and read.  I could never understand why some people only ordered the afternoon paper, which was more New York Post-like and even more right wing  than the traditional morning paper.  Years in New York now, I understand.

What goes for newspapers is true with books as well.  Trying someone's Kindle was just not the same.  Certainly if we were to go on a long trip now we would have a Kindle or an Ipad with us.  How many books can you carry, and how many worth reading can be found on a vacation.  Books, however, are pleasing to hold and, if they are not from the library, to mark up when wanted and to fold pages.  The habit  here is to make tiny folds at the bottom of pages that I may want to return to, and they are used just after a book is finished to remember the high points.  After that they are only occasionally used, or rarely.

Someday physical newspapers and books may become a part of a quaint history, but that may take longer than is generally expected.  This is not VHS to DVD to streaming movies.  These holdable reading materials cannot be duplicated.  The experience is too tactile and vivid to go away just yet.  


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