Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Break the Daily Reading of the Newspaper Habit

Some months ago our local newspaper, the Oregonian, announced they were changing the format of their delivery of the news. This was rather disconcerting to those of us who enjoy the daily habit of kicking back in our easy chairs and vegging while we read about the news and local items of interest.

Long ago they eliminated the full day television listing, so we won't be missing what was left of that. For those of us who are somewhat computer or television savvy know to look on the listings on the screen. Television is really not my thing except for certain programs. It is nice to know what shows are being preempted by a football game or other sporting event.

For the overall news usually by the time I read it in the printed version I had seen some of it elsewhere either on television or the Internet. It is surprising I have not broken the habit before now, but there are often interesting local and national stories that bring real life into focus and they are often not found in the televisions newscasts or online. The latest changes though take away the leisurely enjoyment as home delivery is reduced to four days a week. If a few days of reading were missed before you could just let them pile up and read them on a rainy day.

In July I decided to stop the paper as we would be away from home for two weeks and then discontinued the subscription. They continue to deliver it and so I tried out the new system. With less printed news to read, now I have time to catch up on other reading that I have long wanted to do and focusing only on critical stories that come up on the Internet news feed. This slow withdrawal is working well as my relaxation now means kicking back in the easy chair and reading from my waiting collection of books and periodicals.

Will I ever go back to subscribing? Probably not, as I expect that eventually all home delivery will cease. Picking up just the Sunday paper and other days when there are lots of ads might be a possibility. So, thank you to the editorial team for their decision to slowly wean some of us long term readers from daily reading of your newspaper. As a writer and researcher I already spend hours in a day on the computer and the last thing I want to do is read the newspaper online. Part of my decision to change is in support of those people who rely upon the delivery of the printed news, who do not use computers, or can't run to the store to pick up a copy.

One final comment is that the quality of the paper being delivered since the change is finally improving. It is expensive to produce and deliver a newspaper, but for some of us it was worth the ever increasing price to continue to enjoy such a pleasurable habit. Sharing what we would read with others was a great conversation starter and I will miss that. Breaking the habit definitely has its benefits, like more time to do other things.

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