How can I give up my morning paper?

I am one of the last 205,939 subscribers to The Boston Globe who still get it delivered to their home. My husband reads it, but he does it the way he eats ice cream – if I buy it – or watches television – when I turn it on. He claims he only does it because it’s there. It’s true that he doesn’t need the Globe to get the national news; he’s been reading the New York Times online for years. When they finally started restricting free content, he gave in and bought a subscription. As far as he’s concerned, we get the Globe for me. The charge appears on his credit card though, and I have to admit, he’s been relatively good-natured about the cost, because it’s pretty darn expensive.

The paper itself has been steadily shrinking for months. Each day when I pick it up off my porch it feels a little lighter. After I remove the sports section, which gets tossed without so much as a glance, and dump out the advertising circulars, I am left with precious little to read with my morning cereal.

When I commuted to work, I drove at least an hour a day with NPR on in the car. I was one of those people who started conversations with, “Did you hear that piece on NPR?” Since I have been without a commute, I have become even more attached to my daily newspaper. Without it, I fear my world will shrink too much and I will no longer be able to participate in cocktail conversations.

Also, I confess, I read the obituaries. It’s not a case of, “I read the obituaries and if I’m not in them, I eat breakfast.” After all, I’m not that old yet. And I’m not an indiscriminate obituary reader. I scan the names in a few key towns, including the one I grew up in and the one I live in, looking for names I recognize. For the most part, they belong to parents of friends and schoolmates from my youth. Since obituaries list the next of kin and where they live, it’s a way for me to peek into the lives of the kids I remember as the grown-ups they’ve become. Obituaries help me feel connected to the world.

I realize that obituaries are online, along with the rest of the paper, but I don’t want to keep a computer on my kitchen table. I could carry my breakfast up to my office and eat in front of my computer. Or I could pay for a data plan so I can eat my breakfast in the kitchen while reading the news on a tablet, which I would then need to buy. However, today, these alternatives do not appeal to me. I know that it’s only a matter of time before an obituary for the print version of the Globe appears online. That day, I will probably be standing on my porch wondering why my paper has not yet been delivered.

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10 responses to “How can I give up my morning paper?

  1. The Globe uses much of the NYTimes content anyway. Dump the Globe. Get the NYT delivered at home & get the on-line version for free.

  2. Agreed: the morning paper (Boston Globe, print version) is a great pleasure, even though I read it a day late–no home delivery to our rural door. I think non-electronic newspapers served a great purpose. Both my boys delivered the Washington Post when we lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. It brought them some spare cash, got them out of bed without a hassle, and probably taught them some valuable lessons. I’ll grieve when that last obit. appears.

  3. I like my morning paper. We have a system. My husband gets the G section first and I get the front and metro sections. Then we switch. I’m not sure what we would do in the morning with out it. Yes I can do my crossword puzzle on line but its not the same as with a pen. And I read the obituaries too.

  4. Sitting with a cup of tea and a newspaper early in the morning is one of my most cherished moments. For me the tactile quality of folding and
    unfolding the paper is part of the experience of learning about the news, both local and international. I subscribe to both the NY Times and the Boston Globe thinking that I am supporting the fourth estate, without which a democracy can not flourish. I also like the comics.

  5. I also pull out the sports section right away. But then I read it, followed by the funnies and the rest of G. Fortified with the power of humor and comparatively trivial news, I turn to the A section for my first dose of reality for the day. And yes, I’ll take a peek at the obits for my hometown and even read the Metro section columnists, who I generally like. Judy, you should submit! It would be fun to see you rendered in pencil.

  6. Just found this blog entry, so my response is as late as the printed newspaper’s news. When I worked for an Internationally Known Newspaper, our unofficial motto even back then was “Yesterday’s News Tomorrow.” Alas, where we live now in Vermont there is no daily delivery of the NYTimes, and I am forced to read it online, which I despise. But I read the obits even there, because some are really interesting. I have in my files one about a man who endured seven concentration camps, and another of a woman whose career was dancing in the troupe in Broadway musicals, among other obits.

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