Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reading the Newspaper -- on Paper!

Yesterday, I found myself at lunch without my book and, to entertain myself, bought a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle--right off the rack. It costs $1 now, but I remember when it was a quarter. Actually, when it was 15 cents. But enought about that, grandpa.

Reading the newspaper is a forgotten pleasure. No matter how much I get news from the Internet, there isn't really anything quite like the feeling you get when you open the fold and spread out several stories at once. Photos lead your eye around--big ads scream for attention, and somewhere in there, a story begins.

You can click your way around the online version, but it doesn't show as much acreage at a glance. Actually, a good example of the difference is the way you buy a book from versus browsing at Barnes and Noble. Think about it. Despite the fact that you're much more likely to actually find the specific item you're looking for at Amazon (if they don't have it, they know someone who does), the experience of scanning the shelves--wandering around into unfamiliar areas of the store, meeting someone who also is interested in your books, chatting with the help desk. It's not the same.

You can't help but feel nostalgic reading the paper. You know that newspapers like we have today will surely be completely gone before long. I still remember reading the paper at an Adeline's donut shop in San Francisco with a cup of non-Starbucks coffee and a glazed old fashioned before heading for work. That was back when the paper was wide, and the second section had Herb Caen on the left. I often started there first. Now, I realize that Herb used to wax nostalgic about old San Francisco--from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Now I can reminisce about reading him!

No comments: