We get the Los Angeles Times delivered once a week, on Sunday. Back when I was teaching, it was not uncommon for me to take almost a week to read the sections I wanted to read. Now, without a full-time out-of-the-house job, I can get the paper read within a few days.
I know I can read the paper online, catch up on the latest news with clicks and swipes. But I’m old-fashioned in many ways and prefer holding a newspaper in my hand, hearing the rustling and crinkling as I turn to the next page, and getting my fingertips smudged from the black ink.
We began subscribing to the Sunday Times for one reason -- the coupons. I wanted, and needed, to browse through the coupons finding ways to shave off 50 cents from the price of toilet paper or toothpaste. And now, years later, my favorite section of the paper is still the coupons and sale papers (the circulars for stores like Target and Kmart).
As a young girl, I loved reading the Travel section, saving articles about locales that intrigued me, ripping out ads for flights to Paris. Now, most of the Travel section seems unrelated to me. I’m not getting on an airplane any time soon, which rules out quite a few destinations. And many of the drivable destinations written about include information about hotels and/or restaurants far out of our price range.
When I retrieve the paper from our front step, I separate it into three piles: the headed-straight-for-recycling pile (business, real estate, ads for stores we don’t shop at), my husband’s pile (Sports, Comics, the Best Buy ad), and my pile (everything else).
Lately though, I have come to regard my to-be-read pile as another Sunday chore I need to get through. So like other chores, I get through the worst of it first. Meaning I read the main section and the California section. Most of the articles are about war, destruction, death, poverty. In other words -- the worst examples of our human race.
After that I can go on to lighter reads such as the Travel section, the Calendar, and the Arts and Books. (My husband gets the Calendar and Arts and Books after I’m done with them). Sometimes I’m tempted to skip most of the paper all together. There are far too many books I want to read, and while I read every day, I never feel as if I have enough time or energy to read as much as I’d like. I do still continue to read the Sunday paper though, because in all honesty, I’m not always as up-to-date on current news as maybe I should be. I don’t begin or end my day with the news, by choice. Again, I don’t want more information (accompanied with images and sounds) reminding me that humans are the only species that kill themselves.
In the meantime, the paper will continue to be delivered once a week. And since it’s there, I will most likely continue reading it. And like other chores, I may not enjoy the entire process, I do feel a sense of accomplishment when I’ve done it.