Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paper Lion

Chicago had some snow a couple of weeks ago.  Lots of it.  I'm sure you heard.  Snow, wind, yada, yada, yada.

It was bad.  People who ventured out must have felt like they were sucking nuclear fallout.   Me and the fam hunkered down for the night.  Movies, cards and a good book.

We woke up under two feet of snow.  I wandered downstairs to put the coffee on.

And naturally my first thought, as I opened the front door and peeked over a four foot drift, was "WHERE ARE MY NEWSPAPERS??????????!!!!!!!!!

I'm a news junkie.  Paper please - two dailies and the Wall Street Journal. 

I hate to leave the house uninformed.  For me, a day without papers is like showing up at NASA with a 3rd grade education. 

Need my papers, especially when we're trapped like olives in an air tight bottle. 

I grew up surrounded by news.  Among my earliest memories are waking up to the sound of radio, transistor style, emanating from the bathroom.  I knew the time and temperature before my dream was done. 

Then it was off to the kitchen table, where another radio sat on the end as my parents dove into their coffee and papers.  Mike Royko, Wally Phillips, Bill Gleason, Roy Leonard.  Voices of Chicago.  My voices. 

I'm a dying breed. For proof, step on to a train or bus these days. Everyone is glued to their pods, berries and pads. The "commuter fold" is going the way of drive-ins and mimeographs.

I go online, but its not the same.  Online news is like indoor baseball or TV hockey.  Nice, but I want a real experience.  You can't shake a website or doze off covered by the sports page, though my son would probably say, "Isn't there an app for that?"

Which brings me back to our snow day.  The benevolent folks at my dailies gave me access, for a day, to the electronic version of their rags.  Not the website, mind you, but the actual paper online, pages and all.  This.  Was.  Cool. 

Memo to your marketing folks:  Figure out a way to bundle your home delivery and electronic versions.  Having both at a competitive price would be delightful.

In the meantime,  see you at the webstand.


  1. Interestsing. I have tried to read medical journals online and I find them physically taxing to read and more difficult to skim since I can't see the whole page at once.

  2. Having to scroll is a pain - tough to get used to.