In Praise of Newspapers

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the wonders of the World Wide Web. Later I realized that I’d aimed that post at my own age group, some of whom remain resistant to the marvels of e-mail and Internet usage. The kids who read my books would read about what I’d learned on line and think, “Well, duh.”

So to balance the discussion, I’d like to say that I love newspapers. Always have. One of the joys of my life is to read the morning newspaper every day while I sip my first cup of coffee. Now that I’ve officially passed the age of retirement, I also allow myself the luxury of working the daily crossword puzzle. My mother worked the puzzle every day in ink. I can see her sitting in her recliner, with a towel across her lap so she wouldn’t get newspaper ink on her robe. “What’s an eight letter word for hard rain?” she’d ask, but before I could reply, she’d already be writing downpour. I’m not confident enough to use ink but I usually complete the entire puzzle.

I currently subscribe to the Tacoma News Tribune. It isn’t a journalistic wonder but it gives me both the national headlines and the news of my area. It also holds wonderful surprises, such as instructions on how to prune rhododendruns, which appeared on the very day I had intended to Google that topic. Yesterday there was an article, with photo, about a sandstone sculpture that’s being created for my town’s centennial celebration this July. I read only a few of the comics, but I’m devoted to those few, and if I’ve missed last night’s baseball game, I get a quick overview.

For many years I lived in California and took the San Francisco Chronicle. It remains my favorite daily newspaper. My friends, Larry and Myra Karp, brought me so many interesting articles from the Sunday New York Times that I finally asked them to routinely save the whole shebangs for me, which they do.

I know you can read newspapers on line, but it isn’t the same. I like to hold the thin sheets of paper in my hands, and hear the slight swish of the pages turning. I want to fold it in half and then thirds, with the crossword puzzle in front.

Update on Rosie: the potential adopter’s husband nixed having an indoor cat, so Rosie is still with me, awaiting a permanent home.

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