Sunday, January 09, 2011


I have gotten a newspaper for most of my adult life, starting every morning in my robe with a cup of coffee or tea and the rattle of newsprint. It began when I was a teen, rising early every day and delivering newspapers before the rest of the world's alarm clocks went off. I delivered those papers until I got married for the first time.

Before I got married, my days started with the newspaper delivery route, then four hours of classes at the community college, then work at the TV station from noon to 8pm, then a shift as a nighttime DJ from 9 to midnight. They made for long days, and when I got married, I gratefully handed the newspaper over to someone else. I kept my TV and radio jobs, then increased my class hours and dropped TV. But all through that time, I still read the paper every morning.

In Oklahoma, I got the Daily Oklahoman from the first morning we were there to the last day before I left.

And back in Tallahassee, I picked right back up with the Tallahassee Democrat.

That's 35 years of daily paper.

Then came the online version, which I would go to occasionally, but really hated. It just didn't have the same sense of ritual as going out on a frosty morning to collect the paper from the end of the drive and rushing back in to my steaming mug of tea, paper in hand. I planned to continue getting the paper for the rest of my life... Until I got the bill for the coming years subscription.

I've been paying by the year for quite some time. Last year the cost was $168 for the entire year. Now that they've improved things so much with the online paper, the cost jumped to $282 for a year. And the quality of the paper has gone down enough that I found I was mostly reading the comics, the advice, and the obituaries and just skimming everything else. Definitely not worth that kind of dough.

So I cancelled the paper at the end of my subscription. The online version quit immediately, but the delivery person kept tossing us one for nearly another two months. I'm not sure why. Back when I delivered, I used to get one extra paper to try to tempt non-subscribers along my route into buying a subscription. I'd randomly toss it to someone's house (not the same one everyday) and about half the time, I'd get a new customer. Somehow I don't think that's what was going on though.

Finally, on Friday morning, I went out and there was no paper. Nor on Saturday. I guess he finally got the message.

In the meantime, I need to establish a new routine, just like I did when I quit smoking. Perhaps a tall glass of water and 30 minutes on the treadmill will take the place of my paper. Or a walk with the dogs. Or maybe I'll pour myself a mug of tea and come see you guys on my computer.

It may take me a while to get over this.


joangee said...

I got out of the habit of reading daily papers a long while back. Occasionally, I treat myself to a weekly paper when we're in Cornwall.

Wendishness said...

I have never had a paper subscription but have at times gone through stages where I have got the paper regularly and enjoyed waking up with it. They've got worse over the years I agree, especially since the internet news is quicker to print things.

Anonymous said...