inessential by Brent Simmons

Newspapers Should Really Worry?

Wired News: Newspapers Should Really Worry: “From the perspective of publishers, the 18- to 34-year-old demographic is highly prized by advertisers—the people who make writing, editing and working at a newspaper or magazine a vocation, not just an avocation (like it is for most bloggers). But there is trouble afoot. The seeds have been planted for a tremendous upheaval in the material world of publishing.”

Maybe because I’m just outside that demographic, I actually like printed newspapers. But no, I don’t subscribe to any: it’s more like I like them because I remember them fondly.

I remember the days when Sundays were actually days of rest, and I’d get up in the morning (or early afternoon), make some coffee, and dig into the Sunday New York Times. My favorite parts were the book reviews, the magazine (especially Safire’s On Language column), and the crossword puzzle. (Pencil or pen? I confess: I’m a pen guy. Felt tips, not ball-point. By the afternoon I’d have ink stains on my writing hand.)

That was before the web, of course. But, for me, it probably has less to do with the web than just the normal becoming-an-adult thing. Nowadays I have things to do, people to meet, places to go. (Or, at least, leaves to rake and bugs to fix.)

I like the physicality of newspapers, except when I’m finished. Then they just take up space somewhere.

I still read magazines and books, but just about the only time I read a newspaper these days is when I’m at the barbershop waiting for my turn in the big red chair.