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Sunday, April 18

sunday papers

It's a gloomy Sunday morning and I'm sitting in my big. cozy leather chair with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. Sort of. The newspaper is on my laptop. For some reason, this morning I am missing the newspaper, especially the fat Sunday one.

For as long as I can remember, Sunday morning meant going out for the papers..plural...and bagels. In good weather, I often had a dog with me, enjoying the walk. In the Winter it sometimes meant digging out the car from a snowbank, but only a blizzard would cancel the trip. Every so often I would be seduced by a telemarketer type extolling the virtues of home delivery, but invariably the paper would come later than I like or be delivered to a part of the house I never check or it would be snitched from my back steps and I would go back to making my paper/bagel run.

This morning, I am feeling nostalgic about the Sunday papers. I would always get the local and a NY Times. For ages, the Times would come as early as the local and I would snag them both. Then there was a change. Something to do with printing schedules. But the Times said that now we would get the Midwest version. There was an outcry. We live in New York, not the Midwest! The Midwest version was without the Metro Section or Real Estate or The City. The Midwest version was not the "real"NY Times. Politicians got involved. A deal was struck. We could get the "real" paper, with all sections intact, but we would pay a fee. It was worth it to get the paper labeled "local".

The move to paperless technology came slowly. The web sites got better. Easier to navigate. The paper was always here waiting to be read. Free. Current. Local. For a time, I still went out for the papers, but this morning I realized it's been a couple of years since I last brought home papers with the bagels. This morning I'm missing that.

There are no crossword puzzles to curl up with, no coupons to clip. I never read the silly Times wedding story on line, but I never missed it in print. That Metro section I whined about missing. Never read it on line. I do miss the magazines. The local paper had it's own Sunday magazine for a while, but eventually let it go in favor of "Parade". Gag me. I think we still get ours once a month but I don't even know that because it's been so long since I grabbed a copy.

I tend to buy a paper when we do art shows. You have to be there so early, long before any people come. And it can be a pleasure to sit in your artist chair at the back, early sun on your face, fresh coffee, the sounds of people getting ready, the calm before the rush. Some shows actually give you breakfast goodies. Donuts or bagels, yogurt, juice, fruit. There is a place in heaven for those show promoters. I usually pull the crossword puzzle out and slide it onto my clipboard just in case it gets slow. I stash the coupon sections into my tote for later.

But most mornings are like this one. Go online. Check e-mail, Facebook and the blogs. Read the paper. Contribute to the demise of print media. when..we get an iPad, I imagine that will be the end of our ritual perusal of the magazine racks at Borders. Will all those magazines be online? Who knows? There will be enough of them to amuse us for a while.

And then one day I'll be scrolling through an article instead of paging through one and I'll wonder if a certain magazine is still in print and I'll realize that I miss the heft of a thick, glossy magazine in my hands, the annoying subscription postcards, the odd little ads in the back, the faint, sharp smell of ink.

We move on. Technology seduces and changes us, often for the better but not always.

Next Sunday I'm going to hook up Quincy and take a walk. We'll buy the papers and some bagels. If it's warm enough, maybe I can even sit on the porch, in the sun, and let a breeze annoy me by ruffling the pages. Pages, after all, may soon be a thing of the past.

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