PERFECT PHOTO PIXELS

ALL ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

Starting the day with a printed newspaper

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This morning, I read a newspaper. I read today’s issue of the USA Today–section by section, page by page. While having coffee, I went through almost every headline, and actually read all the articles I happen to be interested in. In fact, I was so thorough that I even dutifully scanned almost all of the QR codes to look at more photos, watch videos, hear passages, and read more news–all from my iPhone. I must say that it has been quite an immersive experience.

And as if it weren’t enough, I even read yesterday’s issue of the USA Today when I finished with today’s papers. I went through it like I did with today’s newspapers–studiously. I even took out and set aside a total of three articles from yesterday and today’s newspapers that I want to read more at leisure later on. I believe the antique word to describe this kind of behavior is called “clipping.” (I read a bit about Vivian Maier yesterday from an official website about her, the nanny from the 50s who was made sensationally famous as a street photographer, who compulsively clipped thousands and thousands of newspaper articles during most of her adulthood and methodically compiled them together in hundreds of ring binders. Today’s digital equivalent of this behavior would be to use Marco Arment’s excellent software called Instapaper.)

I wouldn’t have read the newspapers were I not staying for a week at a hotel where they are delivered door by door every morning. I suppose I can tell them to stop the delivery if I don’t want it, but I didn’t. I surprised myself because I actually want it. Though I already know most of the gist of the news that’s printed, having been receiving news streamed constantly throughout the day from my computer and smartphone, I must admit that it actually feels nice to read the news from an actual newspaper–for a change. I like the feel of the paper in my fingers, the smell of the ink, and the look of the text and photos in print. I can’t honestly remember when was the last time I read the morning’s papers. The last time must have been from when I was staying at another hotel. So this is how it actually feels for the so millions of people around the world who still starts their day with a newspaper. It feels good. It feels normal.

Now this got me thinking–despite the fact that I like it, will I actually ever want to personally subscribe to a print edition? I know I like my news very much. I even think I’m addicted since I like to get them all the time. I’m one of those news junkies, so to speak. But it seems that I can’t imagine myself actually subscribing to a news source that’s printed on paper. I have nothing against printed pages. As I said, I like the experience. (For what its worth, I still buy and collect lots of printed books, the latest of which is the hardbound edition of “Onward” by Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz, which I got yesterday from a Starbucks store despite the fact that I’ve already bought and read the e-book edition almost a month ago, and despite the fact that I’ve actually since fallen into the habit of buying and reading e-book editions for quite some time now.) But when it comes to newspapers, for all its charms, I would much rather get my news whenever I feel like it, and when I have the time and chance, streamed throughout the day, from any of my desktop or laptop computers or from any of my electronic handheld devices. I know I am already comfortable with the idea of giving up the printed edition of the news on paper, despite and in spite of its charms, and I can see myself subscribing and amply plugged, into a motley of digital news services online.

U P D A T E: Since I’m staying at a hotel for three more days, I called the front desk and asked them if they can deliver the New York Times instead of the USA Today. They said yes they can deliver the New York Times for $2 a day.

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