EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! HOT OFF THE PRESSES! DON”T MISS THE HOTTEST NEWS! COME GET YOUR PAPER HERE! NEWS YOU GOTTA KNOW!
These are some of the often used calls to get people interested in buying and reading the newspaper. Seems like a dying art these days. Although in the mornings, I love to spread out the newspaper across my kitchen counter and scan through the many headlines. I love to see the Mondrian art pattern of the different articles and ads. I like the feel of the paper and the ink. Maybe it’s my love of paper that keeps me reading it, or I’m just an old fart? Maybe it’s both!
As an experiment, I tried to not read anything on actual paper for a week. No newspaper, no magazines, no letters, nothing on paper. It’s was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I read everything online. I felt unloved. I felt detached. I felt isolated. I felt empty. I felt a 2 dimensional perspective of the world. It was unusual and difficult. Actually, it was quite frustrating.
There’s something special about resting on my bed with a book upon my lap and holding it in my hands. Turning the pages feels like a mini accomplishment. It also feels calming in presence to have a book between you and the rest of the world. Something similar to being protected by a literary shield.
The other element I didn’t like was having to charge all my devices in order to read from my cell phone and computer. To read an actual newspaper or magazine, I just lift it towards my eyes. No electricity, except for lighting at night.
As soon as the week was over, I went running back to my papers and magazines. I felt as though I had betrayed them both. I think they felt the exact same way about me. Back to my morning routine of opening up the newspaper across the kitchen counter and scanning all the headlines and ads. Back to Sue-basics.
I wonder if the next generation of paperless people will read and appreciate the love of a newspaper. I wonder?
So, I’m getting on a plane to go on a trip with my girlfriend. In my knapsack is a book, some magazines, my journal and personal agenda. ALL PAPER PRODUCTS!!! My friend laughs at me. “Sue, you’re so stubborn! Why are you carrying all that stuff? Really, all you need is this.” She pulls out her laptop and cell phone. My friend explains how she can get all the same information and more from either her cell phone or laptop. AND… She adds, “Writing in a paper journal is simply a waste of time, when it can’t be saved or shared in anyway, unless it’s physically borrowed. Really Sue, get with the program!”
I know what she is saying is true. I have a cell phone and a laptop and I get how these devices are so powerful. I’m with the times…The New York Times on Sunday is the best newspaper in the world!!!! Another thing is, I love my pens and pencils, pencil erasers and sharpeners. I will even admit to say that I love, (whispering), liquid paper too!
I’ve accepted my current status as being Dinosaur-Sue who carries a knapsack full of paper products and I’m so fricken content. I do not run on batteries. I do not need to plug in. I am recyclable and historical. I might even be getting a slight workout from carrying around the paper products. I will go even further and say, “I’m Vintage!” By the way, vintage is currently a very cool fashion movement.
I do believe if I was in my twenties, I probably would not be carrying around so many paper products. Although, I doubt I would be typing my thoughts into a digital journal. Typing into a word program is useful, neat and powerful. However, it’s not quiet. I know speaking into a word program is also easy to do. However, it’s not quiet either. For me, writing into a personal paper journal is absolute silence. The only sounds I hear are external which I can’t control and the little voice in my head. It’s really the quietest approach to writing. In my experience, it’s a form of meditation. My next article subject, Journaling and Meditation – stay tuned!
I hope the love of paper will not completely dissipate with the evolution of the digital age. I hope the libraries and historical books will be preserved and continue to revolutionize the younger population. I hope the connection to paper via the ink will still be a literary art form. I hope love letters will still be hand written by lovers and mailed with red lipstick kisses on the back of the envelopes. I hope beautiful penmanship will still be appreciated for its excellent precision. I hope you will educate “our younger generation” in the value of a well-crafted prose on paper.
Oh ya, getting back to the hand written love letter with the red lipstick kiss on the back envelope; don’t forget to spray it with TONS of perfume or cologne!
Let’s keep it X-citing!
Suzanne Reisler Litwin
Canada and Quebec support renovation and expansion of Dollard municipal library