I Like Paper.

20 Oct

the stash

Last night, I spent much of the evening skimming through two weeks’ of the Wall Street Journal, trying to catch up on the ridiculous flood of reading that inundates my daily life. It’s a singular pleasure for me: the TV on, this time tuned to Game 4 of the Yankees-Rangers battle extraordinaire, a pair of scissors at hand to clip out my favorite bits, and a big stack of papers around me, headlines and features and business news all vying for attention.

CityBoy is a devotee of the online news outlets, the more “late-breaking,” the better, and he usually spends the first hour of waking scanning the news via his iPhone. So when I finally get a few hours to catch up on my physical paper, the scene is usually me, “Hey, did you hear about such-and-such?,” and my going-off for a minute or two, and then him saying, “Yeah, honey, I heard about that. It happened two days (or two weeks) ago.” I kind of feel like the Italian mother in Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists, who has been saving and slowly reading the paper cover-to-cover since her husband’s illness and eventual death. She has a closet stashed full of papers, which she has continued to receive, though in her actual reading, she’s only made it up to the nineties.

But here’s my point in all this digital dithering: I like paper. I like reading the paper, in paper, in my hot little hands that get all smudgy-black afterwards. I like that my eye can travel to random articles that catch my eye and really focus on that article in a way that I never can on my computer or smartphone.

It’s why I’m always trying to reclaim my paper calendar ways, though the ease of putting everything on said phone makes it very tough. (One of my post-AT&T contract resolutions–ending this spring, woohoo!–is to switch back to a less-Internet-obsessed phone and really start using a paper calendar again.)

I hope that paper papers never totally go out of business. What a sad world, with no one enjoying the rattle of the pages as they’re flipped through and man-handled, with no fingertips slowly blackening with ink, with no random discoveries of an eye-catching ad, an intriguing headline, or, in the Journal‘s case, a particularly interesting pen-and-ink portrait of a featured newsmaker.

Here’s a couple of things that stood out in the tussle:

“Tea Party Boosts Powdered-Wig Sales” (about Tea Party types driving up colonial costume sales)

“Schools Overhaul Stalwart Moves On” (about Michelle Rhee’s resignation from the DC school chancellor position)

“A Library to Shout About” (on the Morgan Library & Museum’s renovation of the McKim Building)


drool (Photography © John Abbott)


You can find more information about the Morgan Library’s renovation here. That’s going to the top of my to-do list in November. I mean, do you see the room behind Director William M. Griswold? Just think of all the paper in that space. Heaven, I tell you, heaven.


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