For many Americans, the Sunday paper was a part of a weekly family ritual. I remember my dad reading the Sunday paper from cover-to-cover. He would always save the “funnies” for me. I devoured the silly colored comics, blissfully reading the jokes and looking at the classic illustrations.
My mom would grab the “sales papers” looking for bargains and coupons. My sister and I would help her clip coupons, especially if we saw something we liked. If we found a coupon for a snack or treat, my mom was much more likely to purchase it for us during our next shopping trip.
The whole family shared the television programming guide. My sister would look at her favorite sections, which varied from week to week. As I got older, I started looking at the political sections of the paper. My dad spent a good deal of time ranting about what was written in this section and I wanted to understand what he was talking about.
When I got older and moved out, I subscribed to the weekend edition of the paper and continued this family reading tradition on my own. Eventually, I canceled my subscription. My paper kept disappearing from the porch of my apartment, which was annoying. I also found it hard to justify the costs once I acquired home internet services. All of the information I needed was online. I still purchase a Sunday paper occasionally, especially around Christmas time when retailers increafe their paper sales ads. But, even those are moving online…
Every now and then, I pine for this ritual. New technology is helping newspapers and magazines re-invent themselves. As much as I love technology, an LCD screen can never replace that newspaper smell and the sound of the thin gray paper crinkling as the reader unfolds and turns a page. I hold on to hope that the newspaper as we know it will never disappear. For today, I’ll do my part by picking up a Sunday paper.