A month or so ago my husband make a sexy proposition. Well, I thought it was a sexy proposition. He said, “We should subscribe to the Sunday New York Times.” To be clear, we are talking about a largely digital subscription that includes delivery of the hard copy Sunday edition. My husband got the idea because he wanted to support the quality journalism of what one powerful blusterer called the “failing New York Times.” I supported that sentiment as well, but I also saw the possibility of receiving a physical newspaper as another way to achieve my 2017 goal of “living more in the real world.”
I tended to waste my Sunday mornings in listless browsing of social media on my phone. Those mornings didn’t feel peaceful; they just felt lazy.
Having the Sunday New York Times waiting for me when I come downstairs doesn’t make my mornings any more active, but my lazy mornings now enrich me. Even on busy Sundays (like the day of my daughter’s birthday party) I allow myself at least an hour of drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. It’s marvelous.
No, I don’t read the paper front-to-back. Particularly not all on Sunday, and even then I don’t even start at the front, which is just as well since my husband always wants the front section first. Although I do value the “news” aspect of the newspaper, I get plenty of that online or from listening to NPR. No, my greatest joy in the New York Times is the everything else.
Online my reading is influenced strongly by what has bubbled to the top off the zeitgeist. I see the same story shared a bunch of times, so I read it. Even at NYTimes.com I find myself first glancing down the lists of “most viewed” and “most emailed” articles. I tend to run out of time before I can truly browse. But with the hard copy newspaper I do browse, and I often find myself reading things I would have never sought out online.
I tend to start with Sunday Styles, which isn’t just fashion. That section contains a lot of quirky stories and, of course, the vows section. Looking at strangers’ wedding announcements is certainly something I wouldn’t think to search for online, but when they are quite literally in my lap I found myself reading at the charming and often quirky stories of how people met and fell in love. Not a bad Sunday morning ritual.
I continue to wander through other sections: arts and entertainment, opinion, various special sections, and eventually the front page too. I don’t get to everything I want to read on that first morning, but the sections sit by the big chair in my living room, so I can enjoy them throughout the week.
The magazine section comes to bed with me because it is where the puzzles are. The Sunday crosswords aren’t as big and scary as I remembered them being, but I still usually split my solving over a couple of nights. Then I start doing the other puzzles. My son likes to join and solve the “Capsules” puzzles (which involve strategically filling series of numbers into a grid) along with me. I need to save those for him.
Subscribing to the newspaper has become a subversive act, but it’s also an indulgent one.
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