My Morning Newspaper

For more than thirty years I got up very early in the morning so I could write before going to my day job. Once I established this routine, other things fell by the wayside – eight hours of sleep per night, for example.

And reading my morning newspaper.

I subscribe to the San Francisco Chronicle, and have for most of the thirty-plus years I’ve lived in the Bay Area. While I was writing in the very early hours of the day, I never managed to read my newspaper in the morning. I’d scan the headlines and a few pages of the front section while eating my lunch. But usually, I didn’t get around to reading the rest of my newspaper until the evening.

My Monday through Friday routine was this – I got home from work and fed the cats. Yes, they eat first. If they don’t, I hear about it. After fixing dinner for myself and completing whatever evening tasks needed doing, I finally sat down to read my morning newspaper, right before going to bed, very early, because I got up so early.

On the weekends, what a treat! I got to read my morning newspaper before noon!

I vowed that when I retired, I would read my morning newspaper in the morning.

Yes, I know that during the past few years I could have read the newspaper online. But my morning newspaper is meant to be read after breakfast, sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee on the end table and a cat on my lap.

I was a newspaper reporter on a small-town daily back in the day when I typed my copy on a Smith Corona manual typewriter, on sheets of paper salvaged from the Associated Press wire machine that clattered behind my desk.

To me, reading newspaper on a computer just doesn’t compare. In the interests of disclosure, I will say that I do have an online subscription to the New York Times. But the Chronicle? No, I want to feel newsprint in my hands.

I always read the daily newspaper, even as a kid. When I was in junior high and high school, my parents subscribed to the Denver Post. It was an afternoon newspaper, and I read it cover to cover when I got home from school. When I went to college, I studied journalism.

I graduated from the University of Colorado’s J school over forty years ago. The practice of journalism has changed so much in four decades that I barely recognize it. And so has reading a newspaper. Falling subscription rates indicate that a lot of people don’t bother with newspapers any more. I keep reading that newspapers are going away.

I hope not.

I retired in November of 2013. Since then, with few exceptions, I read my morning newspaper in the morning, as I drink that last cup of coffee, a cat on my lap. I read the sections in a certain order and toss them on the floor when I’m done.

And about that thirty-year sleep deficit? I’m catching up.

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3 Responses

  1. I feared, when I started to read this, Janet, that you were going to tell us in the end that your morning Chronicle has begun to print online only–as some newspapers have. But I’m so happy to envision you sitting comfortably each morning with your coffee and your newspaper, and the purring cats in your lap.

  2. Nancy: Yes, the Chronicle is still printing a paper edition. The Rocky Mountain News in Denver went completely out of business after 150 years in print. Serious challenges for newspapers these days. Cat on the lap is fine except when said cat decides to whack the newspaper page!

  3. I read our local morning newspaper in my LA-Z-BOY every morning. I like the feel of print newspapers. Our family always subscribed to a daily paper. I even had a Detroit News paper route when I was a teen. I’m saddened by the decline in newspaper readership across America.

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