West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

In Praise of Paper

Newspapers, Technology, The Online World

I'm a creature of habit. Every morning, after feeding the dog, saying my prayers (yep, every morning), letting the dog out, and checking Facebook and email, I sit down and read the newspaper. The actual PAPER newspaper. I spread it out on my counter, grab my bowl of oatmeal and spend a blissful 30-45 minutes reading up on the world and our community.

My habit is very old-fashioned. Less and less people are reading an actual newspaper. More and more are getting their news online. I have nothing against all things online. (Please note that you are reading this online.) I greatly enjoy Facebook, Twitter and email. I click on links and read online articles all the time. But I won't give up my printed newspaper...at least until I have to.

For me, there's something about an actual printed page - about reading words that you can hold in your hand, and no, not on a "portable device." I love that every morning, usually by 5:30 am, my newspaper carrier, John, unfailingly tosses my Milwaukee Journal Sentinel onto my front steps. He and I are usually the only people up at that hour. We don't speak. I might wave and whisper a grateful thanks. He's one of my daily heroes. If not for him, my morning would be less happy.

My love of paper doesn't stop with the news. I'm also a lover of books - ACTUAL books. Recently, I had a hard time finding one of my book club selections. I decided to purchase an "e-edition" and download it to my iPad. It was a pretty good book but after about a day, I couldn't stand it. I absolutely HATED the experience of reading this book in an electronic format. For me, every page looked the same, even though, of course, they weren't. I wanted to TURN pages, not tap on them. I finally gave in and went to Half-Price Books and bought a real printed copy.

My love of paper is likely a lesson in futility. Newspapers and publishing houses are gravitating more towards electronic editions. I do understand the economic and environmental reasons for this. It doesn't mean I have to like it.

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