As newspapers struggle with declining revenues and shrinking pages, Richard Levitt clings fast to a tradition that defies the digital age.
Before all of today’s electronic media, we subscribed to a whole stack of newspapers and magazines.
We got local and national newspapers daily. And domestic and international news magazines weekly. Plus, all sorts of fun and interesting publications about music, fashion, and entertainment, including — and I’m not ashamed to admit this — Mad Magazine.
Of course, now we get most of our news online, and headlines cascade like an avalanche through our news and social feeds. But we still crave the newspaper.
So while we’ve stopped getting so many publications, we still get the Sunday papers.
The Sunday papers. Those wonderful, fat, crinkly, bundles of tactile, real-life delight.
And I can tell you, they’re tonic.
Every Sunday those magnificent newspapers thump onto our porch, with their come-hither headlines and long columns of insight and wisdom, analysis and criticism, features and reviews.
Something we can count on. Stalwart friends. Committed to their newsy mandate and always happy to come on inside.
Our tradition is to make lots of strong coffee, arrange a yummy platter of snackable, breakfasty food … then spread those newspapers across the floor, like butter on toast.
We crawl from section to section — I always start with the comics — find a pillow or bolster to lean on, and read. Sometimes share an article. Sometimes read out loud to each other.
Sometimes this goes on for 90 minutes. Sometimes all day. Often, we enjoy various sections all week long.
And for that precious time, we feel connected to the world. Informed, not marketed to. Not yelled at, threatened, cajoled, seduced, or misled into engagement. Truly, blissfully connected.
All of this is just a long, wordy love note to the journalists, columnists, photographers, artists, editors, and craftspeople who persist in getting those newspapers to us.
If it weren’t for you, the whole COVID ordeal would have been truly unbearable. So thanks.
With a Perspective, I’m Richard Levitt.
Richard Levitt is an East Bay writer who teaches martial arts, yoga, and creative problem-solving.