Saturday, August 15, 2020

Every night I set the alarm on my phone for 5:55 and 6:00 a.m. The two rings get me out of bed if I’m not already up because I couldn’t sleep well enough to sleep that late. Some mornings during this pandemic when you live alone you’re not sure what day it is. This morning I turned ESPN radio on as I do every morning first thing and I was miffed over the announcer’s voice. Where are the regular guys? I wondered. Then I realized it was Saturday. 

I opened my door and there was The New York Times. Saturday’s home-delivered edition comes with some Sunday sections. Arts, the Magazine, the Book Review. I sat down and started going through the big paper on the couch. I’d make breakfast later. I kept the radio talkers on not very loud. I spent almost two hours with the paper. Perfect start to the morning. When I was a kid I’d get up and go right out to the kitchen to look at the sports page. I get almost the same rush today.  

‘I believe in the power of books and how they shape young people for the future,Thomas declared. ‘I’m very hopeful that we’re giving them better tools so that they could be better leaders than any of us ever imagined.’
From TIME magazine. Author Angie Thomas. Here’s the link:

Thursday, August 13, 2020

I’ve been in a newspaper-loving trance for a few weeks now since I resumed getting The New York Times delivered after some months off. I’m not sure why I stopped then. I think it was to be, in my mind, right on top of things. There was so much news, so much serious stuff going on. I felt like I had to be sitting in front of my computer screen all day. I didn’t watch TV. Oh maybe an hour at night streaming on my computer. I don’t have a TV. I listened to NPR and sports talk, but that was off to the side, coming in my right ear. Right in front of me was the screen. I read columnists mostly. In the Times, in the Washington Post, in The Guardian. The LA Times sometimes too. I probably read them fast. There were so many. I had to ingest so much. And there was Facebook too. Lots of stuff to read fast on there too. Getting the newspaper dropped outside my door by 6:00 every morning again gets me up. Not the sound of it hitting the floor. But the early quiet anticipation of opening the door and bending down to pick it up. It feels like an old habit of 60+ years, and it seems new again. Maybe I’m just grateful that they’re still putting out a great thing like the Times when so much is closed down. I went looking for a quote tonight about newspapers. I found this one by Pete Hamill:

‘Quite simply, I love newspapers and the men and women who make them. Newspapers have given me a full, rich life. They have provided me with a ringside seat at some of the most extraordinary events in my time on the planet. They have been my university. They have helped feed, house and educate my children. I want them to go on and on and on.’
                                 from News Is a Verb

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

I have five grandchildren scheduled to return to their public school grade school classrooms. Four actually; one is in private school because her NYC public school wasn’t a fit. I haven’t seen them since this pandemic filled the air. The two New York kids went outside the city like a lot of kids who could did. The other three live in Wyoming near Yellowstone, so mobs of eager national park tourists have filled their town, not all with masks on. All five kids have plenty of books and they have computers at home, four have their own phones. Not all kids even have many books at their home, if any. School is the one best chance for kids who don’t have all the stuff to get on equal footing with the others. At least their desks will all be the same. And their teachers. And their subjects. School is where they can be helped and encouraged to read well. That can make all the difference in their lives. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Newspaper Business. The New York Times’ revenue source is mostly digital right now.

‘Over a three-month period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in advertising, The New York Times Company for the first time reported quarterly revenue that owed more to digital products than to the print newspaper.’ Here’s a link to the explanation of how it’s going in this new news world:

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Times piece today about a bookstore on the 10th floor of a building in Taipei, Taiwan where people find books and other people like themselves. There’s a link below.  

‘Many people come to catch a glimpse of Lam Wing-kee, the owner and manager, a bookseller from Hong Kong who fled to Taiwan last year. Mr. Lam was one of five booksellers who were abducted by the Chinese authorities in 2015 for selling books critical of the ruling party. He was detained and spent five months in solitary confinement.’