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Going Digital

It was my husband, Jim’s, suggestion to go completely digital. And it happened on Sunday when the breakfast table was spilling over with paper, most of which we were not interested in reading, especially the advertisement inserts. So much paper to recycle and we are only one family, we said. Let’s think about the drought in California, the shortage of water, the erosion of our earthly forests. And we agreed that the digital revolution is good for the environment. As the NY Times account is in my name and I have an educator’s rate, I made the change—in just a few seconds. The speed of our lives is incredible these days, no?

Though I have often browsed the NY Times online and I have a Guardian app on my phone, this morning was the first morning that I sat at my computer reading the newspaper completely online. Apart from the flashing advertisements, it was a pleasant experience. I could skim or read the whole article, and then browse the blogs—well written, much longer first person amplifications of the news. They are good.

In my early reporting and book reviewing days, I became competent at writing to strict deadlines and word counts. I still think both are a good disciplines for writers and I insist on word counts in my workshop. What can we do in the space we have? But there are also frustrations when word counts are limited; the capaciousness of blogs enables more thoughtful reporting.

As for the NY Times Crossword, which my husband has finished almost every day since we met, its absence on our first digital morning was a notable sensory deprivation. No pen, no paper. And though I have since found out that the crossword can be done online for a small fee, that does not feel the same. So on the way home from my swim yesterday—I get my best ideas in the pool—I stopped at one of the only three dimensional Barnes and Nobles left in the city and bought a book of NY Times Puzzles in hard copy. My husband was grateful.  Read More 
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