You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

While I was growing up in New Jersey I got into the habit of reading the newspaper everyday. Even when it was to large for me to hold, like my Dad did, I would lay it out on the floor, and work my way through the paper page by page. In the beginning I couldn’t understand why in the middle of an article I would have to skip to other pages to finish it but in High School I learned that the press used that as a ‘hook’ to get us to read the whole paper. Eventually, I stopped skipping around and when I finished part of the article, I would move on to another on the same page. Then later, upon reaching the page with the original article, I would pick up where I left off. I would always save the Comic pages for last as they were the best part of the paper.  As I got older, I continued to read the paper everyday. When traveling, I would seek out a New York paper, and a local paper so that I could compare the different ways in which the same news was presented.


I continued to read the physical paper until about three years ago. Then my wife was offered a weekend subscription to the NY Times at a reduced rate as she worked in a school. This subscription came included the online edition of the Times as well. So even if I could only hold the paper in my hands three times a week, I could, at least read the rest of the news daily on my tablet, phone or computer. It took me a long time to get used to this. At first I kept thinking, ‘Man these online articles are much longer then the printed ones. But I was wrong, the difference was that I was now able to read an article without looking for the rest on another page.

Just as they hoped, slowly my habits began to change, I looked forward to reading the paper online daily, and less and less to reading the hard copy.  This morning my Friday edition of the NY Times arrived and I began to read it. First off the pages are more narrow then before, second, I found that having to change pages to finish an article annoying. So, with my second cup of coffee in hand, I put down the print edition, and booted up my tablet to read the paper there. And so I did.

And you know what? I have given up reading paper books and now use my Kindle exclusively. A few years ago I would have sworn that that would never happen.  Is a simple twist of fate, my 25 year old son still insists on reading books in print on paper, and my 21 year old uses a Kindle.

Who says that you cannot teach an ‘Old Dog’ new tricks?  Poppy cock.



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