ANN BAILEY: Hard habit to breakI have read newspapers since I was a young girl. My parents subscribed to the Grand Forks Herald which was delivered by mail six days a week. On Sundays, after church, they bought the Minneapolis Tribune at the drug store in Larimore, N.D., My grandparents, meanwhile, bought the Fargo Forum and we shared them with one another.
By: Ann Bailey, Grand Forks Herald
I have read newspapers since I was a young girl. My parents subscribed to the Grand Forks Herald which was delivered by mail six days a week. On Sundays, after church, they bought the Minneapolis Tribune at the drug store in Larimore, N.D., My grandparents, meanwhile, bought the Fargo Forum and we shared them with one another.
The Tribune and Forum gave our family something to read on Sunday afternoons. Monday through Saturday the Herald came in the mail and we divided up the sections among our family and read that. I liked to read the editorial pages to check out the letters to the editor and opinion pieces.
I also turned to the sports pages to see if there were any stories about UND football, basketball or hockey, the Minnesota Vikings or Larimore Polar Bears teams. Another favorite part of the paper was Marilyn Hagerty’s column because she wrote about what was going on in the area and often mentioned names of people I knew.
Reading the newspaper became a habit and I subscribed to the Herald when I moved away from home to go to UND. I continued to subscribe to the Herald after I started working there. Though I could read it at the office, I still liked sitting down with the newspaper in my home.
I continued to subscribe to the Herald for years even after the newspaper began putting its stories online. I liked reading the print product more than sitting in front of the computer and reading it on a screen. Then, a few months ago, I decided to join the electronic age and read the Herald online instead of renewing my subscription. I reasoned that, besides being easier on my wallet, I could save a lot of trees and trips to the recycling center by getting my news electronically instead of in print.
Change of habit
I figured I would miss getting the newspaper, but I didn’t know just how much until I opened my mail box and found it empty. My evenings seemed like something wasn’t quite right, absent my routine of reading the paper before I went to bed and Sunday afternoons weren’t the same without newspaper sections and advertising fliers strewn about me as I sat on the couch catching up on the latest news. Sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee just wasn’t the same as holding the paper in my hands.
A few weeks after I stopped subscribing to the Herald, I decided I would buy the paper in Larimore on Sunday mornings. I figured one paper a week wouldn’t break the budget or fill up the recycling bin. It felt good to once again sit down on the sofa with a thick newspaper beside me, waiting to be read.
A couple of weeks after I started buying the Sunday paper, I was having lunch with a friend and asked her what her plans were for the weekend. She said on Saturday morning she was going to pour herself a cup of coffee and read the Herald. I felt a little envious when I heard her, thinking that sitting down in front of a computer and reading the newspaper online wasn’t quite the same.
The next week, during a break at work, I saw a Herald sitting on a table and sat down for a few minutes and read some of the stories. I enjoyed catching up on the news before I went back to work.
Later that week, I told my family that I was going to subscribe to the Herald again. My daughter, Ellen, laughed and said that she and her dad had made a bet that I would be subscribing to the paper again. They knew how much I enjoyed reading and doubted that I could stand not getting the print product every day.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Herald and renewed my subscription. The next day, I got that old familiar feeling of anticipation when I opened the mailbox. I brought the Herald into the house and sat down at the kitchen table and began reading it section by section. It feels good to be a newspaper subscriber, again.
Reach Bailey at annb08 @dishmail.net or (218) 779-8093.