So who reads newspapers anymore? Well, I did, for one. Still do, on Sundays at least. During the week I head to the day job early. My preferred coffee stop en route had a rack right inside the door with a bin each of Tribunes and Sun-Times. Back in the car, armed with a large-with-cream, I treated myself to fifteen minutes of skimming the Trib before plunging into whatever hell the workday might hold. Then distributors changed or they weren’t getting a sufficient cut of each sale or who knows what, but the rack recently disappeared, so my quick weekday AM newspaper skim migrated to my laptop once in the office.
But Sunday mornings are reserved for the New York Times – print edition, not online – and any disruption to that routine throws off my entire day. No big surprise, but I start with the New York Times Book Review. Since I can’t possibly read every book I’d like to (much less afford them all), I enjoy the biography, memoir, current event and history book reviews as a substitute for actually reading them all.
Last week’s edition included a review of This Storm and an interview with its author, James Ellroy. The cover story was a review of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new City Of Girls, a book I might have overlooked if not for the review, and have already reserved at my local bookstore.
The previous week’s edition was a jumbo 68 page Summer Reading special, covering darn near very category you can think of from sports to cooking and even a two-page spread dedicated to horror. Diverse topics? How about a George Will interview to go along with the release of his The Conservative Sensibility back to back with John Waters’ The Tarnished Wisdom Of A Filth Elder, and a couple pages later, a full page review of Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady From The Black Lagoon – Hollywood Monsters And The Lost Legacy Of Milicent Patrick (the designer of the Universal’s iconic monster, the Creature From The Black Lagoon).
That 6.2.19 edition of the NYT Book Review was brimming with titles I already ordered, had to run out and get or soon will. W. M. Akers’ hard-boiled historical fantasy/mystery Westside was well reviewed (my copy arrived last week). I rarely read true crime but M. William Phelps’ Where Monsters Hide: Sex, Murder And Madness In The Midwest is set in a small town right near a Memorial Day getaway I’d just returned from, so I picked that up this week, along with Casey Rae’s William S. Burroughs And The Cult Of Rock & Roll, a birthday gift for a dedicated Boho Millennial who’d give anything to be teleported to 1970’s Manhattan to trade barbs over coffee with Patti Smith. Layne Fargo’s well-reviewed Temper, a crime/mystery novel set in the Chicago theater scene, should arrive soon.
Sure, I could get it all on my laptop, desktop or my phone. And during the week, I make do with precisely that for basic morning newsgathering. Sundays? No way. That’s ink-on-paper time, eating up the better part of the morning, and time well spent. I’m writing this during the week, but it’ll post on Sunday. Possibly right when I’m buried in my NYT, who knows?