When it comes to the news, I am a proud anachronism. I read the New York Times in print every single day that I am home (and many when I’m not). We get seven-day home delivery, and on Mondays and Wednesdays, when my wife and I want the same things (the media business coverage, Metro Diary, the Dining section), I buy a second copy at the newsstand.
I love my Times. I literally read it cover to cover, leafing through every page, glancing at headlines and diving into a relatively large number of articles. I’m an expert in the dying art of the accordion fold. I read nyt.com online during the day, of course, but despite my career in new media, I’ve never so much as considered deviating from my print copy of the daily paper.
After shrugging off the Kindle for the past year or so—I’m not much of a book reader; I read a few gajillion websites, half a dozen magazines and the aforementioned paper—I stumbled across the amazon.com page advertising daily Times delivery. A few days later I found myself on the subway playing Toobz on my signal-less iPhone, staring jealously at a woman reading on her Kindle. And suddenly it didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Less money. Less waste. And other stuff to read when the paper is done.
I began to seriously wonder, should I buy a Kindle and switch to electronic delivery? I did a little cost assessment and realized my newspaper is a very expensive habit. The Times, to its credit, gives daily subscribers a break: our papers cost us $11.70 a week (at the newsstand it’d be $17). Factoring in the Monday and Wednesday purchases, and assuming we remember to stop it when we go on vacation, 50 weeks of the New York Times in print costs us $785 a year.
Compare that with the Kindle, which costs $259 for the small version—the pocket-sized, and therefore commute-friendly, one—and $13.99 for a monthly subscription to the Times. After one year, I’ll have spent $427, and I’d have a shiny gadget to boot. Heck, we could get a second one for Amy, and after 14 months, our spend would be tied, $910.60 for print versus $909.72 digitally.
More intriguingly, I could just download the Kindle iPhone app, save $259, and read the Times right there. Then again, I’m not sure I want to permanently downsize to a 3.5″ screen; the Kindle would reduce eyestrain while still being cost-effective.
Regardless, the piece of the future that I was willfully neglecting has suddenly come into sharp relief. Getting the newspaper on a gadget, nicely designed for comfortable reading and invisible updates, has become a realistic option. Even for a daily-paper addict like me.
I do still enjoy reading things on, y’know, paper. So I’m not about to toss our subscription out the window. (I suspect that even if we went digital, we’d keep getting weekend delivery, just to have the Sunday New York Times Magazine and its crossword in hard copy. Then again, Jeff Bezos has bathroom reading covered, too.) But the news here is that I am at long last considering it. And if I’m ready to give up my beloved newspaper, the horizon just got a whole lot closer.