I read a print newspaper for the first time in several years this weekend. Thank you. Thank you very much. It was a complimentary (I think?) USA Today edition I picked up from a table next to the large coffee dispensers in the breakfast nook off the hotel lobby where we had stayed. It was about 6:30am and I was alone with the waffle maker and assorted other breakfast edibles, so I decided, "what the heck".
Reading a print newspaper after having not done so in a long while was like riding a bike, which is to say that I was all over the place. I am only guessing here, but maybe the only difference in me actually reading the newspaper versus jumping on the hypothetical bike and riding it around the Best Western courtyard after such a long bike-riding drought is probably the resulting number of broken bones suffered.
That said, I'm still not sure how I broke my femur when I attempted my newspaper "A1 to A14" story jump. Just kidding. It's just a sprain.
I grinned as I scanned the front page, realizing old habits die hard because I couldn't help but analyze the page layout critically with respect to the story selection, headline and photo use and positioning, skybox teasers, and giving close scrutiny to the look and feel "above the fold".
In my experience, many editorial types were uninterested in how the top half of page A1 looked from the point of reference of a potential impulse purchaser walking by a newspaper box or store shelf. This was because these editorial types believed the entire newspaper was a work of art and it was they who were doing the readers a favor. In other words, you needed to purchase the entire paper in order to learn what was in it - Meanwhile, please enjoy this photo of a random cat or this dandelion. We circulation folk were less concerned about the art and more interested in the sale, hence the rub.
Getting back to the print newspaper review (is that what I was doing?). It was not a totally unsatisfying experience, though I couldn't break my internet habit of entering into a light fugue state each time I turned the page, daydreaming and allowing my vision to blur while I waited for the page to load.
READ ALL ABOUT IT! NEXT WEEK: MY BIKE RIDE IN THE BEST WESTERN COURTYARD!