Fast Company

The End Of My Physical Newspaper Days

I canceled my subscription to my morning paper, the San Francisco Chronicle today. This was a serious decision for me as I have read the paper every morning of my adult life and for much of my childhood. I started out with the comics of course as soon as I could read. But soon migrated to the sports and then other content. These days, I get up, grab the paper, head for the bathroom (a guy thing) and finish the paper over breakfast.

I got a Kindle 2 last spring. I quickly began carrying it with me everywhere. I love to read and consume a lot of books. The books I was interested in were generally available and usually at lower prices than in hard cover or paperback version. I got my wife one too. Turns out we can share back and forth if both are under my name. Which we do. We really saved weight on a recent trip to Asia and she was surprised that it was easier for her to read more.

On the road, I quickly succumbed to paying $.50 for my Chronicle on the Kindle. I know it is not the best paper in the world but it is my home town news and sports. It usually downloads quicker than I can get back to the menu to read it. It impressed me how easy this was to do. And that I had it when I needed it. But even then I did not predict what would come next.

I have been getting up earlier than the paper comes at least a couple of times a week of late. Doing a lot of work with both NY and Europe. And the paper person (today, there is not the relationship that there used to be with the “paper boy”) is very inconsistent. Some days they miss me all together. Other days, I find myself searching for it. They are very creative in where they throw it.

So, increasingly, whether it is too early or I just cannot find the paper, I download it on the Kindle. And every day when I download it I see the “14 day free trial, $5.99 monthly” which is about 25% of the home delivery price. In the end though, it did not come down to cost. It came down to convenience. The only thing I’ll not get is the comics (I still read 5 of them) and box scores. But we get a copy at the office so I can look them up there.

So, even though I love the physical aspects of newspapers and magazines, I have begun the to go down the slippery slope of all digital. And it all came down to convenience. It is easier to read and there when I want it. At an affordable price. The publishing community needs to pay attention to this. I could be on the leading edge of a trend.

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