I cain’t quit you, New York Times

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A couple of months ago, just before I left for my hometown in Japan, I canceled my newspaper subscription. My reasons:

a. Money. At $1.50 a day, plus the pricey Sunday paper, I was shelling out $42.50 a month. That’s a wasabi pea compared to, say, my cable bill ($145 to Time Warner, with the employee discount of bubkis). But it seemed increasingly exorbitant, especially considering the extra mouth I now have to feed. Yes, I’m breastfeeding, which costs nothing, but still, there’s the…

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I pray at the altar of the dead tree.

b. Environmental impact. My personal subscription was producing a couple of pounds of newsprint a week. My husband peruses the sports pages for the Premiership coverage, and when I bake I cool the cookies on spread-out sheets from Business. But the fact remains that all this paper waste is created by and for my very own perusal. These trees died for my reading pleasure. Which brings me to…

c. Reader guilt. Mindful of the high cost and the extravagant waste, I am guilted into scanning each and every page. I flip through the Style pages, even though I don’t own designer clothing and I don’t care which socialites are getting married. (Actually, I adore the Style section. What girl doesn’t?) I clip the Sunday coupons for products I don’t need or plan to buy. I even pore over the occasional supplements about mutual funds and geriatric homes. Go ahead—ask me about Legg Mason Aggressive Growth and the Cedar Crest Assisted Living home. Finally, of course, there’s…

d. Lack of time. Between the chatty four-year-old and the nursing infant and the household management, I don’t have time for personal hygiene, let alone the self indulgence of a cup of tea with the morning paper. Once maternity leave wraps up and I add the job back to the mix, I’ll have even less time, though if I’m hitting the office I figure what spare minutes I have I probably ought to use for a shower.

The only solution is to quit reading my paper. But oh, how I miss it. Especially now as we’re up at 4 a.m. with jet lag and all I want is the sight of the little blue plastic bag on my stoop. I’ve tried reading online—in fact, that’s my whole game plan, to move all my subscriptions online—but it’s not the same. I miss the layout of the pages. I can’t get a sense for the importance of the story without knowing its placement in the paper. I itch for the feel of the inky pages on my fingertips.

In yesterday’s mail, I got this solicitation for 50% off to return as a subscriber. I’m taking it. I just cain’t quit you, New York Times. Not yet.

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