By Lynn Moncus
Those of us who have been around for a couple of days have formed a few habits, most of which are rather hard to break.
For instance, we rather enjoy reading the morning paper while we have breakfast and beginning the day with a collection of items about which to think. Well, that habit is being broken for us whether or not we are ready because we are told we will now receive the paper by mail — meaning we may or may not receive it even a day late and that we certainly won’t have it to look at during our morning coffee.
Of course, when we lived on the ranch, we didn’t receive the daily paper from Tucumcari until a day late, nor did we form any habits of reading it at the breakfast table because we didn’t pick up the mail at the store until later in the day.
Some people even subscribed to the papers from the cities, such as Kansas City, El Paso, Denver, Los Angeles. Those were a little different times, but when we moved into town, we had the opportunity to subscribe to other papers and to have the Tucumcari paper delivered every day. We could receive the El Paso papers and those from Amarillo on the same day they were published because they came in on the train and were available at various news stands.
When the passenger trains with their mail cars discontinued service here, we thought things were bad because we could no longer get those major papers on a daily basis and didn’t like to risk ordering any from a distance because they would certainly be history by the time they arrived.
I wasn’t really discouraged then because I was living down south and had the El Paso paper delivered every morning so I could relax before going on campus.
When the people in charge of the Amarillo paper decided to avoid delivering papers beyond the state line, many local citizens were inconvenienced and were quite upset because they learned early on that they could not rely of the papers to arrive the next day as promised. They may arrive several at a time if they arrive at all and certainly keep the readers stirred up because of the lack of continuity.
Now, we are told that we will no longer receive the Albuquerque paper by home delivery and must read it on the internet or receive it by mail.
Of course, the other papers can also be read on the internet in the event a person has that service and likes to give up the habit of holding a real newspaper in his hands while leafing through it. We also know that if the Amarillo paper doesn’t arrive on a regular schedule, the Albuquerque one will be even more unpredictable because the mail service between here and there is not exactly reliable if we think we can get next day service.
Yes, some of us could probably learn to use the internet were we so moved, but that would still not be the same as holding a paper in our hands and going from page to page.
We also know we can read books on the internet or can listen to them on tapes, but most of us still prefer to feel those pages and to hold a real book.
The tapes and the internet are great for those who have vision problems or who don’t feel the thrill of touching real paper. I am all for the talking books because they help others so much, but I am also for our having a choice in the event we want to go to the front yard to pick up the morning paper and to continue the long established schedules to which we have become very accustomed.
We are told that change is good, but sometimes change is merely change.