Yesterday I canceled my paper subscription, and today, as I was putting away the unread paper, I am celebrating my first newspaper-free guilt-free day. :) For almost a year, I have been getting the newspaper delivered home. It started off as a welcome gift from B when I came to this city, and I continued it as I loved waking up, going to my doorstep and picking up the paper and reading the NYT with my chai. To follow well-written and not-so-well-written pieces. To discuss them with B. To do the crossword together in the evenings, or on the subway. I realized that I was particularly enjoying the business section- may be because I wouldn't seek that kind of news online, but it was informative and educative to read about when available. The paper also served as great company during my lunchtime alone, or during long train rides. And of course, the Science Times on Tuesdays remained my favourite part. Anyway, over time, I got busier, there was no company to do the crossword with, and I guess my interest started waning. Mornings became busier and get-up-and-go and lunchtimes got rushed or filled up with India phone calls. I sometimes got to the paper only in the evening, when I would've already read the main news online. Somedays I never even got to it, and just unwrapped it and put it away. I was only left guilty that I wasn't reading the paper. So I decided to cancel my subscription, which was dirt cheap as it is. Each time I called the NYT customer service, I got suckered into retaining my subscription: they kept tempting me with 50% off deals and what not, and I meekly submitted, not wanting to let go of what had been a fun tradition, and yet, continuing to guilt-trip over unread papers. Thankfully, I stopped getting it over the weekends because I was rarely home on weekends and Friday supplements pretty much gave me enough reading material to read over the weekend.
The turning point came when the newspaper delivery guy stopped bringing my paper upstairs to my doorstep, instead just left it outside at the building entrance or near the mailboxes downstairs. Which meant I picked it up on my way to lab, and would get to it only in the evenings. Kind of took away all the joy of finding the paper at my doorstep and reading it first thing in the morning. When I tried to find out why, apparently he did that because he had trouble finding parking on my street and couldn't come upstairs. Although that sounds atrocious- delivery trucks are double parked all the time- my conscience didn't allow me to protest this whole-heartedly, mainly because I wasn't even reading the paper diligently.
When I called up customer service, they said that their policy was "fling at doorstep" policy, and not necessarily bring it up to apartments, however they could put in a request that I wanted it at my doorstep and ensure that it was done. I felt like it was not worth causing the delivery person grief, especially when I was barely reading the paper. So finally, I just stood my ground and cancelled my subscription. I feel liberated from all that guilt, but strangely enough, want to open up yesterday's paper and read it now. :)