Saturday, July 27, 2002

The other thing about this question is that weblogs, void of any credibility and convenience to replace the tradional newspaper, actually amplify a paper's reach. Times stories are linked to by most of the main blogs; same goes for the Washington Post. I read, and link to, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which I couldn't do before the Internet. The same goes for NPR, which has a fine Web site and can enter mainstream discourse like never before; though they have to take their heads out of the cyber-sand and realize the possibilities of blogging, which they seem to fear:

And one other thing about paper. A professor of mine has over 12,000 books at his home. What will e-books mean for him? he asks. The word he uses, though, to talk about the timelessness of books, is their "tactile" quality--the feel of holding a book in your hand and flipping the page, sticking a bookmark in between actual pages. I also love the tactile qualities of a newspaper--I fold it under my arm, tear out articles I want to save, underline things, and generally love the feel of it in my fingers. It's like Nicholas Cage in "Family Man"--"I love the feel of a crisp new Wall Street Journal in my hand each morning." Newspapers' value goes beyond simply the information they relate.

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