I read 4-5 newspapers a day. Some on paper, others online. I get uneasy when I miss them, or when they have their holidays.
I catchup on back issues after vacations, and on weekends. This has been an enjoyable indulgence.
I read regular & business dailies. Tabloids haven’t beckoned me.
My reading pattern & interests have changed over the years.
I remember, during my boyhood days, pouring over the comic strips, children’s supplements, some headlines to mug up names & dates to win quizzes, but turning over pages without imbibing much, just copying adults.
As I grew older, I got more curious about the world around me. Distant countries & happenings were fascinating. I was encouraged to read editorials to polish up language skills, though I never got to enjoy them. This was when I caught the daily habit.
I matured into a discerning reader during my high school & college days. I spent more time over specific sections. Politics, gossip & sports didn’t appeal much. I spent time on sections like current affairs, science, business, movies, books & music. I liked to gloss over the advertisements, some of them like those for vacations & clothing invoked my fantasies. I even read a bit of obituaries & classifieds, trying to figure out people’s minds and what drove them. The daily crossword became a competition in my class, so I had to ace that, and I did well too. Another big change was I started noticing columnists and guest writers. Some of them wrote well, at least appealed to me. I began looking forward to their next instalment. I began discussing them and their ideas with a few like-minded friends. This was enjoyable.
So far, I was reading only 1-2 newspapers a day, mostly just 1.
Then came work life. Being in the business world, the de rigour was the business dailies. There again I was selective. I liked to spend time on technology, brands & marketing, profiles & interviews, some columnists, specific supplements and so on. The likes of crossword & sudoku continued. This was when I picked up the habit to catchup on back issues when I missed my daily routine.
The online blitzkrieg happened around this time. All of a sudden, I had access to foreign newspapers, online & free. I was intrigued to read about american, asian & european lifestyles, current affairs, business, arts & culture and so on. I have spent many pleasant hours browsing.
Now, my reading habits have changed so much.
I still maintain the rhythm of 4-5 newspapers. But having seen the recurring patterns of news over the years, I have become a more effective & efficient reader. Cosmetics change, but people don’t. I tend to think that politicians, actors, businessmen, artists, sportsmen etc., all fall into a few categories, at all times. The people I read about now are very similar to other people I read about, say, a decade back. Even happenings like famines, political crises, protests, business successes & failures, gossips, scandals, sports etc., all just seem to follow a recurring pattern. The actors, and perhaps the settings, change, but the story remains the same.
I can now breeze thro 4-5 newspapers in 30-45min. Since I can discern the news behind most stories, I don’t read them fully. Sometimes, the headlines alone will suffice. I spend time on specific columnists, but many a time, they also recycle their views. Sudoku, crosswords, & comic strips continue, and are enjoyable. Little sports. A little bit of gossip & scandal is good. No time for protests and politics. Lifestyle & living a little bit. Books, arts & music are a must. Science yes. Business yes.
The underlying drive these days is to see if I can pickup something new.
A new insight, idea, viewpoint – that makes my day.