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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.

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