Sundays

I begin this Sunday as I begin every Sunday: I read Sunday newspapers. I have read the Sunday Chicago Tribune religiously every week for more than sixty years. Even when I had to be out of state on Sunday (during military service or attending sf cons) I have been able to buy the Sunday Tribune or have it delivered. Sometimes I would read last Sunday’s Trib a week or month late. Sometimes time or tides forced me to read Sunday editions during the week or in the middle of the night. But Sundays have always been for reading Sunday newspapers, and I continue the tradition my father taught me. My father learned to read English from newspapers and so did I.

I majored in print journalism at the University of Illinois and minored in journalism at Loyola University. I studied military journalism at Fort Benjamin Harrison. I worked for a number of newspapers, but never for the Chicago Tribune.

This morning I read the Trib and dozens of other papers in digital editions. Rodney Engleworth, the crusty old newspaperman and one of the main characters in my crime novel Spilled Milk, is a lot like me. Engleworth still reads Sunday papers, but now only on his computer. I get the digital NY Times Sunday Book Review on Friday. I read the Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row on Sunday.

This week’s Printer’s Row features an excellent interview with Chicago author Sara Paretsky a review of Karen Joy Fowler’s latest book, and reviews of science fiction by Gary K. Wolfe. The layout is colorful and innovative. I hope Printer’s Row endures.

It’s evident that ad revenues have decreased significantly. Advertising has always been the life blood of American newspapers, but today there are so many other avenues for advertising that newspapers shrink in size as a consequence. I can finish half a dozen newspapers in the time it used to take to read only one. That leaves me plenty of time to write on a Sunday. But it also leaves me felling sad.

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