The Atlantic

There’s No Substitute for Print

Some joys can’t be digitized.
Source: M. Dykstra / Shutterstock / The Atlantic

Sometime this winter, I performed an experiment: I decided to subscribe to home delivery of a daily newspaper. I am so pleased by the success of this experiment that I can no longer remember why I undertook it, although through my daze of self-satisfaction I am pretty sure that money was involved. A promotional offer probably arrived in the mail—the postal mail, I mean—that was as insanely cheap as I am. Succumbing to a printed come-on delivered by a flesh-and-blood letter carrier to subscribe to a real newspaper-on-newsprint gave my experiment the feel of something reactionary and backward-looking—another reason I was eager to undertake it. I even paid by check.

As recently as 15 years ago, before the internet completed its

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Republicans Don't Understand Democrats—And Democrats Don't Understand Republicans
A new study shows Americans have little understanding of their political adversaries—and education doesn’t help.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Is There Still a Deal to Be Done With Iran?
The United States stepped right up to the brink of striking Iran over a downed American drone—and then abruptly stepped back. Yet the conditions that have stoked weeks of tensions remain fully in place, as does the question of what exactly President
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Tell Me It’s Not About Race
The pace of legal news in the third year of the Trump administration is dizzying; sometimes it seems as if our legal system is shaking itself to pieces, like a car driven too fast too long. So you can be forgiven if you missed two news developments e