Stuff I Like: Newspapers on the Kindle

March 22, 2009

I’m a news junkie. Judging by the fate of newspaper companies across the nation, I’m one of a dying breed: People who subscribe to a daily paper. In high school & college, that paper was The Washington Post. When I first moved to Seattle, I subscribed to The Seattle Times and enjoyed the novelty of getting an evening newspaper. In 1998, I switched from the Seattle Times to The New York Times to get back to the level of national & international coverage I’d been used to with The Washington Post. For over a decade, I’ve gotten The New York Times every day and I’ve managed to at least skim it on most days.

For me, the big news-junkie story of the past week is not the demise of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Instead, it’s that I’ve finally changed my print New York Times subscription to Sunday only. The rest of the time, I get the newspaper wirelessly delivered to my Kindle.

The Kindle New York Times

I love the switch. Here are the advantages of the Kindle:

  • Reading the newspaper on the Kindle is easier than reading the actual paper copy. The Kindle New York Times has an article list for each section. The article list contains the headline & first few sentences of each article, so an entire section fits on two Kindle “pages.” If I see an article that looks interesting, I can jump to it and read the whole thing. Once I’m reading an article, I can finish it in one effortless swoop. I don’t have to jump across pages like I do with a dead-tree paper.
  • No more stacks of newsprint accumulate in the kitchen.
  • I don’t have to suspend my newspaper delivery when I’m on vacation. The newspaper gets delivered to me wherever I am (in the United States).
  • It’s cheaper. Kindle delivery of The New York Times is $14/month. Daily delivery of the newsprint costs $13/week. We’re compromising right now and getting the newsprint delivered on Sunday, and the total price of the newsprint and electronic editions is still slightly less than getting newsprint on the doorstep each day.
  • It appeals to my lazy side. I don’t have to walk out in the rain (or snow!) to get the paper. It’s there for me when I switch the Kindle on.

There are really only three drawbacks to the electronic paper.

  • First, no crossword. This would be a deal-breaker for some, but not for this family.
  • Second, the Kindle isn’t great for high-production photos or graphics, like in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. Molly loves the New York Times Magazine. It’s her bedside reading for most of the week. This is why we’re keeping Sunday delivery.
  • We can’t share the paper. Even if you have multiple Kindles in the household (which we do), a periodical gets delivered to only one.

As good as the Kindle is for reading books, it’s even better for newspapers. If you have a Kindle but are holding on to your newspaper subscription out of nostalgia, you should definitely try the 14-day trial of the Kindle version of your favorite newspaper. I think you’ll be hooked.