Wednesday, November 30, 2011

E-reader time?

My local newspaper - I cringe to even call it that at this point but lack for a better word - is dropping to three days a week on Feb. 2, 2012. This is a large media market and the Grand Rapids Press has a rich tradition. However, for financial reasons, it is eliminating home delivery and moving toward its electronic editions through the oft-maligned website that serves the Press known as Mlive.

As a subscriber to the print paper, sometimes user of Mlive, and former freelance writer for both, I'm surely going to be at a loss when the change is made. I feel emotionally connected to newspapers in the physical form. I appreciate my newspaper at home - in my hands.

Instead of rebel against progress, I'm ready to pursue my options for an electronic reader. At this point, the leading candidate for me is the Amazon Kindle Fire. The Press will continue to produce a "print simulated" electronic edition that I can receive daily - I just need a place to read it. At $199 it's far cheaper than the iPad. It also gives me an electronic book reader, without the high price of a tablet with all gadgets.

Of course, it is yet to be seen if I will value news - and newspapers - as much once I lose my physical connection to the paper.