Perfect way to start the day: Coffee, backyard, reading the morning paper on my tablet

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The morning paper looks great, nice and sharp with plenty of color. Let me just adjust the brightness a little.

Love reading the paper each morning in the backyard with my dogs hanging around and a warm breeze blowing. The morning warm air feels good, although we’re already past 80. It’s summer along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The sun is up, and I need to put the paper on the brightest setting. Now I can see each page clearly.

I am an old-fashioned newspaper guy who likes to start out each day reading the morning paper. But I prefer the electronic version on my tablet. It makes the paper look more vibrant than the paper paper.

Tablets are perfect for newspaper reading. Holding them vertically allows an entire page to fill the screen. With the high resolution, I can see even the small print once I put on my reading glasses.

Now, to catch up on sports. That’s my first stop when the Astros win. Then come national and city/state news, and last, but not least, business.

And, it’s handy to check out all the supermarket ads in The Houston Chronicle. Peaches and blueberries are 99 cents a pound. I need to jump on those deals.

As an added bonus, there is a full page color Fry’s Electronics ad. What a treat. I have to stop on that page for a few minutes and look through the deals carefully. I’m an old-fashioned newspaper guy, but also a geek.

I read the Chronicle partly because I worked for them for 12 years. I also read the Facts, but I have to do that with the real paper. Their subscription site is too cumbersome. I also read my own paper, but not all that closely, since I already know what’s in it.

A friend of mine recently asked me what the difference is between a paid subscription newspaper site and their free site. It’s like watching the entire movie, or just the trailer, I explained.

That has been the Achilles heel for newspapers for a long time. They make their money from printing the paper, but a lot of people are satisfied with just reading the freebies posted to tease the reader into buying a subscription.

I’ve opined before that newspapers have missed the boat on making money on the Internet, but they have slowly learned to coexist and rake in a few more dollars with it.

As it stands now, though, being able to read the paper online exactly as it is in print is a good combination for people like myself.

I used to get the New York Times for a while, but canceled it because I just didn’t have time to read it. Then they kept calling me and dropping the price to get me to resubscribe, but it wasn’t about the money.

I think they went to like $3.50 a month for six months, and then I could cancel with no obligation. I may subscribe after I retire and have more time, but for now, I’ll have to do without it, no matter how enticing the offer.

The problem with selling a nationwide circulation paper is that there is no emotional tie to it like when reading the local or regional paper. It’s a hard sell at best. The nationals’ best days have come and gone, I think.

Time for some business news, so I’m skipping straight to those pages. I’m not much of an Editorials Page fan. Don’t really care what the paper’s brass think, and they are boring most of the time.

Wait, I have to stop at the comics, especially the color ones.

Done reading it all (I am interested in). Time for some more coffee and to get on Facebook. Look, I read the paper, and there is no ink on my fingers. What will they think of next?