In which Truffula shares another dispatch rife with inner conflict...
I try hard to reduce my paper use, I really do. To supply my in-house artists, handwriting practicers, and my own printing needs, I salvage one-sided paper at every turn. At an infamous staff meeting some years back, I put my notes for a lengthy presentation onto a 1.5 x 2-inch sticky note, using both sides, of course. My colleagues are still talking about it. Envelopes are given several lives in our household. I have turned off most of my paper bank and utility statements.
This week, we received a paper copy of our Parks and Recreation Departments' class and program guide mailed to our house. I thumbed through it, and absentmindedly put it down on the kitchen table.
The next morning, I came into the kitchen to find my 10-year-old son going through it page by page as he ate his breakfast. He enjoyed finding the entry for the class he takes (reminder to self: I need to register him for the next session). Even the section for seniors didn't stop him, never mind that he's got 45 years to go before he qualifies for those. (I'm not rushing him -- as it is, it seems like the time since his sweet nursling days were not that long ago...)
Like so many other agencies, both Parks and Recreation have had significant budget cuts. You can pay for a subscription to keep having their paper guide mailed to you. Or, you can use the online version.
Wishing to save paper and postage, and being frugal, I want to embrace the electronic guides, just like I want to love PDFs instead of printed books and newsletters. I'm proud of myself when I avoid using even the one-sided paper I've rescued. The thing is that I'm also frustrated when I can't just toss the to-be-read items into my bag for reading on the bus or other on-the-go place. I'm a cover-to-cover IKEA catalog reader, and savor some other catalogs as well. (No worries, the degree to which I savor these publications is extremely disproportionate to the amount I actually purchase from them.) Truffula family library cards gather no dust as we go to the library several times each week.
So, I wonder. I wonder about saving paper and postage and keeping budgets lean. I wonder about the experiences I've had with printed materials. And I wonder about my dear little TruffulaBoyz, one already a strong reader, and the other one poised to join his brother in books before long. I wonder how they will relate to the written word, and whether PDFs and Kindles and Nooks and the-next-great-device-down-the-road will allow them to curl up with, or to have breakfast with, fairy tales, fables, historic stories, poems, and yes, classes for seniors (!) the same glorious way that print on paper allows.