Paper! Arrrrrrgh!! #socs

A few people will be disappointed that I won’t take the prompt “cat” and write about cats, of which we have had many over the years, or about being Catholic, of which I’m of the cradle variety. I don’t feel comfortable writing on either, at least not today. Blame the overcast and rainy conditions in Atlanta that have me a little more melancholy than usual.

‘Tis the season to get catalogs in the mail. Our mailbox is stuffed with them starting in early November and continuing through the end of the year. We never look at them anymore. They don’t even get to the house. Mary, who collects the mail, has a pile going in the basement; when we get enough, we might take them to be recycled, or we might just throw them away. I’m sorry, with the Internet, we don’t need them. If we want something from a specific place, we’ll go to their website. We know what we want, and we can find it online and buy it. No need to keep all that paper coming. Fortunately, a lot of places have a way to be taken off their mailing list, so we do.

We aren’t quite so lucky with phone books. Regardless of the fact that we have cellphones and can look up a number and have the phone call it, the phone company still delivers phone books to us. We’ve called them time and again to beg them “please, stop delivering phone books to us!” Every year, we get them, anyway, and we have to get rid of them.

We no longer have the newspaper delivered, nor do we buy it, not even on the weekends. But every Sunday morning a nice lady drives around the neighborhood and talks on the phone while she tosses sections of the paper on everyone’s driveway. We’ve asked her to stop. She keeps doing it, anyway. Maybe she forgets, or is too busy talking on her cellphone to pay attention. And, who the hell is she talking to? Early Sunday morning, most people are asleep or at church.

I dread this coming year, when every two-bit politician is sending us these large-format cards, some of which extol their virtues, others tell us what a doodyhead their opponent is. We just throw that stuff away. Really. Maybe I should see who sends us the most crap in the mail and vote against them.

We don’t take a bulletin at church, or have The Georgia Bulletin (official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta) delivered to our house. The bulletin is online; I can go to the parish’s website and download it in PDF format, and the Georgia Bulletin has a website where I can read the whole thing online.

Mary used to print all the knitting patterns she found online and make many copies for the ladies in her charity knitters’ and crocheters’ group. I bought her an iPad. Now she has all her patterns on that, and if one of her ladies needs a pattern, she emails them a PDF. If the lady wants a printed copy, she can print it herself. We bought a scanner and we’re scanning patterns from her books to PDF’s so she can load them to her iPad. Sure, occasionally she needs to print something out, but 999 times out of a thousand, she doesn’t.

She has lots of knitting books, some of which are collector’s items (knitting books go out-of-print fairly regularly), but as for novels, we both use Kindles. Yeah, I know how much people love their paper books, but I have a hard time handling them with one hand and she would rather read on her iPad.

In our house, paper gets knocked on the floor and torn to shreds or thrown up on or worse by the cats. We don’t need that. Of course, we keep a few paperbacks around to throw at the cats when they start fighting, or when one backs another into a corner. We don’t even have to throw them, just threaten to, and they break it up.

There was a lot to be said for catalogs, magazines, newspapers, phone books, church bulletins, and the like back in the days before the Internet. All that stuff goes online now. I think it’s better that way. What about you?


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill, and she has all the rules at her blog.


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

11 thoughts on “Paper! Arrrrrrgh!! #socs”

  1. I still like paper but you make a good point about the junk mail and political adds. I bet the paper adds are cheaper than TV time though. So for local election especially I can see why people still send the paper. This reminds me of that old song, ” I’m gonna sit right down and right myself a letter and make believe it came from you.” I thought you might get a laugh out of that. 🙂


    1. You’d think by now that the phone companies would realize that when people need a phone number they’ll look up the number on the Internet and stop producing the paper directory. Probably save them a small fortune, although they can sell advertising in the book. One day, maybe they’ll tell everyone that if they want a paper directory they can buy one at Walgreens or Kroger…


  2. It’s crazy how often I get catalogs. I called and asked them to stop sending them and they slowed down, but I just got one the other day. The phone books are the worst. I do still like to hold a novel, or a book of poetry, in my hands, though.


    1. I have trouble handling books with pages with my bad hand, so the Kindle has been a Godsend. And ordering something from an online business gets you put on their mailing list, whether you want to be or not.

      Eventually, I hope the phone company realizes that there aren’t too many people that want a printed directory, and announce that, if you want one, they’re available at grocery stores (or some other business), or you can download a PDF.


  3. There’s a lot to be said for saving paper, especially where the phone book is concerned. … except when the power’s out and the internet doesn’t work (I don’t do the data thing on my phone. Too expensive.) But don’t you think there will be a day when we’re overrun with trees if we don’t print books? 😛


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