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Paperback Book-Format Newspapers

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The New York Times really gets on my nerves, for reasons other than its jejune news analysis and recent dumbing down. It’s too big, which makes it difficult to read in a crowded subway, unless you resort to origami-style folding practices. It’s too noisy. My girlfriend reads it in bed when I’m trying to sleep and I have to listen to this infernal rustling noise. Hardly any stories appear on a single page; they’re always continued in some other section, so you have to hunt around and flip through it to finish reading the item. Then the pages wind up all misaligned, and that’s a drag.

My solution is newspapers in paperback book format. It’s small and quiet. The obvious reasons for not already having this format in place are 1) the prohibitive cost of binding, and 2) Advertisers like to run big, full-page ads. The present innovation, unfortunately, addresses neither of these obstacles. Am I forgetting any other problems with this?

But wait -- perhaps there’s some type of crappy, single-use binding means out there. Or maybe it could be printed accordion-style – folded up; that could be good. As far full-page ads go, I won’t miss them, although I do recognize that they’re a major revenue stream for newspapers.

snarfyguy, Dec 21 2001

RobGraham's Onion link. http://store.theoni...ups/odc_wa-_big.gif
[jutta, Dec 22 2001]


       Well, it certainly makes sense for cramped quarters like the subway or even lying down in bed. However, If the ads were to stay on the pages, you would end up about 1 paragraph of news content per page, and it could be a potential nightmare of stories being continued all over the place.   

       However, on the up side, the newsbook could be formatted in a way that allows it to be broken down into 'chapters' of subject heading. That way you could focus on news stories while eschewing the sports section, and easily find just the parts that interest you.   

       It makes sense that the formatting of news on the Internet will eventually have some effect on how news in newspapers is formatted.   

       You might even find ways to avoid into formatting problems like this one in The Onion:   

       [See link. --jutta]
RobGraham, Dec 22 2001

       Thanks, whoever you are (can't see your name for some reason). I'd also intended to say that each section of the paper / book could be identified by a tab protruding from its first page. There would be a table of contents up front and news stories running, yeah, maybe a paragraph per page to make room for advertising, but then continuing again on the next page in order to reduce the flipping around / searching annoyance.
snarfyguy, Dec 22 2001

       A great idea, even though you can get news on the internet, for some reason, good old paper and ink just seems better to me. One dowside however, is that the sunday paper would be the size of a novel...
NeverDie, Dec 22 2001

       I was thinking the daily edition already would be the size of a novel. Sunday would be more like "Infinite Jest."   

       Wireless PDA doesn't work in the subway, PeterSealy. And even if we had a wireless PDA, I bet my girlfriend would still read the paper paper. Old habits die hard.
snarfyguy, Dec 22 2001


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