There’s nothing quite like leaning back in your bark-a-lounger (spelling? a dog’s recliner?) and reading a nice scrunched up copy of The Wall Street Journal. Let the other boys and girls go outside to play; I want my kids, when I have ‘em, reading the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. Make ’em savvy little reactionaries by the age of 8.

But as you doubtless know if you subscribe to the Journal, it’s not only one of the finest papers in the world, it’s also $164 a year plus tax. And it means cutting down a lot of trees to make them, including all those stock tables you don’t read any more now that you have your computer, and all those full-page ads that have nothing at all to do with your life.

So, like me, you have probably considered switching to the “on-line” edition instead. Click here to subscribe — just $29.95 a year if you’re already a subscriber, $49.95 a year if you’re not.

I signed up. My thinking: for $29.95 a year, why not? I travel a lot; this way I can check out the Journal from anywhere without having to go down to the hotel lobby to buy one.

Indeed, I figured: if I like it, I can drop the “real” version altogether. That will save me $125 a year.

But so far, I will admit, I haven’t dropped the real version. I’d love to save all those trees. I’d love to save the fuel and the labor required to truck the trees to the mill and then truck the newsprint to the printer and then truck the Journal to my house — and from there to the recycler. Not to mention the fuel and labor required to make the truck and run the mill and the press and the recycler.

(Imagine if each episode of Friends or Seinfeld had to be delivered one-by-one on video cassette. Tens of millions of them for each episode! Not efficient.)

I’m just not ready to abandon newsprint quite yet. Compared with simply running your eye across the front pages of each of its “real” sections every morning, reading the on-line Journal is slow. And it’s hard to read on the train. But I do think the on-line version — and all its little on-line brothers and sisters, like the Washington Post that just went on-line recently — are almost surely here to stay. It’s just so much more efficient. And hey: every $125 helps.

Tomorrow: He Turned $4,000 into $75,000 in a Year


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