Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Wisdom of Keeping Time on Paper

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Wisdom of Keeping Time on Paper

Article excerpt

As a member of a generation that knew no computers or personal devices, I think I have adjusted fairly well to the electronic marvels that people take for granted today. But there is one convenience that I cannot embrace. I still depend upon a paper calendar to plan my days.

My wife has urged me to get with the modern program. She has adopted technology so enthusiastically that her iPhone beeps messages at all hours, so marriage with her is like being the spouse of R2-D2 from "Star Wars." (That reminds me: I must make a notation on my calendar to bury her phone in a bucket of sand so I can get some sleep.)

I simply like paper. I like paper books (no Kindle for me), paper calendars (no Google reminders), newspapers (no wrapping fish in a computer) and toilet paper (definitely no bidets).

My view is that paper is where trees go to be immortal when great words are written down to last. So I was heartened by a recent story in the Business Day section of The New York Times titled "Mark It Down: Paper Calendars Endure in Digital Age."

The Times story reported that paper calendars have not only survived, but sales of some kinds have increased. Sadly, the ones that have declined include the one I like the most: desk pads. I favor the old-fashioned ones that have a daily quotation.

Now, if you take inspiration from a good quotation, as I do, you can certainly find websites specializing in quotations. But reading quotations on the internet is like eating Chinese food with a knife and fork - it's just not as tasty.

Besides, you have to make a special effort to get your daily quotation fix on the internet. An educational desk pad gives you a fresh quotation with every new day. I miss that and I can't find a fitting replacement.

All is not lost, because I still have a traditional, large paper calendar. My 2017 calendar has no quotations but it does feature big spaces for notes, such as doctor and dentist appointments and iPhone burials. It came from a hardware store and has watercolor pictures of trains, mostly steam.

The Times story about paper calendars revived an old dream: To have a quotation of mine printed on a desk pad calendar. …

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