Reading the newspaper is an informative habit for many Augustans, but one that comes with a lot of variations. We asked our readers to share their daily ritual. They also talk about how reading the newspaper came to be a big part of their busy lives.
I am the one who retrieves the paper in the morning, and although I have done so for many years I still occasionally pick it up from the driveway only to see it slip out of the clear plastic wrapper based on how I have incorrectly picked it up. I look to blame someone, glance around to see if anyone has seen me, and walk to my door knowing all along it was me and I still have not managed this ability to pick the paper up correctly.
I sit in my chair, which by default is mine, and unfold each section in the order it presents itself. I do have this habit to locate and separate all the ads (Sunday takes me awhile) and keep that group separate from the rest of the paper. So I have two groups (all the sections and all the ads). I unfold each section and, after reading it, fold it back, turn it upside down, and feeling confident it will all be in order once I finish and turn all the sections right side up for the next person. There is only one other person in my house but still I feel pridefully organized.
I then take the two groups and lay them on the floor beside my wife's chair in the living room. When she awakes, she can bend down and simply pick up the group she wishes to read first, and if she selects the sections of the paper they will be in the rightful order.
Later, as the day goes by when I am not at work, I begrudgingly see the paper after she has either read it or not gotten around to it. I can't tell the difference because even when she finishes they are released back to the floor as if they have been blown from a windstorm. But as the day wears on, my 11-year-old son's feet have come in contact with it like a herd of wild horses and I see section B where section A should be, and the once "two groups" are now one large, disassociated mix of paper. I usually take a deep breath and think I won't be organizing the paper anymore, nor will I just lay it on the floor beside her chair anymore.
Augusta Technical College
The Lightfoots, of Louisville, Ga., have been Chronicle subscribers for decades:
One of the genuine joys of my day is looking out the window to make certain my newspaper is in the driveway.
My routine includes walking out to retrieve the paper and placing it in my car, where it accompanies me to the Augusta Tech campus.
I always read the Sports section first, followed by Bill Kirby or Glynn Moore's columns, along with the remainder of the Metro section, including Rants & Raves.
The rest of my newspaper is read after arriving home, usually during or after supper.
My routine changes dramatically on weekends, especially on Saturdays, when reading The Augusta Chronicle is the highlight of my morning before I begin my domestic responsibilities.
Reading the Sunday edition is also a special experience, so I expand my reading time during the morning and afternoon.
I read Sylvia Cooper's column last, just before I retire for the night.
I grew up in North Augusta. I now live in Garland, Texas, so I read The Chronicle online.
I always check the obituaries first. If I see a name that seems familiar, I always click the mouse on it.
Bill Kirby's column intrigues me with the postcards and jokes. Then I like the rest of the paper, especially the "Were You Spotted." Your photographers always manage to catch the prettiest girls at whatever event.
GRAYSON LAHATTE AUGUSTA
I am 16, and I'm the only one who reads the newspaper (besides the Sports section).
My father, Lawrence LaHatte, and I have some form of a morning ritual when it comes to the newspaper. Since he is an early riser, he often reads the newspaper just before getting in the shower or while enjoying his coffee.
Now, he knows I'm an avid reader of the newspaper. The Metro section is my favorite. I always enjoy the Rants & Raves and what was going on in Augusta the few days before that I don't catch on the 10/11 o'clock news.
MATTHEW E. HODGES
I love Bill Kirby's columns in the Metro section each week. I always love the jokes, and I use them sometimes at Rotary Club if they haven't already read it.
My wife is meticulous about reading the Sunday paper. After I get it in our driveway, she grabs it first. She hands me the Sports section. Now I am particular about the Sports section, but she never reads it, so I get total possession. My son, who is also a sports junkie, reads it page for page after me.
Sometimes, if I am lucky, my wife will hand me the Business section. She has to read the front, Metro, Your Life, the Home section and the sales papers before I can even think about touching it. She will have them neatly on the floor next to my chair in the sunroom if she is ready for me to read.
Sometimes I feel like I am at Baskin-Robbins waiting on a number to be called to get to read the rest of the paper.
First thing I do when I bring the paper in every morning and remove the plastic bag is to check the obits on the front page. If my name is not listed, I know it's going to be a great day.
Next I peruse the headlines and read what appears to be of interest on the front page. Next up is the Opinion page and the letters to the editor. I like to check on Rick McKee too, just as I used to check out Clyde Wells. All very pertinent. Hurtful sometimes, but deserved all the same. I am generally amazed at the narrowness of some of the letters and how ignorant some of the writers are.
Oh, and I check out the Metro pages, too, because I like to see what Bill Kirby has to say and I like his jokes. Next, it's on to the obits, especially if there is someone from Millen listed or someone else I know. I then move on to the Sports section and the baseball or college and pro football scores, depending on the season.
I could not care less about the basketball, tennis, golf or soccer stuff, and NASCAR is definitely out. I like to check the previous day's scores and see who is playing where that day. National League only, please. I have never been a big fan of the designated hitter.
I next check out who will be playing when on TV, quickly read the comics, and send the papers to my recycle box.
All the time this is going on, I am having my morning coffee and downing my toaster scrambles for breakfast. Since my wife has passed on, I get no flak about any of this, and there are no pets to criticize what I do, not that it would matter anyway.
I suspect many people do it the same way I do.
I read The Augusta Chronicle before I go to work every morning (around 7 a.m.). I do not watch that much TV, so all of my news comes from the newspaper.
I start with the back portion and work my way to the front page. The order is usually inserts first, classified, Sports, Metro, and then first section.
ERIC and Leslie Olig
We have a ritual that adjusts as new readers come aboard. It's a good thing that most items in the newspaper are "fixed."
Whoever makes the coffee has to get the paper.
Eric is man of the house and gets section A. Leslie gets Metro, and Courtney (12 years old) gets Sports because she reads the comics.
Libby (8) likes to report on the weather and at times races her sister for the Sports section. When school is in session, she often gives weather reports over breakfast.
Understand that because of Eric's job I am not always present to play my part in the morning ritual, but by habit, I still reach for Metro first.
I read 1B, then the blotter, then the obits (I am fascinated by people with interesting histories who would have made a terrific feature for the newspaper).
Then I read section A starting with the front page and look forward to the editorials. Rick McKee is a favorite daily feature.
Finally, I get the Sports section back from Courtney and finish things off with the comics.
Reading concluded, the paper is sent directly to the recycling bin on the carport. If Eric is out of town and I know he'll be home in time, I save it for him.
Fun newspaper reading activities: Eric and I often comment on really cool or really bad photos -- habit from old days. Michael Holahan rocks and is most often the creator of the photos we both notice. We also check out brides on Sunday morning and select the winner of The Ugly Bride contest.
Linda Carter Adams
My husband accuses me of reading the newsprint off the paper every morning.
I will share as long as he keeps it in sections and doesn't turn it. Most of the time, I pass him the Sports section while I read the rest and then I look at the Sports section.
I have become picky about the paper over the years. I enjoy holding it in my hands, reclining on the couch and not being disturbed.
First, I glance at the obits on the front page and then take the Metro section and look at all the obits. I figure if I'm in there then there is no reason to go to work!
Then I go back to the first page and read it, especially enjoying the editorial and the cartoon.
Then I finish reading Metro and find Ask Amy, read it and then the TV Tonight. Then I read the comics, look at all the weather stats and also check out the temperatures where my son lives (Baltimore at the present). Then I look at the Argyle Sweater cartoon.
Lastly I look at the Sports section, except when Tiger was big in the news or the Masters Tournament is going on. Then I put it back together nicely and put it on my husband's chair for him to read.
Sometimes he reads it. ... Then it goes in to the recycle basket or sometimes lines the trash can and especially in the summer to wrap the watermelon rinds in so they don't make such a mess in the trash.
And there you have it!