Read all about it: the joy of newspapers – The Guardian

What are newspapers for? Mostly, we reckon we have a certain amount of time and it isn’t enough to do all the things we have to do. And we’re confused when it’s the other way round: the things we have to do fill only half the time we have available. Whichever way round it is, it’s always worth making time to read the papers.

When you get to a certain age, you set aside time to clear out a room, and by the time you’ve finished the chances are it will look different but still grubby – and possibly even more badly organised than before. Don’t fret! You may get far more benefit from trying to finish that book you were reading. Or just pick up an interesting newspaper – it will tell you something informative as well as being agreeable to read. Much more satisfying than battling away at chores that you can’t do very well any more.

It’s sensible to take a few easy days and remember that you can clear out the house any time. Even if you’ve given back that book you borrowed ages ago and there’s something wrong with the TV, there’s always the papers. A decent paper will have moving and beautiful pictures of people and places you recognise and that will occupy and stimulate your mind if you don’t feel like going out.

I’m not hopeless at embroidery, or mending clothes or doing the cleaning, but reading a newspaper always gives me a greater sense of satisfaction. The political stories are the best – who is trying to ignore or discredit whom on the other side, or even, sometimes, the same side. Reading the newspapers is not a necessity – but that’s why it’s a source of joy. It’s important to choose what you do at least some of the time.

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