Sean over at "the most significant thing" has a good post on his take on newspapers.
I miss reading the newspaper. I love the big unwieldy thing in my fingers, foldable in every direction. You could tear out whatever, and then toss it. And the general utilitarian qualities of newspaper are like no other. I have to go scraping around the house now if I need an extra piece of newspaper for lining the cat box or starting a fire. I love the unique experience of drawing down old Christmas ornaments and noting the aged date on the newspaper they're wrapped in. I remember the time when I would go down to the coffee shop and sit there for an hour and a half, perusing the L.A. Times. This was back when Starbucks were only a paltry few in the northwest, and no one was answering cel phones or angling for a good Wi-Fi signal. -but alas, now I'm sounding like grampa.
If I decide to stick with the Kindle version of the Seattle Times, which seems likely, there will definitely be something missing (besides the overflowing recycling bin). For one, there are no pictures (like the one below) on the e-book version. And as Sean mentions, I will miss the tactile feel of flipping through the paper each morning. And I hadn't even considered the whole firestarter issue...
I resist reading the paper online for free for a couple of reasons. For starters, I don't want to stare at the computer screen any longer than I have to. I am fortunate at 41 to not need glasses, but I can feel the eyestrain after cozying up to the glow of the computer monitor for any length of time.
There is also a certain comfort in the sequential nature of reading a newspaper section by section, instead of endlessly clicking back and forth to the home page to find the next clickable link. And quite frankly, I'm OK with the static nature of the paper. An interesting story is always right there for me to pick up when I am ready, rather than being pushed aside by the latest newsfeed to bubble to the top. If I'm always a day behind, so be it.