I was reading when I was five - Grimm's Fairy Tales; it was a green book and I carried it around with me. Some time after that I began to read comic books. I had an uncle with a drugstore and he let my brother and me read them as long as we didn't mess them up. We would go into the warehouse at the back of the store and sit each in our separate fortress made of cardboard cartons or flour sacks belonging to the grocery store next door, and read. I remember reading the "funnies" in the newspaper, lying on my stomach on the floor, reading. I remember wondering what the rest of the paper was for, all that dreary news. Why print anything but the funnies? Now - I can't read "funnies", that is, graphic or comic novels. Question: are they the same thing? What is the difference between graphic and comic? Anyway, I can't read them, all those pictures and all that print scattered at random about the page in cute little balloons. I can't seem to focus, and it's very slow reading. Were they invented for slow readers? Are the illustrations - no, they're not illustrations, I know that, because they are integral to the story - but are they art? Is a graphic novel a work of art? So how does that relate to the much-mourned (oft-repeated) death of books? And how does that relate to the disappearance of the newspaper? The world, as Sean O'Casey said, is in a state of chassis. How are we to make sense of it all? I guess if you carry a personal information device, you have the sense of it all at your fingertips: time, weather, place, agenda and maybe a thought for the day, or a new word, or the spelling of one. Who needs a newspaper, as such? You need news and information more than ever, it would seem, and entertainment, distraction and maybe even a mild challenge. But you don;t need a paper for that, not any more. Now I'm going to flaunt my age again by referring to someone before your time. An American pop-intellectual writer called Clifton Fadiman (one of the founders of the BOMC - i.e. Book of the Month Club) said we need to read only one newspaper a day. At that time people swore by newspapers and a significant number of people would habitually read four or five newspapers a day, not that the news was different but the spin was: different politics, different cities, different pundits. You can get them all online now, print out what you need and save a bundle of newspaper. i guess I have one question: what do you wrap your garbage in now that they're outlawing plastic bags? Well, we could do a number on garbage and maybe we'll get around to it. I still have to deal with the other things disappearing in my/your lifetime. Hang in there.