The paper was lying around a coffee shop, I picked it up and began reading an article about Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that had been decided the previous year. I knew nothing about the Times having been raised on the Los Angeles Times, and latter, when I was at college, the San Francisco Chronicle.
In those days, the Times did not have a West Coast edition and was only available in a few magazine shops the day after it was published in New York. In the summer of 1980 the paper began publishing a national edition that was available the same day it was published, but again, only in a few magazine shops.
I stopped on my way to work to grab a copy that I read in the evening after classes and those never-ending faculty committee meetings. Home delivery in Portland began many years later.
I continued to read the Times in the morning for years, even in Hawaii when it was delivered a day after its publication. In all this discussion I am talking about the print edition. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Times began it’s online, digital edition.
That is how I read the Times now. It is my “home page” that I return to throughout the day and thanks to the miracle of Wi-Fi, wherever I am in this country or abroad. I read the literary news, sports, health, tech, science, business, a couple of blogs, everything in this remarkable newspaper.
Earlier this fall (9/21/15) the Times reported, “We recently passed one million digital-only subscribers, reflecting the remarkable bond that The Times has built with readers on our digital platforms. They join our 1.1 million print-and-digital subscribers.”
I also subscribe to the the Times numerous email alerts—books, writers, morning briefing, business news, the Upshot, the Times Magazine and Sunday Book Review, on and on, a plethora of skillful reporting.
To a certain extent, the Times has replaced the New Yorker as the place I go to for information, especially cultural commentary and analysis--films, books, theater. If someone asked me what wanted most, while I was stranded in a far off island, I would reply at once: the latest edition of the New York Times.