The Saturday Papers

The reading room of the Boston Public Library, an engraving drawn by J. J. Harley and printed January 1871 in Every Saturday, a weekly newspaper published in Boston by James Osgood & Co.

The reading room of the Boston Public Library, an engraving drawn by J. J. Harley and printed January 1871 in Every Saturday, a weekly newspaper published in Boston by James Osgood & Co.

On Saturdays, one of my simple pleasures is going to the local library and reading the Saturday papers. My favourite is the Globe and Mail, because of the smart writing and insightful arts coverage.

But my friend John, a retired career advisor, also reads the Saturday Globe, and we tend to show up around the same time, so there’s an unspoken competition as to who will get the paper first. Usually, he wins. Today, as usual, I walked into the library and spotted him at one of the centre tables, bent over the pages of the Saturday Globe.

So I sat down in the lounge area with the Vancouver Sun instead. Until Mr. Chan came and sat down beside me. Mr. Chan is 93 years old and a former neighbour. He’s a photographer, and he interrupted my reading to shyly ask for help getting his downloaded photos moved from his flash drive to his computer so he could crop them.

I work on Macs and he uses an ancient PC, so I didn’t know how to find much of anything on his laptop. Plus Mr. Chan is nearly deaf, and it’s the damn library, so I’m trying to ask him questions without making too much noise.

The Old Newspaper Reading Room in the British Museum Bloomsbury. Sell's Dictionary of the World's Press 1893. Copyright ©1999, The British Library Board.

The Old Newspaper Reading Room in the British Museum Bloomsbury. Sell’s Dictionary of the World’s Press 1893. Copyright ©1999, The British Library Board.

We didn’t accomplish much beyond cropping and saving one photo and making a tentative date for future efforts. Guess I’ll have to do a little research about saving files and working with photos on PCs.

Then a young woman came into the lounge with a tiny crying infant. I think she had some kind of disability, like fetal alcohol syndrome. While she nursed the baby, we talked about how she’d been up since six this morning and had taken the baby swimming. She said she was too tired to go to her church meeting tonight, which starts at 6 and goes until 10. I helped her pack up her stuff while the baby dozed off in the stroller.

All of which is to say, I still have the Saturday Globe to read. It’s just as good on Sunday.

 

 

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