Did you know that you can get the Sunday New York Times delivered to your door for about $26 a month?

Neither did I, until my dad pointed out an ad in the Globe and Mail with the offer. Anyway, dad suggested we give it a try for a while, so I have now entered the realm of the ubber-sophisticated by being a Sunday New York Times Reader.

Mind you, it didn’t arrive until Tuesday, so that kind of kills the cache a little bit. But so much of it is long-term reading, it’s still pretty cool.

First thing you should know about the Sunday NYT is that it is not a paper you read on the bus on the way to work, or polishing off during your morning dump. It weights THREE POUNDS, and there is no way you can get through it from the time you get up in the morning to the time you start work. This is a real newspaper, folks.

The first thing you notice about the Times front is that it’s kinda ugly. Dense type, small photos, multiple stories. The front page alone had five stories, two pictures, and a bunch of teasers for the inside. Once you got inside, it gets even denser. Admittedly, it takes some getting used to, but you get the distinct impression that the Times is giving you something for your money.

After the front section, which is heavy on American domestic politics and international stuff, there’s 28 pages of sports (which is about as many sports pages as the Journal prints in a week), a hefty business section, the Sunday review filled with lots of smarty-pants writing, and an actual book review pull-out tab (the Times, apparently, believes that books are still worth devoting some space to).

This week’s edition is especially beefy, with previews of what the Times calls “the New Season” in theatre, film, TV, architecture, art and other diversions. Divided into three parts, the largest is devoted to theatre — 40 pages of stories and full-page ads on the latest from the Great White Way (did you know Annie is coming back?). Then there’s another 24-page section on movies, and yet another 36-page section on pop, art (there’s a Picasso exhibit at the Guggenheim if you’re interested), TV, and even video games.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a New York paper without a style (i.e. fashion) section, 36 pages printed on a heavier, glossier stock (I only breezed through this). And if that wasn’t enough style, there’s also an entire magazine on style, 130 slick pages. This, too, I tossed aside, or at least tossed to my wife, who likes that kind of stuff. Of more interest to me was the New York Times Magazine, a thin but article-packed general interest magazine. Reminds me of the good old days when the Saturday paper used to come with a magazine, the last of which was The Canadian, as I recall.

I spend a lot more of my Tuesday reading the Sunday Times than I had anticipated, which is not an entirely good thing. I should be working, or working on my freelancing, or even cleaning up the long-term storage area we call our basement. But the Times siren song was too strong for me to resist.

Ah, what a pleasure it is to read a newspaper that takes more than one bowl of Froot Loops to read.


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