It struck me last weekend as I sat down to read the Sunday papers just how much print is actually produced for this one day of the week - and how much of it is of any interest to anyone.
My particular Sunday rag includes a main section of around 90 tabloid pages, a separate Sport paper, financial paper, business paper two magazines one dedicated to the forthcoming weeks TV and Radio programmmes (although already having published a similar magazine in its Saturday edition).In addition to this there is an abundance of junkmail inserts inviting me to borrow huge sums of money and a free CD (just in case I missed the same one last week) of tracks that have been doing the rounds for years and are played on Radio 2 every afternoon.
Now I don't have too big a problem with all this as I can choose to read as much or as little as I want too. If I wanted to read all this material It would take me a week! Its only when one collects a weeks daily papers together to put out for collection that one realises just how much paper and weight is involved.
Now this took me back to 1970 when, as a 13 year old, I had a paper round. Living in the country this obviously required the use of a bicycle and at the time I had a state of the art Raleigh Chopper with a chrome luggage rack fitted over the front wheel. I mention this because on all other bikes the rack was designed to go over the rear wheel.
Now for those who used to have paper rounds you will no doubt be familiar with the canvass bag designed to be hung from the shoulder of a walker. On a normal week day I had around 40 houses to deliver to and in those days a single daily paper was pretty slim. However on Sundays this volume doubled, usually because each household ordered two or three different papers. Now the weight of these papers, place on the rack over my front wheel,with the bag strap wrapped around my 'ape hanger' handlebars played havoc with my balance and steering and most days I ended up on the tarmac with the contents of my bag spread across the road, not funny if it was raining heavily, there was often the temptation to dump the lot in a ditch and bugger off home - except that my Dad owned the newsagents I delivered for and we lived above the shop!
The point I want to make is - How the hell do paper boys/girls manage today with probable 3 times the weight of papers 35 years ago?