My father loves reading the newspaper. He reads it cover to cover over the course of the day and it is a huge part of his morning routine. He is retired and (no offense, Dad) rather set in his ways.

Yesterday, The Star Ledger (my parents’ paper of choice) didn’t deliver the newspaper. My father’s been having an ongoing war with the newspaper delivery guy who routinely either doesn’t delivery the paper at all or “delivers” it by leaving it in the gutter by the woods down the street where it gets soaked through and becomes unreadable. So my father just assumed this was business as usual, checked the gutter, and then called the paper to tell them they forgot to delivery the paper again.

Turns out, there was a production issue and they actually didn’t print enough papers for the day. They simply didn’t have a paper for him. To make up for it, they offered my father access to the missing issue of the paper online.

My parents are probably the least likely people in the world to consider subscribing to a newspaper online. To them, an eBook is a book filled with pages of the letter “e.” The idea of doing any of their reading, pleasure or news gathering, online has never occurred to them.

But as my father browsed the issue online, he and my mother started to wonder aloud how much the online version of the paper was. After all, getting it with the click of the mouse was certainly easier than fighting with the paper guy every day. I’d almost be worth it if it were the same price as the physical paper and if it were cheaper than the physical paper, well that would be even better! They didn’t even get up to the fact that an online subscription would let them still get the paper down in Florida when they go for the winter and that they wouldn’t have the drama of holding the paper but I’m sure these ideas occurred to them after I left their house.

Will my parents drop their physical subscription tomorrow and get the online only version? Probably not, if for no other reason then they are signed up for the year. But for two people who never even considered getting an online version of the newspaper, what magical thing pushed them into seriously considering it?

Actually trying it. Once.

Which brings up an important point about the electronic vs printed battle. How many people that are hell bent against electronic versions of the news or books are against it because it is scary or an unknown? How many of those people might be swayed by the simple act of trying it once and seeing that it isn’t as unfamiliar or bad as their imagination made it out to be? 9YWNJP7DXHZ4