Editor's note: This article is part of a special series celebrating National Newspaper Week Oct. 6-12. The Week was designated in 1940 as a way to recognize the importance of newspapers to their communities.
A relaxing magic
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Jerry Meyer first became aware of the magic of newspapers when he was a young boy living downstate and his family received a copy every day in the mail.
"My grandfather always sat on his porch swing, or in his chair, and read the paper," Meyer says.
Times have changed a great deal since then and Meyer is now a longtime DuPage County resident, but newspapers are still a part of the West Chicago man's daily life.
"I just love to sit and read the paper," he says. "I like to know what's going on in the world and around town."
A longtime guidance counselor, Meyer's a big fan of the Daily Herald's prep sports coverage -- at least partially because he knows so many of the athletes or their families. "I still follow them all," he says.
He likes to read the front news section, Health & Fitness, the editorials and the letters to the editor. He's especially fond of Saturday Soapbox. "Soapbox is just so folksy," he says.
Meyer admits he doesn't read every story, "but I turn all the pages."
He also finds some comfort in holding a daily newspaper in his hands. He says he has friends and family in Georgia and Ohio who can no longer get a print version of a newspaper and they miss it.
"Keep it coming," he says of the Daily Herald's print version. "I do not want to sit in front of a computer to read it."
The morning coffee
Jim Lunn's fascination with newspapers began in his teenage years when he dreamed of becoming a graphic artist.
The retired homebuilder's love for newspapers is as strong as ever. Reading the Daily Herald is an important part of his daily routine and goes along with his morning coffee and pills, said Lunn, a resident of Sun City senior living community in Huntley.
"A newspaper has always been a very important part of my life," Lunn said. "I worked on newspapers from my teenage years on. I was always into graphics."
He started working with and reading the Daily Herald when he built homes in the Northwest suburbs before retiring in 1994.
Today, Lunn uses the Daily Herald's digital platforms for iPad and iPhone to access news that is dear to his heart, such as following his grandchildren's sports at Burlington Central High School.
"It's a lot of fun now to be able to take your newspaper wherever you go," he said. "I like your Afternoon Alerts. You're moving with online. You are using all the new technology. I think a newspaper has to do that to relate."
Lunn still reads the newspaper from cover to cover.
"I read everything first and then I enjoy the comics," he said.
News and Nate
When Wildwood resident Perry Downs opens the Daily Herald each day, he always starts with the front section.
"I always start there to see what is happening in the world, the nation and in Lake County," said Downs, a semiretired seminary professor. "But I must confess that the comics are not far behind. I have to see what is happening to Big Nate each day."
Downs' newspaper roots go back to his childhood in Connecticut. he and a friend had their own paper route.
"He was a Red Sox fan and I was a Yankees fan, so we would always go to the sports section first to see how our respective teams were doing, I am now a committed and suffering Cubs fan."
Downs said he prefers newspapers over TV news because articles generally provide more in-depth reporting.
"Whether it is a national story or a local one, there is more information available through the print medium," he said. "In addition, having a local focus gives me news that is not available through other sources."
Peace and the paper
Des Plaines resident Marge Burch grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich., in a family that valued the newspaper.
Her uncle was a pressman for the Kalamazoo Gazette, a job Burch thought was "most mysterious and glamorous," as he always had to come late to holiday dinners.
"No one was allowed to touch Grandpa's Sunday paper because they might get it out of order, and every day when Dad came home from work, he read the newspaper before dinner."
She likes the feel of the newspaper and reads three of them a day, including the Daily Herald.
"Reading the newspaper relaxes me, informs me, intrigues me and often spurs me to action. I read a lot of things on the computer but my newspaper isn't one of them."
A glorious morning for Burch is sitting in the living room with the windows open on a warm and breezy day with a diet soda, newspaper and dog at her side.
"For the next hour or so, I just enjoy the peace and the reading."
The newspaper habit
Garland Ralston of Mount Prospect considers himself a lifelong learner.
"Reading newspapers is an excellent way to learn things every day," the insurance sales manager said.
The newspaper habit started early, when Ralston delivered the Honolulu Star Bulletin as a youngster growing up in Hawaii. When he was in college, he started reading the Los Angeles Times. Then when he traveled for his insurance job, he read the Oregonian, The Washington Post and then the Chicago Tribune. Now. he's been a devoted Daily Herald subscriber for about 20 years.
He still travels and loves to pick up a local newspaper. When he's home, he enjoys reading the Daily Herald's front page, Neighbor and Sports sections.
"The Daily Herald offers a great blend of national and international news with local news and it has some really good writers."
Ralston is dedicated to the printed word and forgoes any e-readers or Internet stories. He wants the entire article in his hand at the same time, instead of click-click-clicking online to find the rest, he said.
"I'd rather read a newspaper. I like the paper in my hands to read rather than on the Internet. After being on a computer all day, it's good to have something in my hands."
A part of the day
Annette Hayley has been a loyal reader of the Daily Herald since the first of her family's two stints living in Palatine beginning in 1965.
Today she maintains her house and does the yardwork. She is active with her church. But her interaction with the print version of the Daily Herald is an important part of every day.
"It gives me enough coverage of world events and keeps me nicely up to date about local events."
She does all three puzzles in the Neighbor section every day and finds the information in Food and Neighbor to be of practical value to her.
Though comfortable enough with the Internet, Hayley says she appreciates the organization of a print newspaper first and foremost.
"What I like about the Herald is that it has kept up with the times, " she says.
Watching her grandchildren, though, she says she realizes that each generation adapts to what it grew up with and that today's young people are as comfortable with the organization of content on the Web as she is with that of the printed newspaper.