The Paperboy

Our local paperboy is in his early to mid-thirties.

A tall, well-built black man, who presents quite an imposing figure as he strides along in his dark track suit and bright white trainers; the reflective orange paper bag slung over his shoulder being the only indication as to why he is out so early in the morning.

I remember that I used to have a morning paper round when I was a kid.  Round 9, it was; one of the smaller rounds on the newsagent’s books.

Despite it being quite a small round, I remember my bag being pretty loaded… and on a Sunday it would weigh a ton!

Of course, I always used to nick a paper to take home and I always thought it pretty obvious to the newsagent when my dad cancelled his paper, the very same week that I started, but nothing was ever said.

But I find myself genuinely surprised to see that paperboys (and girls, I suppose) still exist, even if in far reduced numbers.  I personally cannot remember the last time I read a printed newspaper.

Back in the day, I did, certainly. Back when I had more free time.

Of a Sunday, I would like nothing more than to sit down with some tea and toast and spend several hours ploughing through The Sunday Times.

But nowadays, like so many of us, I pick my news up online: the BBC mainly, but also The Guardian and, occasionally, The New York Times.

When I worked in that London for a bit and commuted by train, I would sometimes pick up a  Metro or a discarded copy of the Evening Standard but to be honest, they were so full of celebrity pap, it was hardly worth the bother most of the time.

I reckon the days of the printed paper are numbered… and sadly, the same goes for the humble paperboy/girl.

9 Comments

  1. Alan

    Always looked forward to delivering Christmas week and giving a polite knock on the door.
    I enjoyed getting my pay at the end of the week after doing a morning round before school, evening round after school. At least 2 rounds on a Saturday & Sunday morning. Also used to go and collect the paper money on a Sunday morning. Extra 5 bob that was. That was a long walk from Clifton road to the top of Runley road
    As you say paper delivery people are a lot older these days and quite rare.

    • Masher

      Crikey, you must have been raking the money in!
      Probably needed it to buy shoes after all that walking!

  2. Graham W

    Our local paper ‘boy’ is in his eighties. I see him every morning at 6am when I walk the dog, ambling along at his own pace, delivering to maybe one or two house per street.
    I do admire him though as, whilst I’m out keeping the dog happy, he’s out in all weathers trudging the neighbourhood, for probably less than he’ll be getting in his pension.

    I’m certain that when I’m that age, newspapers will be a thing of the past and I’ll be receiving the news through a transceiver implanted into my brain!

    • Masher

      Are paperboys being replaced with papermen? Do kids get that much pocket money that they can’t be bothered with a paper round, nowadays?

      When you’re that age, you might be that paper man!

  3. Brennig

    My mother told me to get a paper round. I was 34 at the time.

    • Masher

      My mother told me to get a round paper, so I brought home The Globe.

  4. Alan

    They are trying to phase out paper boys to help save the planet.

    • Masher

      Paperboys do have a large carbon footprint.

  5. Rajesh Kumar

    Never know if I can spot one if I come across.. In India newspaper delivery is a special skill and they can be delivered precisely to a 3rd floor balcony with a single throw.. I still enjoy reading one whenever I go back.. They are still very cheap in India equivalent of 2£per month including delivery 😀

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