A $5 newspaper?

15 Feb 2005|Davis Masten

“I don’t understand why a Sunday newspaper is worth $5. What’s in it that makes it worth so much money?” I have heard this paraphrased at least a half dozen times from the Starbucks cashier ringing up my coffee and Sunday New York Times. I first heard it in New York then Reno, Lake Tahoe, Martinez and near my home in Silicon Valley. For me, lounging on a Sunday morning with the Times is a sign that I am taking good care of myself carving out some time for fresh perspectives. The experience of my latte and the Times can take me away where ever I am. For instance, our younger daughter had her first volleyball tournament in Vallejo recently. We spent the night in a Best Western in nearby Martinez, the home of John Muir. While the tournament was freezing cold and the played late into the night, I walked across the street to Starbucks the next morning. There I sipped my coffee, read the Times and felt rejuvenated. We spent the rest of the morning at John Muir’s home and hiking before volleyball resumed later that day.

I can not expect Starbucks management to help their employees understand why a paper is worth $5. From the cashier’s viewpoint, I think it is perceived as a ridiculous indulgence. However, I think of it as no less of an indulgence than a $2 cup of coffee or a $4 latte. However, the drink and the paper are part of a Sunday experience I find quite meaningful.

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