Borrowing a newspaper for 10 cents

Anyone for hire!
Anyone for hire!

Everyone loves to read newspapers. Well, I might be exaggerating here. With television and satellites, the concept of newsprint maybe going out of the window.

But this is not strictly true either. Newspapers have continued. There are still many people around the world who look to read from print and paper.

The Japanese for instance are avid readers of anything and everything they can get their hands on to, and they read a lot of newspapers and comic books!

We in Jordan are a bit funny were newspapers are concerned as we have a love hate relationship with them. For a population of going on to seven million, we have five daily newspapers, but a multitude of weeklies who rant on just about anything to help them sell and sell.

And despite this, Jordanians aren’t really regarded as a great reading public. Very few say to themselves, I'll buy the newspaper, and see what's in the news, no, they are satisfied with the terrestrial channel and the satellites that beam in every home.

However a very interesting phenomena came to be noticed on the horizons from at least the 1990s and even much more before that blustering decade for newspapers had existed in Jordan since the early 1920s.

Little corner shops were hiring out different newspapers for as much as an hour a day for half of what it would cost to readers who were willing to scan the pages for news, and no doubt ads.

A man or a woman for that matter would enter the shop, pay their pennies, sorry cents, hire the newspaper, go off somewhere, read it and return it a bit latter, available for someone else to hire, an element of the intellectual merry-go-round.

This was a good thing in more than one because it helped the circulation going particularly in places and neighborhoods where people counted their reading habits by their piastas, fils and dinars (sorry, again cents and dollars). It was also a bit of cultural spice, because some of these people were not reading as nearly as enough.

This sort of thing wasn't actually official but there were always rumors newspaper owners where in cahoots with the local shops to encourage the "hiring out" of newspapers in a bid to increase readership and circulation. As the dictum goes more readers better newspapers, or more readers better surviving newspapers.

Everyone had a stake. It was also rumored as well that these little shops were getting more than they deserved as they would order say two or three newspapers but higher them out as much as 10 times or more depending of course on the brisk trade, and pocketing the meager difference.

In a way the words were doing the donkey work for these small-time shop keepers, being there just to make newspapers sell.

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Comments 13 comments

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Hiring out newspapers is a unique concept! I suppose if libraries lend out magazines and other periodicals, they could just as well add dailies to their stock!


klanguedoc profile image

klanguedoc 5 years ago from Canada

Its the words that matter. Maybe a lot of these dailies shouldn't exist in the first place as they are only advertising collectors, as is the case with many bloggers. This is why Google Panda came to be. In the end it is about providing quality content.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I think the generations that grew up with computers may be more likely to abandone the print media. My, in his forties, seems to read everything on-line. I often find I have to print things out in order to read.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Well dahoglund, yes and no, I think both print and media will continue to live with each other for quite sometine but you are right the competition between them is becoming quite intense.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I do love to read the newspaper. Sometimes several days will pass, and then I'll have a marathon read. I create newspaper scavenger hunts for students. One week it might be finding stories written in another country; one week positive editorials, etc.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

With some people there is a very special relationship that develops with newspapers, its almost unique, as you said reading them, collecting them and at times carefully putting the separate stories and features together


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

what an interesting idea to rent newspapers-- very entrepreneurial. I love my kindle and often read newspapers on it, but still feel there will always be a place for the printed word. There is something so comforting about sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee turning actual paper pages that no smartphone or laptop can replace. Thanks for a delightful hub


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Cheers robie. Yes, don't you just harp on for the words on paper. its so much nicer sometimes to pick the actual paper and read.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

I love the newspapers.I love the ads and the smell of the print and the lovely noise it makes when turning the pages.I look at a computer screen in work and I like a change at home and the feel of being out of the office.I love the concept of sharing newspapers.We would do that in work one person buy one and pass it around.I wish I could see more of that today.I know some resturants have free papers to read when you come to their establishment.Another thought provoking story.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Cheers.


Attikos profile image

Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

Print has numerous advantages. I think an often overlooked one is that it encourages better research and thinking. Where electronic articles are so easily edited a writer can pump out a half-baked one depending on revision to correct his errors of fact and reasoning, once one is committed to paper it's out there. The writer had better get it right the first time. Current events information and analysis especially is of a higher average quality as a result. Electronic media, necessary as they are in today's wired world, are degrading the quality of public knowledge in a way print does not.


everythingdazzles profile image

everythingdazzles 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

Honestly, I grew up with computers and honestly I still love print newspapers and book. Its just something about holding it in my hand and the smell. Sounds weird but I love the smell of a book. lol. My complaint about ebooks is that my eyes get tired of constantly reading a screen.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 4 years ago from Amman, Jordan Author

Actually a lot of people keep saying what you just said, computers are good and essential but they still hark back to the traditional newspaper and its smell.

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