Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Kudos for the Pros

by Michael Dymmoch

I grew up reading the Chicago Daily News because my parents subscribed. Sidney J Harris taught me philosophy—before I knew what the word meant—and that the purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s head a decent place in which to spend one’s leisure. The Daily News also introduced me to Erma Bombeck and Mike Royko

Years later, I followed Royko to The Chicago Sun-Times, then to the Trib. After he died, I drifted back to the Sun-Times because an acquaintance started giving me her copy when she’d finished with it. I still mostly read the Sun-Times because I’m currently addicted to Mark Brown and Richard Roeper, Roger Ebert, Cathleen Falsani, Neil Steinberg and Carol Marin (and because the Trib jettisoned its book section and moved the TV guide to Saturday).

What impresses me almost as much about the pros as their talents is the fact that they wrote/write so much—some of them four or five columns a week, forty-five or fifty weeks a year, many of them for decades. To anyone who’s ever tried to blog regularly (even just once every two weeks) that’s amazing! And most of their stuff is really good, though that may not be obvious because they make it look easy .

Blogging seems to have taken over as the medium for getting ideas across, and those of us with a life or occupation now have too many talented writers to keep up with. But all of them, wherever their work appears, continue to remind us that we belong to a community of people who value ideas and appreciate those ideas skillfully presented.

With so many terrific writers to choose from, how do you decide with whom to spend your time?

20 comments:

Adam Bourgoin said...

It's VERY tough. If I showed you my To Be Read list, you'd be floored. It seems like every time I finish one thing off of it, tow or three more creep their way on. But, I do say, as I work my way down the list, I get a chance to spend time with every single one-despite working full time, writing my own book, fathering a child, being a good husband (or so she says), and being a volunteer firefighter....

Sara Paretsky said...

What a wonderful dilemma, Michael. I, too, followed Royko. I've stayed with the Tribune,d espite the book debacle, because I like their funnies better--although it annoys me that they won't run Non Sequitur during the week or Brewster Rockit on Sunday. I read the NY Times for Bob Herbert, Gail Collins and Paul Krugman--who I wish Timothy Geitner also read.

Michael Dymmoch said...

Adam,

It's amazing you have time to read anything; at least you'll have something to write about. I wouldn't be fazed in the least by your TBR pile. Mine fills a 7' tall book shelf.

Sara,

You've given me three more pros to peruse. Thanks.

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