I signed up for the digital edition of the Globe and Mail today, and I’m already liking what I see. As someone who plays the stock market (rather than the ponies), I should have done it a long time ago.

It’s not cheap: with taxes, it will be $32 plus change a month. But it’s worth it for the business and investing sections alone.

I’m taking stock of all my digital subscriptions this week, both paid and freebies. I tend to subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but I seldom give them a good read. I do scan them, though. I subscribed to a bunch more on the Globe and Mail site today, too.

Globally speaking, digital subscriptions must be close to overtaking print subscriptions by now, I am guessing, even if some papers’ websites and services are not up to speed yet. Print editions of newspapers are getting thinner and thinner, and I suspect they appeal mostly to certain baby boomers as well as people who use the paper after reading it to line bird cages and the like. Which raises a question. (See title of this post.)

Personally, I don’t have any print subscriptions. And I’m picky about the information services I subscribe to: if they have automatic pop-up videos, I don’t subscribe. It’s a data issue for me: I only have 50 gigs of high-speed data per month, 30 to 40 of which I have to use while working from home during the pandemic. I can’t afford to have videos playing in the background while I read an article.

So, sadly, although I have a free subscription to every newspaper in the Postmedia chain because I am employee, I can’t read their papers in my personal time because they are big on automatic videos. I’m told there is a way to prevent automatic videos from playing on your devices, but I have yet to figure out how to do that. (Maybe readers here could tell me: I have an android Chromebook, and have Samsung android tablets as well as a Samsung android smartphone.)

Like so many other people, I can only afford so much. I subscribed to the New York Times’ digital site when Donald Trump was elected president, but now that he is leaving office, I’ll cancel that one in favour of the Globe and Mail. I also have a paid subscription to Investor’s Digest, and I’ll be keeping that one.

Fortunately, most of the newsletters flowing into my email inbox are freebies. My favourite is from Health Line. They have a great site, too, and it’s free.

I have gone digital for music and novels, too. It amazes me that my entire album collection of records and CDs and my library of print edition books, filling several shelves in my home, can be downloaded onto any or all of my devices and take up such little space there. My YouTube music subscription costs $11 a month tax included, and prices on the google books app vary.

I love that I can read a book on a tablet, increasing the font size to my liking etc. And I find it kind of cool that I can hook up my smartphone to a pair of external Bose speakers or earbuds and listen to just about any song ever recorded.

It’s a brave new digital world, and it will certainly save a lot of natural resources.

Now if only they could find a way to digitally transport us from one location to another, and eliminate the need for automobiles and public transport.

How about you? Are you still subscribing to any print services? Or have you gone digital, too? How about books and music? Still reading print editions and spinning albums on a record player, or are they just collecting dust in this ever-growing digital age.

— Jillian