I am no longer a voracious reader of novels. Indeed, the last book I read was a collection of short stories by Southern writers. That was at least two years ago, because the publisher of that anthology has since discontinued it.
But I read a lot of news – The Wall Street Journal and The News & Observer in print, The New York Times and The Washington Post online, and my email inbox, which fills every day with items of local, state and national interest.
In Tuesday’s inbox, AAA Carolinas let me know what I had suspected – the average price of a gallon of gasoline in North Carolina had climbed to its highest level since July 2013. The average reached $3.53 last week after jumping 15 cents in the last month.
I had felt that pain at the pump. (Because I have the lowest-mileage car in the Bolejack family – though not the newest – we use it whenever we travel any distance, forcing me to fill up quite often.)
But I did not know why the price of gasoline had spiked; AAA filled in me. In springtime, AAA reported, refineries take some capacity offline for maintenance. “The tightened supply throughout the country results in higher gas prices,” said David E. Parsons, president and chief executive of AAA Carolinas.
To make the supply side worse, refineries are making the switch to summer fuel blends, and demand starts to rise as more families travel when the weather gets warmer, AAA reported.
None of that makes my monthly gas card statement lower, but thanks to an email, I at least know why I’m paying more at the pump.
The delivery of news in this country has changed dramatically in relatively recent years. Not that long ago, news came in the yard in the morning or afternoon and on the TV at 6 and 6:30 p.m. Now it comes not only in print and on TV but on your desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone through websites, news apps, Twitter, email and so on.
But no matter the medium, the news is still flowing, and it’s still relevant, still informative, still useful for making decisions, whether that decision is who to vote for or what movie to see on Saturday.
I have always been a consumer of news, and now I have access to it 24/7. Change is constant and often good, and so it is with the delivery of news.