When I was growing up, the mailman letter carrier came right to our front door. The mailbox was mounted on the front of the house right next to the front door. You could check the mail without even getting dressed; just open the door a crack and stick out your hand. Approximate distance from front door to mailbox: less than 1 foot.

In the next house I lived in, the mailbox was no longer mounted on the house. Instead, it stood at the end of the driveway. Approximate distance from front door to mailbox: 55 feet.

My next house was in a neighborhood which grouped its mailboxes in clusters. The cluster of about eight mailboxes which served my house (and my immediate neighbors) was two houses down from mine. Approximate distance from front door to mailbox: 120 feet.

My current house is in a small neighborhood which groups all the mailboxes together into a single cluster. The mailbox cluster is at the entrance to the neighborhood, approximately 540 feet from my front door.

This is why I have time to read junk mail. I need to pass the time on the way back from the mailbox.

Bonus chatter: Since I moved, I have to go through the whole process of opting out of phone book delivery once again.