Once a year it got cold enough on the one day a week she took off from work, so she had time to build a fire and tend it. There was a furnace that could be turned off that heated the house like an oven. We had to keep a pot with water on top of it to keep our lungs from dehydrating, it was so hot!
Some time in the seventies, Gram realized she had an electric blanket and a small space heater was all she really needed in the bathroom. She was so busy, why heat a house when you're not home? Why heat rooms you are not in? She would use the fireplace more often. There was a tree that needed removing after a storm and it provided two winters of warmth. After that, Gram used compressed paper logs.
She was always home on Thursday which was the day the newspapers printed their sales and coupons. The Thursday paper was considered the ladies day paper and was almost the size of the Sunday paper. Armed with two papers a week and 52 weeks in the year, she would sit in the evenings (quarterly) watching some favorite program and roll logs for the winter fire.
She brought the stack next to her chair in front of her with a trash can on the left. She would pick up each paper and sort through it. As she separated one folded section from another, she would tear the double folded newsprint right down the seam and make a pile to her right. She tossed all the glossy sale flyers and inserts into the trash can. Depending on the program or the size of the pile, she would take a break, move the trash back to the kitchen and bring back a bowl of warm water and a roll of twine.
If you do wood work, you end up with a lot of waste and saw dust. If you add small wood chips and the saw dust to the bucket with the paper, you can make a bio brick that will burn longer than paper alone.
Compressed paper does not burn as long as wood, but the pro is the easy to light feature.