Did you know that there are people walking around with iPads, Kindles and Nooks capable of holding more books than one can read in a year, and yet most of them use their devices for games and social networking? I've spent several afternoons during an 8 week period at Union Square Park in Manhattan, Astoria Park in Queens, McCarren Park in Brooklyn, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Central Park in Manhattan, Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, Bryant Park in Manhattan and The High Line in Manhattan (listed in order visited) and I asked hundreds of people to describe their book collection in their tablet. While many were eager to share their collection which sparked some great conversations, you'd be surprised to learn how many said they don't have any books stored. What has happened to us?
Do you know that my children cannot play any 1/2 hour worth of video games without giving me 1 hour of reading. That is the mandatory ratio at my house. Give me 1/2 an hour for your 1 hour. The beauty of this system is that my children have developed an actual appreciation for reading. They don't even ask anymore. They grab their Kindle Fire and start reading every chance they get. The Rosario household video games sit for weeks at a time, untouched. Meanwhile, my children pack their Kindles when we go on trips, or even when we spend a day at the park. The video games are a bonus which they play when other children visit the house. My children enjoy talking to each other about the books they've read.
Now that I've mentioned other children, I must make a mention of the opposition I get from some of the visiting children. Many of them simply don't understand that this is a mandatory rule and they don't want to participate in the reading activity. I have an extra Kindle at home for any visiting child to use, and it often goes unused. This works to my advantage because the ones that don't like this rule soon make it a point not to come around the house, and the ones that accept this rule soon develop a much higher appreciation for reading. My wife is an early childhood educator, and this is always something she wants to encourage in the children she encounters.
Do you remember the days of homes with HUGE bookshelves for their book collections, ladies with HUGE tote bags for their travel books, and gentlemen with HUGE attache cases to lug their books around? These days, you can fit your family's full collection into a drawer. These day, all you need is a drink in one hand (I prefer a glass of red wine or Jack Daniels Black on the rocks) and your tablet in the other and you are ready for an afternoon full of adventurous imagination. So why are people reading less these days?
Perhaps we've become so media driven that we are forgetting how to use our own imagination to entertain ourselves. Is reading a lost art? If you ask some of our time's most powerful, successful, driven professionals, they will all attribute their level of success to a lot of reading. It is the common thread in most of our nation's most successful people. So why aren't more adults reading, and why aren't we as adults encouraging our children to read more?
Perhaps children are loosing interest in reading because less people are focusing on capturing their interest with books and more focused on selling them video games. So I've decided to take control of this situation and go a step further. I don't just want to bring this to light. I am taking action by encouraging my children to start blogging. From my oldest son to my second youngest daughter. I will encourage my youngest daughter to read, write and blog once she is capable (she is only 6 months old). So stay tuned. I am going to set them up with their own blogs and set the creative wheels in motion. I will share links to their blogs to whomever requests it via email at BigGRealty@gmail.com. I will also announce them on my YouTube channel and on my business Facebook page. Stay tuned friends.
George L. Rosario
Real Estate Salesperson
Coldwell Banker Kueber