15 December 2014

Book it for the Holidays!

Yes, I know I didn’t write my blog for a few months. Finding a team to help me re-publish Beautiful Evil Winter required a lot of time and energy especially with the holiday stopwatch ticking loudly.  Very happy to report that the 2014 version of the book exceeds my best expectations.  In Beautiful Evil Winter, Sophia uses books to entertain, to teach and to manage boredom, a side effect of being confined to a Moscow apartment for days at a time without a computer or phone. Why would an adoption coordinator lock Sophia and Evan in an apartment for days? Kidnappings and murders—solidly anchor Russia as one of the top ten most dangerous countries in the world. No surprise really since Russian President Boris Yeltsin said,  “Russia is the biggest mafia state in the world, the super power of crime that is devouring the state from top to bottom.”

 At any rate, books have reigned all-important in my mind for a few months, but probably not in the minds of most as travel planning and gift-giving projects send all of us scrambling to cover all of our usual responsibilities and then some. Books, book and more books can help alleviate some of the stress.  Studies indicate reading books can eliminate stress by 68%. Don’t forget gift certificates from a favorite brick and mortar store can make present purchases easy and expedient. Books as travel companions platinum coat the plane or long car trip experience for adults and children. On the subject of kids, what a great time to offer to take the kiddos to the local bookstore to purchase “travel” books of their choice. I know, I know the resistance maybe be intense, the thought of tipping a flask of Bailey's Irish Cream may loom large, but persevere. So, is it worth the hassle?

 The answer is yes. According to a recent December 3rd report by The Guardian, “…children are more likely to enjoy stories in a book rather than stories on a screen. Children are 34 times more likely to read storybooks daily rather than tablets. Children are four times more likely to read stories in a book for more than 30 minutes…” Finally, the actions of Silicon Valley employees speak volumes about insider attitudes toward children’s use of technology. Parents send their kids to Waldorf-Steiner schools legendary for a lack of technology and an aversion to computer use even after school. Last but not least, tablets can infuse customized commercials into a daily reading routine.  Unfortunately, unmonitored screen obsession can lead to encounters with on-line bullies, porn exposure, depression and death.

 Take a parenting tip from the chief technology officer at e-Bay, employees at Yahoo, Apple, Google and Hewlett Packard, confiscate the technology and replace it with a physical book that doesn’t promote shopping, internet usage or internet addiction. And when the kids whine, “We have to read in school. Isn’t that enough?”  The question can confidently be handled with the word no.