I still remember sitting on the couch in the den with my maternal grandfather listening to the Mets game on the radio before cable TV came to our neighborhood. He and my grandmother lived just one block away from us. He was originally a Brooklyn Dodgers fan and my paternal grandfather, who died years before I was born, was a NY Giants fan, but both of them became Mets fans once “their” teams deserted New York for the West Coast. As a result, my father was a Mets fan too and thus logically followed that the first born son would be instilled with the same team loyalty. It is this fandom that I have tried to pass on to both my son and my daughter since pretty much the day they were born.
My first Mets game at Shea Stadium as a child is something I will never forget and I consider myself very fortunate to have made countless trips to Shea since then with my father. Just before they played their last game ever at Shea Stadium, my wife and I brought Nate to his first Mets game and my Dad joined us as well. It was such a special day for me to be there with both my son and my Dad. There is something about sports that brings families together. It is this love for each other and the love for their team that can make sports great. Not just the excitement of playing or watching a game, but the bond that is shared in rooting for your team.
Rewind to just over a year prior to that final trip to Shea. It was June 2007 and I was in Chestnut Hill for my 15 year Boston College reunion. From about three months on, every night my wife insisted that I read a book to our newborn before I put him in his crib. Not to sound like a bad father, but the truth is I couldn’t necessarily understand why I was wasting time reading a book to an infant of that age (my wife later wisely explained that a baby should hear as many words as possible very early in their development). Needless to say I was a bit frustrated with the somewhat repetitive task of reading about the same brown bears and pink pigs playing at parties that seemed to be in every book. So there I was at the Boston College bookstore looking to buy a BC book for our first child, six month old Nathaniel. Fortunately, as it turns out, there were no books that fit that description and so it was during that walk through the bookstore looking for a gift for my newborn son that the idea hit me. Amazing what fatherhood does to a man, isn’t it?
On the drive back to New York that Sunday, the idea continued to blossom. The initial concept was to create books that focus on the bonding experience shared between a parent and a child when they root together for “their” team. Of course, it cannot become “their” team until Dad or Mom, Grandpa or Grandma, introduce the team to their son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter and then share with that child the experience of watching “their” team on TV or taking the child to an actual game. That bond also comes to encompass wearing the team colors together, the purchasing and gift giving of other team related gear and collectibles, and the general overarching belief that their team is the best in one way or another.
By creating a book about “their” team that the older generations can read to their young fan, they are instilling a loyalty to that team at the earliest possible age. While the bond forms between adult and child around the support of “their” team, an equally important bond forms through the experience of the child sitting on the adult’s lap and having the book read to them.
As I continued to develop the concept behind the company and spent more time thinking long and hard about the “why” instead of just the “what”, I came to a wonderful realization – not only can Read Together Books strengthen the bond between a parent and a child, it can also contribute to improved literacy amongst children starting at a very young age. I could not come up with a better dual bonding/educational experience that can be accomplished anytime, anywhere than reading a book together and so literacy quickly joined hands with bonding as the dual social goal in forming this company.
As such, Read Together Books is more than just a book publisher, it is a company built around two intertwining goals of improving children’s literacy while strengthening the bond between parent and child.
Thank you for visiting our website and for making a difference for a child in your life.