On the subway from downtown by the Brooklyn Bridge on my way back to my apartment from holding my sign on weekdays, I look at people and the things they read. Most people are reading something on their phone. Some have books; more than you'd think. Very few have newspapers; almost no one does. Some of the people who aren’t reading are moving their heads to music. That used to look sort of cool when you first saw it. Not so much anymore.
Visitors from other countries are busy with reading travel guides and looking up at the subway-stop messages. They have a likable alertness about them. Sometimes they pass my sign with their guidebooks and cameras and smart-looking eyeglasses. A few have stopped to ask what the sign’s about. They listen to my explanation and then say something like reading is essential in their country; everyone must learn how.