Category Archives: Updates

Beds, and Lights, and Fines! Oh My!

This past week, Bubba finally got his “big-boy” bed, and I couldn’t be happier!  I had been looking forward to reading him stories in bed since the day he was born, so you can imagine how excited I was that first night!  He was excited, too… although it could’ve had more to do with the bed than me reading to him in the bed.

Mikey Bed

Unfortunately, the first couple nights were hard on my eyes because the lighting wasn’t right.  We ended up stopping by Target and bought a lamp that clips onto the headboard… so lighting is no longer an issue at bedtime.

Besides lighting the pages of books, the lamp turns out to be great for making hand shadows and getting the characters (and pants) to glow in the dark in Dr. Seuss’ book, What Was I Scared Of?: A Glow-in–the-Dark Encounter.

What Was I Scared Of?

I’m definitely getting more reading in with Bubba now that he has his own bed, but I haven’t been reading him books from the library.  With the colder weather, snow, holidays, end-of-the-quarter duties at school, etc., I haven’t been taking Bubba to the library.  In fact, I had my first fine (for returning books late) since we started our journey this past spring… a $5.50 fine!  I guess that’s not bad considering we’ve read nearly 1,000 books and have spent less than $6 to do it.

We need to get back into the old routine, though… if for no other reason than to get me a little exercise to burn off all the Christmas cookies I’ve eaten the past couple weeks!  Maybe that will be one of my New Year’s resolutions… What resolutions are you thinking about making?

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Updates and Excuses

I’ve got to admit, I haven’t done as well as I would like to during the past couple months (when it comes to reading to Bubba).  I could always use the holidays (like Halloween and Thanksgiving), being out of town, my FIRST LEGO League team, work, or a number of other things as excuses, but really… excuses aren’t going to help.  I’m just going to have to do better.

With that said, we’ve still been averaging 4.6 new books per day during October and November (that’s a total of 281 books).  It’s not bad, but I know it could be better.

My wife and I are going to be transitioning Bubba from a crib to a real bed very soon, so I think that will help out a bunch!  I’m really looking forward to reading a few books in bed before tucking him each night J

My goal is still to read 5 new books each day, though, so hopefully I’ll be able to report in early January that I met the goal throughout December!

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Long Road Ahead

It’s been a while since my last post, but I just wanted to give a quick update on how Bubba and I did last month.  In all, we were able to read 157 new books from our library!  This doesn’t count the 20+ times I read Carole Lexa Schaefer’s ABCers and his other favorites around the house that he insist his mother and I read to him on a daily basis.

That’s an average of 5.23 books each day… that’s just a little better than the 5-a-day I was hoping for.  We’re already on the G’s (authors who have a last name beginning with G), and we’ve read through six full shelves!  We still have a long road ahead of us, but I feel like we’re finally making consistent progress.

I’m a little worried about what will happen during the winter months when it’s dark by 5pm, the bitter cold shows it’s face, and/or there’s too much snow for us to safely walk to the library.  I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

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Book Count Update

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back to work for three weeks already, but it’s even harder to believe that I just realized I never gave a July update!  During the month of July, Bubba and I read a total of 237 books from our library, which is an average of 7.6 books per day.

Given that I was out of town 6 days, that’s not too bad!  It wasn’t the ten-books-a-day average that I was shooting for, but I’m pretty happy with it.  I’m pretty sure our daily average will drop now that the school year has begun, but I think we may be able to average 5 a day… we’ll see, though!

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Failure?

Well, it’s been a while since I last posted about our journey… and the reason for that is because I felt like I failed miserably during the 4th quarter of the school year.  There were many weeks that Bubba and I didn’t even step foot in the library during the months of April and May because I was so busy with work (don’t ever tell me that teachers have it easy because they only work 8:00am-3:00pm!)

It’s not that I didn’t read to Bubba, though.  I still read to him every night, but the books I read him were from his stack of favorites that we keep in his bedroom and in our four-seasons room – we weren’t reading any “new” library books.

Luckily, the summer came and we got back into our routine of walking to the library together every couple days to load up his stroller with reading materials.

By the way, how come nobody ever told me that most strollers have a convenient storage area under the child’s seat?! I had been carrying all these books by hand when I could’ve had it so much easier! Oh well, just another lesson I’ve learned by trying to read every picture book in our library to my son!

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Bubba’s Decision

Bubba and I are almost a week into our journey, and we have already read more than 50 books together… Well, that’s not exactly accurate.  I guess I should take a step back and say that Bubba has decided that reading only library books is NOT an option. He made this decision pretty clear earlier in the week – after we had only read about 5 books!

I think he was beginning to have some withdrawal symptoms from not hearing is favorite stories!  It was like he was on his own little mission – a mission to listen to a book that HE picked out!  In this case, it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I tried to read him a new library book, but he would push the book away and shove HIS book into my chest to get me to read it to him.  After trying a couple times to get him interested in the library book, I finally gave up and read Bubba his book.

Of course, this opened the floodgate and we are now reading his favorite books along with our library books each day!  I think I’ve counted 8 readings of both The Very Hungry Caterpillar and My Precious Little Bear, 5 readings of The Snowy Day, 7 readings of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, 3 or 4 readings of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, and 5 readings of Melissa Everett’s Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.

A stack of some of Bubba's favorite books

A stack of some of Bubba’s favorite books

Luckily, I’ve been on break and I’ve been able to read to him as much as he wants.  Next week I go back to work, so we’ll have to wait and see how many library (and “Bubba Favorite”) books we can get through when teaching takes up the majority of my day!

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How Many Books Will We Read?

First of all, thank you to everyone who has shown an interest in our little project and offered words of encouragement!  we greatly appreciate your support!

I recently had someone ask me how many picture books there are in the library that Bubba and I are using… So today when he and I went to pick up another stack of books, I did some estimating.  Each shelf has approximately 100 picture books, and I counted 26 shelves of fictional picture books.  That means there are approximately 2,600 fictional picture books in our library.  Obviously, there are many more shelves of non-fiction in our library, but lets just use these numbers for right now.

books

If we break these numbers down a bit further, it gets really interesting!  I read on Christie Wright Wild’s blog that the average picture book has about 1,000 words, so we will be reading about 2.6 million words.  If I read at a pace of 120 words per minute, it will take us approximately 21,700 minutes or about 362 hours to read all the fiction books in our library.

My best guess is that we will read anywhere between 6 to 8 books a day (on average), so if we take the smaller number (reading just 6 books a day), it will take us about 433 days to get through the entire fiction section.

If you divide the time we’ll spend reading by the number of days it should take to get through the fiction section, we would average about 50 minutes of reading together per day.

Of course, even a slight adjustment in the number of books in the library or the number of words I read per minute can drastically change the time it will take us to complete our mission.  However, if all these numbers stayed accurate, we would finish the fiction section in late May 2014… Which would give us plenty of time to start the non-fiction picture book section!

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