Summer Reading Tip #11: Make it an Event

July 25 was the last day to sign up for the 2014 Summer Reading program.  So if you missed out this year, we hope you’ll join us next year!  For those of you who are already signed up, there are just a few short days left in the program.  You can keep logging hours until August 1st.

Read to 12 hours (15 points for adults) to get into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire HD!  Lots of you have completed the program already, but if you or your kid tend to procrastinate, it might be time for a lot of reading in a short amount of time.  Have you ever tried a reading marathon?

It might sound a bit intimidating, but the idea is fairly simple.  Set aside a fairly large block of time, such as 3 hours, to devote to reading.  For older kids, you could grant the privilege of staying up all night!  Here’s what you need:

  • Lots of reading material (books, magazines, comics, audiobooks) Robot carrying stack of books
  • Some yummy (and not-too-messy) snacks
    grapes, apples, and crackers arranged on a plate

    Healthy snacks will keep rumbly tummies at bay. Photo by Ali Edwards

  • A cozy place to sit
    boy reading in blanket fort

    Turn up the fun with a blanket fort. Photo by Ben Husmann.

Then, read!  Plan for regular breaks, based on what you know your child can handle.  For many elementary-schoolers, 45 minutes of reading followed by 15 minutes of break time is do-able, provided you allow for some squirminess!  Younger kids might be able to do 20 minutes at a time, or read a picture book, then do something active, then read another picture book, etc.  Older kids may be able to figure out their own breaks.

Make it an exciting, special event, or work toward a preposterous-sounding goal just to prove you can do it.  Your kids might surprise you by how long they stick with it!

Just for fun:

  • The individual record for reading aloud is 113 hours, 15 minutes, set in Nepal in 2008.

Any record breakers out there?


Natalie Moreland

Natalie is a Kids Librarian with a background in teaching. She delights in spreading bookjoy to people of all ages. She also takes interest in cycling, creating art, social justice, raising small livestock, and making music.