When Million was three, we embarked on something we called The Great One Thousand Book Quest. Everything sounds better as a quest, right?

Basically, it was where we visited our library two or three times a week, checking out fifty or so titles each time until we read one thousand books with him. It didn’t take long for our avid listener. And I think we did something foolish like paid him a nickel for every book we read to him. First child benefits.

As we’re nearing the end of our time with readily accessible children’s books in the English tongue, I thought it time that we do the thousand book quest with the other three kids.  (No nickels will be involved this time.) But I have four kids now, instead of two. And a couple of my kids are (verging on pharisaical) rule followers. If I announce that I plan to read 1000 books or so many books a day, they will hold me to it. To the death. (No, to the pain…)

Is it really a quest if they don’t know they’re on one?  Asking for a friend.

So I can’t announce that I’m reading them a thousand books by the end of the summer, because, hello, what if we end up moving again miraculously by the end of the summer? Or what if I end up with a severe case of laryngitis?  So for now, dear readers, you are the only ones who know.  If I only end up at 850 or so, that is 850 more books than they had in their treasure trove before.

We started Monday. Then on Monday evening, we hit up the library because I needed to stock up on picture books.

Selection of Books

I usually give the kids three or four categories from which they need to select their books at the library.  (And we always come home with nearing one hundred…to my back’s chagrin.) This week the kids were required to come home with some nature/science book, a biography, and a fun book. They all went overboard in the nature book section. Of course. (And I don’t mind.)  And they definitely selected some books that I’m not reading for the thousand book quest.  (Ahem, Creedence and his fascination with Lego Encyclopedias.  He nearly brought home a Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Science, but I literally could not carry any more books.) I don’t mind that they check them out, but they are considered “quiet read” books.

When Do We Get Our Reading Done?

I spend about 1-1/2 hours over the morning in little chunks here and there reading picture books to the kids as I do chores and teach school. Currently, it’s working well to reserve our chapter books for the afternoon when everyone can sit with a quiet activity, as long as they’re not pestering each other or interrupting me.  This week, we’re going through The Green Ember series again. (Only the older two have experienced those.)  That way Aslan and Jubilee have already had their fill in the morning of books about bison and how to dance the cha-cha.  (If only I were joking.)

How I’ll Keep Track of Our Quest

I hope to chronicle most of the books that we’ve read during our Great One Thousand Book Quest on a Pinterest board.  (And for those who are curious about the math, if I read 11 books every weekday until the last week of August–approximately 3 per child per day– I’ll hit 1000 aroundabouts then.)  Any chapter books we finish during the course of the summer will continue to be tracked on my regular read-aloud list.


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