Sloan’s 500 Book Achievement

As I browsed social media on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, the popular topic seemed to be how many books a given person read in 2022. Granted, most of these were quantities of adults. To break through the noise a bit, I decided to share the number of books Sloan read during the year via a tweet

The tweet I sent out on Sloan’s behalf after reading her 500th book.

After reading a little more than 400 books in 2021, Sloan topped the previous year’s mark by reading 500 books in 2022. The milestone book came on the afternoon of Dec. 31 as we read What If You Had Animal Teeth?, a creative work about different animal teeth and how they would function if they grew inside a human child’s mouth.

On Dec, 31, 2022, we read the above three final books–#498, #499, and #500–of the year. The 500th book was “What If You Had Animal Teeth?”

At the conclusion of the book, we had a little celebration as we recognized Sloan for her commitment to reading over the course of the year. In a ceremonial act, Sloan added a string of emojis at the bottom of the 2022 book log we kept on my Notes app.

A screenshot of the final four days of our 2022 reading log.

Similarly to Sloan’s reading output in 2021, her success in 2022 was consistency. Every night, with the exception for some weekend evenings, we would read 1-3 books as part of our Books and Prayers bedtime routine. Her reading supply came from numerous trips to Spokane County libraries. Every two weeks, we would visit a branch—Spokane Valley, Argonne, and North Spokane were our favorites—and check out 20-25 books per visit.

Sloan poses with “Gilbert the Gnome” during her last visit to the Spokane Valley County Library in 2022.

Because of the quantity of books we read the past two years, a new issue reared its head in 2022. As we would sit down for our nightly Books and Prayers routine, we would look at the covers of the book(s) we were about to read and sometimes say, “Hey, haven’t we read this book before?” I would then search the book’s title in my log, and, from time to time, would discover that we had read that book 18 months ago. It’s okay, I think we still have many books to go before we read the entire library. 😊

In 2022, we started to inadvertently check out some of the books we had already read in the past.

Like 2021, many of the books we read in 2022 resonated with Sid and I. In the same way that the brains behind “Bluey,” make episodes with underlying adult themes, many children’s authors are just as savvy. Thus, for those of you thinking from a parents’ perspective that reading 500 children’s books must be really boring…it actually isn’t.

Sidney and I never tired of reading books to Sloan and Beau in 2022.

Then again, it wasn’t like it was just Sid and I reading those 500 books. Over the course of the year, both sets of Sloan’s grandparents joined in our Books and Prayers routine by serving as guest readers. Some of Sloan’s aunts and her Uncle Glen also assumed the honor. But it just wasn’t adults reading the books. By the time Sloan reached Kindergarten this fall, she started reading some of the books too! It has been exhilarating seeing the progress she has made. In addition to the excellent teaching she receives at school, I like to think the emphasis we have placed on books might have also contributed to her developing reading skills.

Carrots anyone? Sloan holding one of the 500 books she read in 2022.

Just like last year, I think the best part about Sloan’s reading prowess is the universal themes she has picked up on. By reading 500 books, we have learned a lot about love, death, family, honesty, self-care, friendship, hard work, preparation, sharing, diversity, and much more.

The books we read in 2022 dealt with countless different themes.

Looking ahead to 2023, we hope to introduce more books that go beyond picture books. If anyone has suggestions, please shoot them our way. Thanks to our Spokane County Library system for being such an awesome resource for our family! Don’t Blink.