3,218 Nights — The Reading Promise: or, how reading to your child can help you be a great single parent

Some of you may have been wondering what to do with the kids this summer, well, why not start a reading streak? That’s what Alice and her father did, and the bond of reading transformed their relationship. When Alice Ozma was 9, her father made a promise: to read to her every night, without missing a night, for 100 nights. But 100 became 1,000, and eventually, they decided to read together as long as they possibly could.

The Reading Streak, as they called it, ultimately lasted 3,218, finally ending on Alice’s first day of college when they read again, the first book that had started it all The Wizard of OZ. The story of their amazing commitment to reading, and to each other, is chronicled in Alice Ozma’s book The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, available in stores now. What makes it all the more impressive is that Alice’s father, Jim, was (and still is) a single dad. What a guy!

You can hear a short interview with Alice and Jim did on NPR’s Weekend Edition in June.

If you’re not sure what book to start with, try Charlotte’s Web, by EB White, whose birthday is today! And if your child is grown, why not make a promise to yourself to read all those books you own but have never read? That’s what British author Susan Hill did after she went in quest of a book in her own home and realised there were many books begging for a read.

This discovery prompted her to devote a year’s time to reading the books on her own shelves. The project launched, she began with a systematic browse through all the books in her house (a true writer’s home, it’s an old house with several floors and bookshelves on every floor, not to mention the landings inbetween!)

A second project developed out of her reading: If she could only keep 40 books, which ones would they be? Her list of 40 appears at the end, and it will surely prompt you to consider a list of your own. But the real joy of the book is discovering is the lovely ruminations of the author and how much better she made us feel about our own book obsession. Her journey through the tomes of home is an utterly delightful must have for any bibliophile! And just released in paperback so perfect for toting to the beach.

Click through the above cover of Howard’s End is on the Landing: A Year of reading from home to read a nice review on The Captive Reader.

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