This is what Eloise wants to know. We are on day 54 of summer and Eloise has already read more than 50 books. All of them have been at least 250 pages long, and some have been in the 700 page range. And the girl has been swimming, playing and just generally enjoying her summer(and not shut in her room reading). She reads when she walks, when she talks, when she eats, when riding in the car, when on the swing-set, and probably when sleeping once I close the door.
This is nothing new. Eloise has always liked to read. I haven’t read a book to Eloise since she was five, because “Mom, I can do a better job.” and I don’t think she really views reading as a group effort. I hear about parents reading chapter books with their ‘reading’ kids and I wonder if I’m suppose to do that…but then when I’ve started one, I get the “yeah, I’d rather just go enjoy this book on my own look,” and so I don’t try that anymore.
I also admit I rarely read to Astrid anymore, as Eloise or Esther volunteer happily for that job. (And not to forget Esther, she has read 25 books this summer already, including reading all 13 Series of Unfortunate Events books).
But Eloise’s question now, with 29 days before school starts and the possibility to read at least 25 more books – “What is there to read now that I’ve read all of the books?”
When I was 10/11/12 years old, I remember re-reading all my books, all of the time. I thought it was because I just loved them so much…but now I realize that my parents just decided not to buy me all of the books, because books are expensive. I mean, we had the library – but truthfully I remember how horrible our library was. I remember books written in 1936 and books without covers. So I think maybe my parents would just gift me books for my birthday and Christmas and I would read them over and over and over again…until I could buy my own books when I was a teenager.
With Eloise, I can’t say no to books. And that $6.99 for every Nook Book from Barnes and Nobles adds up quickly. And that’s only after we’ve searched every library and discount and used book store and thrift store for that book first. I think I’ve spent more in gas and time driving to every library and bookstore in our city..that sometimes that $6.99 just seems worth it. Until you realize that 50 books times $6.99 is …well… a lot.
And if she keeps reading at this pace, well we will have to use the book to shelter our family – which kind of sucks now that we’ve gone digital.
But now Eloise has read all of the books. I went back to Eloise’s favorite book list on this post and your comments from December to see if there were more ideas for books to read…but she’s read them all. We’ve now stumped six librarians in our area(and two were less than kind once they could not help us find a book). And we’ve spent a crazy amount of time looking for ideas on the goodreads and commonsense websites…and still, we are out of books.
And I’ve reached the point where I wonder if she’s ready for my V.C. Andrews collection that I read and re-read when I was 11…and 12 and 13.
But she’s not 11 yet.
And that is the problem.
We’ve reached a point where mature subject matter becomes an issue when choosing an age appropriate book. I mean Eloise has read The Hunger Games and similar series like Divergent…but then what…
Sex. When books talk about sexuality and context where we haven’t yet gone yet….then what….
And until she’s a fifth grader and 11 and seems ready to tackle that(believe me, I’ve tried to bring it up)…then I think maybe she really has read all of the books that there are to read.
And maybe she can re-read a few or a 100 until she’s ready to tackle some more mature subject matters.
And then maybe my wallet and our 12 weekly trips to the library can catch a break.
And it will give me time to save-up..because once she goes over this hump and the next group of books fill her bookshelves – the Young Adult and the Teen Fiction…well, we will be back to her reading 20-30 books a month again.
And I’ll be looking for book recommendations from you. So get your lists ready.
So for now, Eloise will just have to continue asking “What happens after you’ve read all of the books?” Because I think that she really has.
And I’ll kindly remind her that it’s a really good problem to have.