DiscoverRead-Aloud Revival ®RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books
RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books

RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books

Update: 2022-03-084


Are you or your kids feeling overwhelmed by a long book list? Today I'm sharing how reading fewer books (yup!) can help our kids love books more.

Yep. We're going to talk about reading fewer books.

What could it mean for your kids' reading lives (and yours too!), to focus on reading fewer books and making the time spent reading them more enjoyable and richer?

Maybe even to have a reading life that is rich, relaxed, and leisurely?

If you or your kids are overwhelmed by a long book list, this sounds pretty great, right?

Tune in or read on to hear:

  • The difference between reading a book and completing a book
  • Why my own kids don't track the number of books read
  • How to make time for (quite possibly) the best kind of reading

Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading.

How Many Books Should My Child Read?

I get a variation of this question a lot:

  • How many books should my child be expected to read in a school year?

It's often posed because someone is overwhelmed by a long book list. Today, I wanted to suggest that we ask a different question altogether.

Quantity Isn't the Goal

Asking how many books our kids should read in a year means that reading a certain number of books is the goal of our kids reading lives.

But I don't think that's actually the case for most of us.

Reading more books doesn't make us (or our kids) a more well-read person.

You're not more well-read than someone who read three books carefully and well if you speed-read ten in the same amount of time.

You're not getting more out of your books simply because you've read a taller stack of them.

The number of books that our kids read and that we read matters a lot less than the quality of our reading.

And I don't just mean quality of books, like the best classics or the most important books with the biggest ideas.

I mean the quality of the reading experience itself:

  • How much did you enjoy it?
  • How much did you get from it?
  • How much richer is your life now that you encountered the ideas in that book?

All Books Are Not Equal...

Not every book that we read is equally formative or equally deserving of our time and attention. Some books are great for deep-diving, but others are primed for skimming, or speed-reading, or staying up till 2 in the morning because you're dying to know what happens next.

Sir Francis Bacon said:

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

Some few to be chewed and digested.

Some few.

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RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books

RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books

Sarah Mackenzie