Monday, 31 October 2016

1001 reading nights

Back in February 2014 I read about a girl whose father had read to her for a stretch of firstly 1000 nights and then more. It seemed like exactly our thing. Reading, but with a bit of a purpose if you like, something to count, something to aim for. Boys seem to like all that. And so off we set.

And on Saturday we reached the grand total of 1000 nights of reading. I read to the two youngest boys, and we've worked our way through many books. I'm not quite sure how many, perhaps around 50 or so.

Favourites authors include Gill Lewis - Sky Hawk, Moon Bear and White Dolphin, Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke, Eva Ibbotson and Michelle Paver. Occasionally we'll give up on something, but not very often. Sometimes the boys complain that they won't like a book before I've even read a sentence. Usually they're wrong. I pick the books quite carefully. Good writers, different types of book. They get to explore books that they wouldn't necessarily pick up from the shelf themselves. Hopefully it will encourage them to read more widely as time goes on.

So we made it to 1000 nights, and we're pressing on regardless. The current read is Carl Hiaasen's Flush. A bit different to everything we've read before. The environmental plot appealed to me, and the main character is a boy who loves fishing which appeals to the middle boy.

It's always a great treat to pick the book we're going to read next. Most of the books I haven't read myself so I get to enjoy them too. Reading aloud is never a chore, although sometimes it's late and sometimes we're tired. Sometimes it's only a couple of pages, sometimes it's a few chapters. Sometimes I do accents for different characters. I love that. Welsh is my best one. The boys usually want me to read longer. Hopefully not just because they're avoiding bedtime.

We can highly recommend a reading streak. I'm hoping we make it to 2000 nights, there are so many fantastic books out there waiting to be read.


  1. That is just wonderful! Lucky boys and lucky you getting to share and enjoy stories with them! I don't know how old they are, but have you read Beetle Boy with them? If not, I'd recommend it if you don't think they're too old (I'm over 30 and loved it though!)

  2. That is SO cool. I really admire your commitment. I notice that you have many titles in common with us! Among them, my son really enjoys Hiaasen's books for kids and we just borrowed Varjak Paw from the library today.

  3. Ooh how wonderful, for you and your boys. I'm sure they will always remember and appreciate the stories you share together. There is something special and magical about reading aloud and listening to stories. Good luck with your 2000 target.

  4. You are such a good mum, CJ. We also read every night, without fail. We have read Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Black Beauty, Call of the Wild and White Fang on our latest stretch. We just started Great Expectations (these are all illustrated children's versions). It's wonderful to read longer stories that interest me, too. We will definitely be reading for 1000 more nights :)

  5. Good for you CJ! I did not read enough to my kids.. a big regret of mine. Bravo! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  6. What memories your post brought back to me. Telling my sons that there would be no bedtime story was considered by them to be the severest punishment.

  7. Wow! 1000 nights! That's amazing - well done. I used to read to my 3 children, 2 boys and a girl, and like you loved to pick the right book which got more and more difficult as they grew older because of the age range. One night my eldest said "Mum, I don't really want you to read to me anymore" - "Don't you'" I said with sad face. "Well, I am 15!" he said. Yikes! He had a point!

  8. Good for you, if only more parents did the same sort of thing. I used to like story time when I was a teacher everybody huddled together listening to a story. Imused to try for the different voices too, sometimes more successfully than others. The difficulty is forgetting which voice you have given to the characters the day after.

  9. Good for you and well done. My lifelong love of reading is thanks to mum reading to me when I was a youngster, and like you she chose all sorts of books. Happy reading. xx

  10. 1000 nights is impressive, I have such happy memories of reading out loud to my children at bedtimes, so much so that I bought my grandchildren the books I used to read to their parents so that they too could have as much fun. Well done CJ, I hope you make it to 2000 nights!

  11. Oh, well done. I'm sure the seeds for a lifelong love of books and reading are being well and truly planted.

  12. Good on you! 1000 nights is a lot of nights! I would have started and then have it all sort of fade away probably by the 20th night lol Bravo!!

  13. CJ, this is really fantastic. At this moment, my husband is reading The Hobbit to my daughter. I bought it for her 4th birthday and I thought it was a bit too scary, but she insists it is not. They have gotten into the habit of reading every morning for about 45 minutes before breakfast and she begs for it. I am lucky that I have a child that has always loved being read to - I started basically as soon as she could sit up! It teaches so many things, especially chapter books with not so many pictures that require them to use their imagination. The fact that you can captivate three boys is impressive!

    1. Sorry, I meant to say that my husband bought The Hobbit - it is not my genre and I would definitely not have!

  14. Wow! What an amazing challenge and a great idea. I hope you enjoy sharing many more books together.

  15. Hey CJ,
    I about love this. And you are so right about boys and their love of a goal;) At the moment, Olly is most insistent that he reads to me, so I am resting my voice. Onward to 2000 my friend!
    Leanne xx

  16. This is wonderful. Your lucky lucky boys, having you as their mum! I usually have to listen, rather than do the reading. Or they read to themselves. I should read aloud more. Xx

  17. Wow that's amazing CJ. My son is a lover of computer games, so I recently introduced him to some old Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that I used to read as a child. You make your own choices as you read the story and use dice to determine different outcomes. He loves these...

  18. Wowzers!! That's fantastic!! And yes -- SO many fabulous books...2000, 3000...plenty of nights to fill. :) xo

  19. What a wonderful idea and such an achievement. I think I may have to start doing something like this with my own kids as bedtime reading has fallen by the wayside a bit this year. I'm finding that I'm missing it so thank you for the inspiration! x Susan

  20. What a fabulous idea! A great way to get anyone reading. Hope you have as much fun with the next 1000 days!

  21. Oh wow CJ, that's amazing! We miss days all the time (quietly reprimanding myself for being lazy). xx

  22. Well done CJ, i read to my older two all the time. I read to Little Buddy and now he reads to me. It is a beautiful thing.

  23. I also love reading with my three boys and always looking for new titles- can you share some more of the titles you've covered so far?

    1. Hi Rimone, here's a list of the other books we've read.

      1. Roald Dahl Treasury
      2. Winnie the Pooh
      3. Fairy stories – The Pied Piper of Hamelin; Snow White and Rose Red; Rumpelstiltskin
      4. Paddington Bear by Michael Bond
      5. Just So Stories – The Cat Who Walked Alone
      6. The Christmas Storybook – Really, Truly, Reilly
      7. The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eion Colfer
      8. Old Bear – The Three Bears; The Birthday Camp
      9. Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson
      10. Paddington Bear “A Day By The Sea”
      11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
      12. A Series of Unfortunate Events 1 – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
      13. Varjak Paw by SF Said
      14. The Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
      15. The Dreamfighters by Ted Hughes
      16. The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
      17. The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz
      18. Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis
      19. Roman Mysteries 1 - The Secrets of Vesuvius by Caroline Lawrence
      20. I Was A Rat by Philip Pullman
      21. The Outlaw (second Varjak Paw book) by SF Said
      22. Great Northern? by Arthur Ransome
      23. Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
      24. The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman
      25. Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken
      26. When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke (read at Christmas 2015)
      27. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
      28. The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
      29. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotsen
      30. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
      31. One Dog and his Boy by Eva Ibbotson
      32. Moon Bear by Gill Lewis
      33. Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
      34. White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
      35. The Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith
      36. Flush by Carl Hiaasen
      37. Olga da Polga by Michael Bond

      Hope you find something you love.