We have begun a new challenge in our home. Recently I began The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma. I discovered this book from a podcast called Read-Aloud Revival, hosted by Sarah Mackenzie. This is an inspiring podcast which encourages us to "build our family culture around books". She has interviewed many wonderful guests, one being Alice Ozma.
Alice is the daughter of a children's librarian. When Alice was a young girl, she and her father decided to see how many days he could read aloud to her without missing. They set a goal of 100 days. The rules were simple. He would read aloud to Alice for at least 10 minutes by midnight. Occasionally conflicts would arise and they would find themselves up late reading but they met their goal. Over their celebration meal of pancakes, they decided to set another goal. One thousand nights. They called their reading challenge The Streak. The Reading Promise is filled with fun and often poignant anecdotes of the life they shared around the books they read.
The Streak finally came to an end...3,218 days later...when Alice left for college. In those 3,218 days, Alice and her father cemented a bond that could not be broken.
Our family has decided to have a Streak of our own. Now we obviously already have a family culture built around books being that we live with nearly 18,000 of them and we rarely miss a day reading aloud. But sometimes we do allow conflicts to interfere or we decide to head off to bed after a busy or stressful day without reading.
To give us a reachable goal, especially around the holidays, we decided to try to make it through the end of the year. We began on Thanksgiving and we will see if we can read aloud every single day until December 31. (Of course, I have every intention of starting again on January 1 with the goal of the full year.)
I have found that, even though we already read aloud most every day, we have become more intentional about our reading. It has become even more of a priority to enjoy books together as a family. It would be a beautiful thing if my boys have a bond with us that cannot be broken because of the books we've read.
As this year draws to a close, consider building your family culture around the books you read in the coming year. Maybe even consider starting a Streak in your family. At the very least, share a book together today.