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Too Many Books? | Paradise Found

Too Many Books?

So, I have boys. Boys who are avid readers. I’m told this is an oddity, but I don’t know. It’s the ways it’s always been. I have been known to tell my kids to put down the books and go outside. Other moms – moms with non-readers – have been shocked by the fact that I’d interrupt their reading.

Just as an example, yesterday Evan completed FOUR books. These are your average ~300 page juvenile fiction novels. He also baked a batch of homemade chewy pretzels, made a cheese sauce for lunch, played a little bit of basketball, and washed dishes a couple of times (not by choice). And I’ll note here that the kid is skinny – not an overweight couch potato from all of the reading.

So, out of simple curiosity I ask this: do you ever tell your kids to stop reading? Would you, if they read four books daily? How much is too much?


  1. by laughingstars, on April 24 2009 @ 8:00 am


    I guess it depends. If someone goes through a phase of reading around the clock, I’d just enjoy it. If it becomes a long standing habit, to the exclusion of anything else, I might redirect them to something else. Then again, if he’s playing basketball with his buds, cooking, and doing other things — and he’s healthy — I probably wouldn’t worry about it.

  2. by Andrea, on April 24 2009 @ 9:01 am


    I’m with the above – if it’s not interfering, I leave it. I also read a book a night…

    Sarah, in her time off, has been holed up in her room reading who knows how many books (some of them pretty heavy) but I know from past experience it won’t last long.

  3. by Jen Robinson, on April 24 2009 @ 9:11 am


    Sounds to me like a great “problem” to have. But I don’t have kids, so I can’t really comment.

  4. by lapazfarm, on April 24 2009 @ 9:57 am


    Agree that it depends. Superboy reads a lot, going on days-long binges and all-nighters on occasion. But he also does other things a lot. So as long as I see balance I am not concerned. Sounds like your boy is pretty balanced.

  5. by floridamom, on April 24 2009 @ 10:01 am


    Sometimes I do. There have been a few times when I’ve had to tell my son to put the book down and go to sleep, but only because we had to get up early the next day. I agree that it’s okay to let him go in phases — I do the same thing with my own reading. And I was one of those kids who was often told to get my nose out of a book so I know how it feels. Reading marathons, within reason, are okay by me.

  6. by Not June Cleaver, on April 24 2009 @ 10:50 am


    Not a chance, Kris. It’s all I can do to get them (3 boys ages 8, 10, and 12) to read books. Most of their reading is before bed anyway, so it doesn’t last long.

  7. by carrie, on April 24 2009 @ 5:58 pm


    My three boys enjoy their silent reading time during school, but don’t usually pick up books to read for pleasure other than that – I wish they did! My daughter, though, is like your son – she finished two books yesterday. The only time I ever interfere is if she’s staying up so late I know she’ll be miserable the next day, or if she hasn’t had any outside time in a while. She’s active – takes Tae Kwon Do, swims, rides her bike, so I really don’t worry about her.

  8. by Shelly, on April 25 2009 @ 6:51 am


    Evan did ALL that yesterday? Holy cow! Casey will read to the extent that it keeps him up too late, keeps him from doing his chores, keeps him from doing homework … those are the things I tell him to put the book down for. Otherwise I let him have at it. I wish he would also do some of those other things that OTHER boys his age do (ahem, Evan) but at this point he’s not interested. He probably would build a bomb if he read about it and could get the materials … alas, that won’t happen as long as he is under my supervision. :)

  9. by Meg, on April 25 2009 @ 4:38 pm


    Boy actually reads more than Girl. She’d rather be doing something electronic.

  10. by Kathy C, on April 26 2009 @ 4:15 pm


    My boys love to read, but it would be a steady diet of humor books and graphic novels if I didn’t slip in something a little meatier every now and then when they’re not looking. They also love magazines. (I do too.)

    Sometimes when I kick them outside for a little fresh air I find that they’ve just taken their reading material with them. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

  11. by paradisefound, on April 27 2009 @ 4:58 am


    Well, it sounds like I’m in good company!

    Jen: You’re right – it is a good problem to have!

    I have a tendency to let them read as long as it’s not interfering with other things, myself. Though, on the occasions that I’ve shooed them out the door, there have been times that I’ve looked out to see that (like Kathy C) they’ve simply taken their reading material outside.

    I love that these boys are such readers!

  12. by Danielle, on April 28 2009 @ 6:09 pm


    I can so relate! I remember getting into trouble for reading too much as a kid. I would hole up in my room and read for hours on end. Of course, there was a lot of stuff I wasn’t doing which was the real reason I was in trouble. Like chores and homework, you know, the boring stuff. Even now I have to be careful of when I start a book because I simply lack the ability to put it down and walk away. I guess balance is the key and it sounds like your son is doing lots of other things so I would only intervene if that changes. Or you notice he hasn’t moved/showered/eaten for several days lol

    My 8 yr old has just started reading short novel type books on his own but he would love for me to read to him all day long. We are eclectic homeschooler’s too so somedays I do.

    Great Blog!

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