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4-Year-Old Girl Reads More Than 1,000 Books


In one year, a typical American will read about four books. For more serious readers, it's more like 50 or a hundred. Daliyah Arana has read more than a thousand books in the past couple of years. That is 1,000. And Daliyah is 4 years old. All that reading got her a trip to the Library of Congress where she was named honorary librarian for the day last week.

Daliyah Arana and her mom, Haleema, are with us now from Gainesville, Ga., where they live. Hello to both of you.



MCEVERS: What was it like to be at the Library of Congress?

DALIYAH: I had so much fun.


DALIYAH: Uh-huh.

MCEVERS: Haleema, when did you start reading to Daliyah, and when did she take over the reading job?

ARANA: I started reading to her immediately after she was born. I would pretty much hold her, and she would hear stories as I was reading to my two older children. And she was actually memorizing a lot of the words that she would see in the books. And it was at one point where she wanted to take the book and say, I want to do this now. And it took off from there.

MCEVERS: Most kids don't learn to read till 4 or 5, even 6. You must have been aware, like, wow, she's really getting started early.

ARANA: It's actually something that I did with all three of my children. But with her, I just - I took it to the next level just because of her passion for it and her love for it so much.

MCEVERS: Daliyah, was it your idea to read a thousand books?

DALIYAH: No, it was mommy's idea.

MCEVERS: Did you think, boy, that's going to be hard, or did you think, that'll be easy?

DALIYAH: That was easy 'cause I love to read.

MCEVERS: So Haleema, it was your idea to read a thousand books. Where did you get the idea?

ARANA: Actually I read about - there was an article in a local newspaper about a young girl who had just finished the program, and that's where I actually got the idea. Hey, you know, Daliyah - she's already reading a lot. This is a great way for me to start counting.

MCEVERS: But wasn't that program about the number of books parents should be reading to kids, right? And you took it a step further.

ARANA: Right, I did, and she actually enjoyed it because every time she completed a log of 50 books, she would return that to the library, and she would get a small prize. And that's what kind of kept her motivated as well.

MCEVERS: Oh, neat. Daliyah, can you hear me?


MCEVERS: Hi. Do you remember the first book you ever read?

DALIYAH: "Ann's Big Muffin."

MCEVERS: "Ann's Big Muffin."


MCEVERS: What's your favorite book right now?

DALIYAH: My favorite book is "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!"

MCEVERS: "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!" - I love the "Pigeon" books. What happens in that book?

DALIYAH: Well, it's about a duckling and the Pigeon. They fight over the hot dog. And the duckling splits it in half at the ending.

MCEVERS: And they share it.

DALIYAH: And they share.

MCEVERS: Daliyah Arana, thank you so much.

DALIYAH: You're welcome.

MCEVERS: And Haleema Arana, thank you, too.

ARANA: Thank you.

MCEVERS: Daliyah Arana was librarian for the day at the Library of Congress last week. Here she is reading her favorite book.

DALIYAH: "The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!" - words and pictures by Mo Willems. Oh, a hot dog - yummy, yummy, yummy. Oh, may I help you? Is that a hot dog - not a hot dog, my hot dog. Oh, I don't think...