August 19, 2022 - Reading Program Numbers

The Summer Reading Program ended on August 6th. Last week I gave you all the numbers for the program in terms of number of participants and books read. This week I have had time to do the math and can tell you how many pages were read and what that works out to in miles. Every year, for more years than I care to remember, I have been reporting the number of pages read in concrete terms. I have converted the number of pages read (or pages listened to, or time spent reading) into inches, then converted those inches into miles, and then plotted that number of miles on a map. Since I have been doing this annually for enough years for this to have become a tradition, and since I’m wise enough not to tamper with a fine tradition, here goes!

This year 808 people participated in the Summer Library Program and 645 of them 31,444 books were read. The books read convert to 2,578,408 pages. That’s almost 4,000 pages read by every participant!

Now, on to the calculations which begin with this question: “If you laid all the pages of the books that were read end-to-end how many miles would they stretch?” The average size of a page is 9 inches tall which gives us (2 times 9” or) 23,205,672 inches—always show your work if you want to receive full credit. Then we take those inches and divide by 12 to give us 1,933,806 feet and then divide by 5,280 to give us 366.25 miles. And, voilà! If you laid all the pages read during the Summer Reading Program end to end and drove north and west via I90 you would end up about 5 miles south of Crane Meadow National Wildlife Area, near Little Falls, Minnesota. If you headed south along 190/194 and then took I65 south you’d be a few miles south of Indianapolis, in Greenwood, Indiana. How cool is that? Based on the huge number of readers and the ginormous number of books read, I am forced to conclude that this was a great summer for reading. Congratulations to all the Summer Reading participants.

Below you will find some recently arrived books to keep you in shape for the start of the Winter Reading Program, which isn’t all that far away. Enjoy!

“Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure” by Rinker Buck. In this highly anticipated book, the author of the New York Times best-seller The Oregon Trail, building an authentic wooden flatboat from a bygone era, casts off down the Mississippi river, charting his own geographical and emotional journey, while providing a satisfying work of history.


“Armored” by Mark Greaney. After losing part of his left leg, a former Close Protection Agent takes a job as a mall cop in Virginia to support his family, but runs into an old friend who has a much more intriguing job offer.


“Rising Tiger (The Scot Harvath Series)” by Brad Thor. America’s top spy, Scot Harvath, with democracy itself hanging in the balance, is thrust into a completely unfamiliar culture where he can trust no one as he fights to take down the country’s most powerful enemy—and for his life.


“Shattered” by James Patterson & James Born. When his partner and best friend FBI abduction specialist Emily Parker is murdered, NYPD master homicide investigator Michael Bennett takes on the most intensely personal investigation of his career.


“Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin. Embarking on a legendary collaboration launching them to stardom, two friends, intimates since childhood, have the world at their feet until they discover that their success, brilliance and money won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of the heart.


“Upgrade” by Blake Crouch. When his DNA is rewritten with a genetic-engineering breakthrough beyond anything the world has seen, Logan Ramsey finds his transformation threatening everything around him as he is forced to take sides in a fight to save humankind.


“The Book Eaters” by Sunyi Dean. Part of The Family, a secret line of people for whom books are food, Devon, raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories, discovers that real life doesn’t always come with happy endings when her son is born with an insatiable hunger for human minds.


“All This Could Be Different” by Sarah Mathews. Follows a young Indian American woman who is grappling with graduating into a recession, working a grueling entry-level corporate job and trying to date Marina, a beautiful dancer who always seems just beyond her grasp.


“Mika in Real Life” by Emiko Jean. Getting to know Penny, the daughter she placed for adoption 16 years ago, 35-year-old Mika Suzuki finds unexpected love with Penny’s widowed father and finally has a chance to have the life and family she’s always wanted until her deceptions catch up with her.


“Mercury Pictures Presents” by Anthony Marra. After America’s entry into WWII, Maria Lagana, an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, rises through a maze of conflicting politics, divided loyalties and jockeying positions until a man from her imprisoned father’s past threatens her carefully constructed facade.


“Where the Sky Begins (Buckhorn, Montana)” by Rhys Bowen. In 1940 London, during World War II, Josie, with nothing left and nowhere to go, ends up at the estate of the aristocratic Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host of the survivors of the Blitz, and convinces her to open a tea shop, seeing it as a chance for everyone to begin again.


“To Kill a Troubadour, No. 15 (Bruno, Chief of Police)” by Martin Walker. When songwriter Joel Martin’s song is banned by the Spanish government, which puts him in the crosshairs of a killer, Bruno, as French and Spanish governments agree to mount a joint operation to stop the assailants, must track down the extremists.


“Heat 2”by Michael Mann & Meg Gardiner. Follows the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna and an elite group of criminals and crime syndicates, in the new novel by the four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and writer-director of “Heat, Collateral” and “Miami Vice”.