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September 24, 2020 - Summer Reading Results

The Summer Reading Program ended August 31st. At last, all the books have been counted, all the pages and minutes read accounted for, and I can finally give you all the numbers about how many people read how many books. 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 345 people signed up for the Summer Library Program. Over 14,000 books were read. The books read convert to 1,068,524 pages. That’s almost 3,100 pages read by every participant.

There were 1,408 activities completed. 120 reviews were written and 3,067 badges were earned>

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 (1,068,524 times 9” or) 9,616,716 inches—always show your work if you want to receive full credit. Then we take those inches and divide by 12 to give us 801,393 feet and then divide by 5,280 to give us 151.8 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/ 94 to LaCrosse then up Hwy 14 to Winona, MN and to the parking lot of the Great River Shakespeare Festival near 450 Johnson Street. Heading south via I 90 those miles would put you on the street where I lived growing up in Oak Park, IL. How cool is that? Even though this was a really unusual year which made for a really unusual Summer Reading Program a whole lot of reading was done! Congratulations to all the Summer Reading participants.

cover artThe Folly and the Glory: America, Russia, and Political Warfare, 1945-2020 by Tim Weiner. From a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this book provides an urgent and gripping account of the 75-year battle between the US and Russia that led to the election and impeachment of an American president.


cover artA Furious Sky: The Five-hundred-year History of America’s Hurricanes by Eric Dolin. A best-selling author tells the history of America itself through its 500-year battle with the fury of hurricanes.


cover artThe Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World by Edward Melillo. Draws on research in laboratory science, agriculture, international cuisine and other disciplines to trace the historical relationship between humans and insects, detailing the role of insects in medical science, the world's food supply and other essential aspects of modern life.


cover artThe End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack. From one a dynamic rising star in astrophysics comes an accessible and eye-opening look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology.


cover artGrasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn by Sanjay Sarma. The head of MIT's Open Learning draws on neuroscience, cognitive psychology and other disciplines to explore the scientific processes of learning, the conditions that are most conducive to learning, the role of forgetting and whether traditional classroom approaches are effective.


cover artGhost Ups Her Game, No. 9 (Bailey Ruth Ghost Novels) by Carolyn Hart. A “New York Times” best-selling author's warm-hearted sleuth returns in the ninth Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel, with a case that will test even her Heavenly powers.


cover artThe Last Mrs. Summers, No. 14 (Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen. Helping her friend inspect a recently inherited but uninhabitable Cornwall property, Georgie investigates a bossy host's suspicions that her husband murdered his first wife, allegations that are complicated by a creepy housekeeper and a long-ago tragedy.


cover artThe Jackal, No. 1 (Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp) by J.R. Ward. The award-winning author of the Fallen Angels series presents a debut entry in a new Black Dagger Brotherhood spin-off set in an underground prison that is populated by thieving and murderous beings.


cover artRoyal by Danielle Steel. Sent into hiding during World War II, headstrong 17-year-old Princess Charlotte assumes an alias and enjoys the freedoms of a normal life in Yorkshire before her ill-fated romance with her guardians' son leads to the orphaning of a royal infant.


cover artWhirlwind, No. 1 (Champions) by Janet Dailey. One of three sisters who would carry on their family's bull-breeding legacy debuts a promising specimen at a professional bull rider's competition while resisting the advances of an attractive cowboy who tests her resolve against the dangers of rodeo life.


cover artBitter Pill, No. 32 (Sisterhood) by Fern Michaels. Managing a painful career setback with the help of an online support group and a secret boyfriend who goes mysteriously missing, a neuroscientist is declared a person of interest when she is asked to identify the body of a stranger.


cover artChoppy Water, No. 54 (Stone Barrington) by Stuart Woods. When his Maine vacation is interrupted by extreme weather that a menacing adversary uses as cover to target a close friend, Stone Barrington uncovers a massive scheme with corrupt ties spanning New York City through Key West.


cover artDead Man Dancing, No.2 (Bad Axe County) by John Galligan. Investigating the savage beating of a migrant worker who refuses to reveal his attacker, Sheriff Heidi Kick is catapulted into a murder case in the underground world of illicit cage fighting, before her husband suddenly disappears.