Books Gone Bonkers

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Books Gone Bonkers

April 29, 2016

There’s a world record for just about anything, so why not have one for reading? As our friend and fan Teddy D.-S. asked us, who holds the world record for owning the most books? It turns out to be a man in Indiana named John Benham. He has more than 1,500,000 books, or 1 1/2 million! Books are thick and heavy, so as you can imagine, he has totally filled up his house with them. Now he has to stuff new ones into his 6-car garage, and even put some outside under a sheet of plastic. Of course, if you like to read that much, it might be easier just to borrow books from the library. That’s what Britain’s recordholder Louise Brown did: By the age of 91 she had checked out her 25,000th book. John may have 60 times as many books as Louise has borrowed, but we wonder if he has anywhere to park his car.

Wee ones: If you count your 5th book, then your 6th, then your 8th, what number did you skip?

Little kids: If John’s books fill 2 of the 6 car spots in his garage, how many cars can he still park in there?  Bonus: If you check out 90 books and stack them in 10s, what numbers do you say to count them up?

Big kids: If you borrow 20 books, then return 4, then borrow another 17 books, how many do you have to return to have 20 books total again?  Bonus: Louise read her 25,000th book in 2009 (we’re now in 2016). How many has she read each year since then if by now she’s read 32,000 books?




Wee ones: The 7th book.

Little kids: 4 cars.  Bonus: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90.

Big kids: 13 books, since you now have 33 in hand.  Bonus: 1,000 books per year.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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