A young bookworm challenged himself to read his height in books before his ninth birthday – and he’s done it, much to his mom’s delight.
Elijah Fyrne, who turned nine on 17 September, has read 84 books, which stacks up to his height of 1,37m.
According to his mom, Michelle Fyrne, who works in digital publishing, he was not a very keen reader until he set himself the challenge.
“I’m really proud of Elijah, he wasn’t a natural or particularly early reader before he started school and he struggles to sit still so this is an incredible achievement for him.”
Speaking to YOU from their home in Cheltenham in the UK, Elijah says it all started when he was given a Tom Gates book by best-selling English children’s author Liz Pichon for his eighth birthday.
“I loved the funny things he got up to and whizzed through it. I wanted to find out what happened next so I kept reading book after book until I’d finished the series.
“I started piling the books up in the corner of my bedroom and thought I wonder how many it would take for the pile to be as tall as me and whether I could do it before I turn nine – and now I have! I’m surprised it took 84 books, but I think it’s because I kept growing.”
Luckily for his mom,
she didn’t have to spend a fortune buying books. Her son received many as
birthday or Christmas gifts and others they bought secondhand.
“He likes to keep them, rather than borrow them from the library, so he can see his pile grow,” Michelle says.
She says when he was younger, she or his dad would often read to him at bedtime – and it’s a routine he’s stuck to, instead now he reads to himself.
“He’s naturally very active during the day – he prefers running around, jumping on the trampoline, climbing, going on his scooter – he never sits still until bedtime. But now he reads every night,” Michelle says, adding she hopes his younger siblings will follow his example.
Elijah gushes that he “loves reading”.
“I love getting stuck into stories and reading about adventures. It’s fun and makes you cleverer. I can’t wait to start reading harder books.”
Having read roughly one book every four days, which were his favourites?
Coming out tops was The Beast of Buckingham Palace by comedian and Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams.
It’s a fantasy adventure set in 2120 and tells the story of a young prince who’s never left the palace he lives in.
“I loved this book because it’s futuristic and exciting with crazy inventions and evil characters. It’s a little bit scary too,” he says.
is also a big fan of the best-selling Diary of Wimpy Kid series by American
author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really funny. You get to discover more about Greg’s life and what he gets up to everyday with his friends and brothers. I love the drawings and it just makes me laugh.”
But Elijah is not done yet. He’s already set himself a new target for next year – reading enough books to reach his ceiling.
So, is he going to start a new pile of books from scratch?
“No, because it’s been hard work reading 84 books, so I’m going to keep the pile going. I think I can read enough books to touch my bedroom ceiling by the time I’m 10. But I will need a stepladder to reach the top soon.”
Next on his list is the Harry Potter series, which his grandparents got him for his birthday.
“I’m looking forward to starting that. And I’ve heard about a really big book called War and Peace that I think I could probably try to finish too.”
Extra source: dailymail.co.uk