Daliyah Marie Arana is an 8-year-old that has already pored over more pages than some people do in their whole lives. This one fourth grader has finished over 4,000 books, including both fiction and non-fiction. This has included Michelle Obama’s “Becoming,” one of the most popular books of 2019. Arana remarked that trusting her gut when making decisions was the most important lesson she took away from finishing that particular text.
Arana got her start with books on her own initiative, long before most of her classmates did. What does she do with all of that reading? File away the interesting facts to teach others, like how Paul Revere once used to fabricate dentures for income. Upon completing her 1,000th book at the tender age of 4, Arana’s mother contacted the Library of Congress. This earned the girl and her family a full tour of the facility, hosted by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden. Arana was overwhelmed by the library and Dr. Hayden’s office, guessing that there must be around 10 million texts stored under its roof.
When it comes to Arana’s personal reading list, she is especially fond of realistic fiction. She specifically mentioned Lauren Tarshis’ “I Survived” series as a personal favorite; a series of books where the narration jumps to different children in order to give a kid’s perspective on various major disasters like the sinking of The Titanic, the California Wildfires of 2018, Hurricane Katrina and the Battle of Gettysburg.
Arana remarked that reading offers her a lot of positive feelings and confessed that she loves the sensation of being totally pulled into the world described within pages of dead trees. She went on to remark that that fascination is almost like a snowball rolling downhill until the eventual moment of tragedy where the journey ends and the reader find herself staring at the last page.