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Denver fifth grader sets record, reading 1 million words first in 2 weeks of school

5th grader sets record, reading 1 million words first in 2 weeks of school
5th grader sets record, reading 1 million words first in 2 weeks of school 01:56

Kiruvel Girmachew, a Denver fifth grader at Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside Elementary Charter School, would spend his entire school day reading if he could.

"When I read, it kind of feels like I am watching a movie in my mind and I just slip out of reality," Girmachew explained. "I'm like that kinda guy when everyone's playing I'm just sitting reading – even if I don't have a book I'll just go on my tablet."

But he says his passion to read actually started rather reluctantly. "In the summer, my mom forced me to read because she didn't want me on electronics."

Once he found his favorite book, there was no stopping the super reader. 

"I found my favorite book in 4th grade. It's called 'Warriors' by Erin Hunter. The more I read, I got better which made me read faster which made me read more. It's like a cycle." 

Kiruvel Girmachew   CBS

And now, Girmachew is celebrating a huge reading milestone and school record, with recognition from his teachers and principal. He read more than a million words in two weeks. That's the equivalent of the entire Harry Potter series. "Now, I'm at 1,500,000 words in, so I'm almost to 2 million already in four weeks."

"That's a lot of books. Does it feel like that when you're reading?" asked CBS News Colorado's Mekialaya White.

"To be honest, not really. If I'm really into it feels like less than an hour but it's more like hours I'm reading," he replied.

"It feels really great actually. Once I heard about this interview, I'm like 'OK, I'm doing this for sure!'" he exclaimed.


The avid reader encourages anybody who hasn't picked up a book in awhile to simply give it a try.

"If I get mad, it calms me down. If I get too excited, it calms me down. Books I love calm me down and sometimes pump me up, hype me up," said Girmachew.

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