For four-year-old Daliyah Arana, it is not hard to find the appetite to read. The small-town Georgia girl feels most at home at her local library, in Gainesville, where she’s able to check out books as the owner of her own library card.
The story of how Daliyah became a voracious reader began when she was just two years old.
Her mom got her involved in a local program that encourages kids to read 1,000 books before they reach kindergarten.
“When I was three, I was sometimes reading like a robot, but now I’m reading like a smart kid,” Daliyah said.
She told CBS News’ DeMarco Morgan she surpassed that goal before pre-school: “I get to learn new words and stuff.”
“So, what’s one of the words that you are learning now?”
“I’ve already learned punctiliousness.”
“That’s a big word!”
Last week, Daliyah was invited to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where she served as librarian for the day.
She received a tour from Carla Hayden, the nation’s first woman and African-American to head the library.
Morgan asked, “So what did you most enjoy about the Library of Congress? Did you get a chance to touch some of the books?”
“I didn’t get to touch the books, but they gave us some books,” Daliyah said.
“They gave you books?”
“Yeah, we got to keep them!”
Daliyah’s mother, Haleema Arana, believes the child prodigy developed her love for reading while she was still in her mother’s womb. “By the time she was a year old, she’s was already well into the habit,” Haleema said. “My main hope Is that she would inspire other children to read.”
She said her daughter has read as many as five to seven books in a day.
Morgan was there as Daliyah rehearsed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I have a dream” speech at the Hall County Library, ahead of her performance to mark the national holiday.
Morgan asked Haleema if Daliyah still gets to “be a kid.”
“Yes,” she replied. “She’s very busy. she’s still a four year old!”
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Daliyah replied, “I want to be a paleontologist! They study dinosaurs.”
Her first thousand books are just the opening chapter of her story.