Missy Barrett's Adventures

The amazing adventures of a fictional child

How Big Is A Million?

on July 9, 2014

Sometimes I wonder how many a million is, so I decided to do a research project to find the answer.  It was a lot of fun, and also a lot of hard work.  Now that the researching is all done, I know how many a million looks like.

First off, I borrowed my cousins’ Harry Potter books — all seven of them.  I added up all the last page numbers from all the books, and there were 3,400 pages.  So, ten sets would be 34,000 and one hundred sets would be 340,000 and two hundred sets would be 680,000 and three hundred sets would be 20,000 too many for a million.

So, I’d need to buy 300 complete Harry Potter book sets if I wanted 20,000 more pages over a million.

But that didn’t really help me too much because how much place do 300 sets of 7 books take up?  Well, I had to do the math multiplying part of the researching and that was 2,100 books.  That’s a lot of books, but then I didn’t know what 2,100 books looked like.

So I asked Aunt Sissy’s friend because she’s a school librarian (plus she’s also a next door neighbor across the street) and she knows things like that.  Except she didn’t really know because she said she only knew how many books there were for her school library.  But then she said that she knew a place that had the answer and she took out her iPhone and poked it a lot.  Then she said that the government says that schools with 100 students have 2,000 books in the school library.

So a million pages is as big as a school library that has 100 students in it.

But then I didn’t know how big most elementary schools are, so I asked Aunt Sissy’s friend if she knew.  She didn’t but she poked at her iPhone some more, and then she said that the government said that elementary schools have about 450 students, so I had to do some dividing math.

Except I’m not really good at math, so I just went with 400 students and then figured out that a million pages in 2,000 books would be about a quarter the size of the library at my school.  And guess what that means?  That means that’s still pretty big, but how big?

So I asked my Uncle Bob if he knew how big a school library with 2,000 books in it would probably be, and he said it would probably be 750 square feet.  Except I don’t really know how big 750 square foot is so I asked him if he knew of something that was 750 square feet that I might know about already.

Do you know what he said?  He said it was the size of a very small house with one bedroom … maybe two … but probably just one bedroom.

My house has four bedrooms:  one for my mom, one for Aaron, one for Josh, and one for me.  But I didn’t know how many of those square feet things were in our house, so I asked my grandpa on the phone when I talked with him and grandma, and he said fifteen hundred.  Well, I did the math multiplying and fifteen hundred is two times 750 so that means our house is like two libraries and that means we could have 4,200 books in this house for over two million pages.

So that’s how big one million is.  It’s really big.

Now I just have to figure out how much a million dollars is.

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