Do you find numbers fascinating?  I do.  I guess I'm just a math nerd at heart.  I've recently run across a "number" of books that have sparked my fascination with all things mathematical.

checkerboard.jpgConsider this:  Take a regular checkerboard (64 squares) and place a penny on the first square.  Then put double that amount (two pennies) on the second square and then double that amount (four pennies) on the third square and then double that amount (eight pennies) on the next square.  Continue doubling the amount of pennies on each square until you get to the very last square.  How much money would be on that last square?  Would you believe 90,000 trillion dollars?  That's more money than is in the entire world!  Incredible, huh?  This is just one of the amazing facts I learned from the book Go Figure! A Totally Cool Book of Numbers by Johnny Ball.

catinnumberland.gifAnother interesting numbers book is The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland.  This book tells the story of the Infinity Hotel where the rooms are always full yet there is always room for more.  How is that possible?  Then Zero shows up and things get even more interesting.  And when the fractions arrive, all chaos breaks loose.  This book will have you looking at numbers in a whole new way.

How long do you think it would take to count to a million?  About 23 days.  And how long do you think it would take to count to a billion?  Would you believe 95 years?  Wow!  This is one of the interesting tidbits found in David M. Schwartz's book How Much Is a Million?  And if you're curious about even larger numbers, he has written another book called On Beyond a Million.  You can always "count" on finding a good book at your local library.