It turned out that Eleanor's super-fussy time aligns with Phoebe's story time, so there's at least one family member out. And really, she's a little too young to be left unsupervised, so we have to divide and conquer with one parent handling baby fussies and the other doing stories (at least we think - knockonwoodknockonwood - that we are ending the period where the parent with Eleanor has to do laps around the block bouncing the baby until 9pm). Phoebe can sometimes be a little hard to settle down, so her story time itself is sometimes not quite as relaxing as the images you might conjure of "bedtime stories". So all in all, family story time has been a pretty big bust up to this point. We know it will likely get better, so we'll just wait and see what happens.
In the meantime, we are happy that Phoebe really does seem to like books and is excited to "read" to her sister. It might be at ridiculous o'clock in the morning and in the middle of our trashed living room, but I think it is just as sweet as the family bedtime stories we had imagined. We will take what we can get.