I was in eighth grade when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” came out, and I distinctly remember laying down on the lawn furniture in our screened-in porch and reading the book straight through. That’s right, all 896 pages, in just over 8 hours. I’d come into the series a little late, so I was able to read the first three books as I pleased. But waiting for that fourth book was pure torture for my reading-obsessed 13-year-old self.
The “Harry Potter” series were some of my favorite books, even through the seventh and final release that came sometime in college. I told the guy I was dating that we could hang out, but only if “hanging out” meant reading Harry Potter side by side and not speaking. Obviously, I had to finish it before someone ruined the ending.
All of these memories are favorites of mine — even my persistence in pronouncing Hermione as “Her-moyne” before I saw the movies. And I would love for them to be favorites of my 9-year-old brother, Adam, too.
Well, he’s not cooperating.
Apparently, in his group of 9-year-old friends, “Harry Potter” is not where it’s at. They’re more concerned about Xbox360 and playing games on iPads and exploring in the woods and hating everything in school except lunch and recess and, sometimes, gym.
Even I can admit, the “Harry Potter” books might be a bit much when you’re 9. It depends on where your reading level is. So I compromised: For Christmas, I bought my brother the audio CDs for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” He listens to audiobooks every night as he falls asleep, so I thought I had a sneaky way in.
Except it’s now Jan. 5, and I don’t think he’s listened to any of it yet. My mom suggested I read the first chapter with him, but I ran out of time over a short Christmas break. She then suggested I read the first chapter to him over the phone. I’m considering it.
If you’re a parent, maybe you’ve struggled in similar ways as you encourage your kids to read. Or maybe you were a reluctant reader growing up — or still are. Not all people are book lovers. But help me out, here: Are there any tips that worked to make reading enticing for you or your kids? Any success stories?