Monday, July 23, 2007



I hope you had a lovely weekend.

I spent most of my free time (okay, all of my free time) on Saturday and Sunday reading the newest and last Harry Potter book. I was like a child at Christmas when my UPS driver delivered it to my front door on Saturday afternoon. I won't say anything about it, for those of you who haven't read it yet. I will just say that I enjoyed it. A lot.

I'd like to say that all this Harry Potter business is behind me and I can now go back to my usual schedule. But I can't because Penn and I are going to see the latest HP movie at the IMAX theater this afternoon! My sister-in-law has kindly offered her babysitting services.

It kind of bugs me that Penn hasn't read any of the HP books. He's not a reader. I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but his family are TV people, not book people. But he did grow up earning his spending money as a paperboy, so he is an avid newspaper reader. If only someone would print my books in the newpaper, he would be set. It kind of hurts my heart a little to think of the things he hasn't read. I'm not talking about Faulkner or Joyce. I mean the classics that we groan about having to read in Junior/Senior High, but end up loving. Like
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Great Gatsby or Animal Farm. When Penn was in school he relied upon Cliff Notes or just did a little skimming. Something about reading the first and last page of every chapter. Of course, he has seen the movie versions of lots of good books. :)

It is really important to him that his kids read, however. He is almost as happy as I am that Nicknack's favorite pasttime is "reading" his books. One of the things I am most looking forward to as my child gets older is reading chapter books together. I've already collected dozens that I think he would especially enjoy. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The People of Pineapple Place. The Indian in the Cupboard. The Little House Series. What is neat is that as we read these aloud together Penn will get to experience them for the first time, too! Including Harry Potter, which we'll start when Nicknack turns eleven. Some of the later books are a little dark, scary, and sad. I don't want to start him on the lighter books when he's, say, eight and then tell him he has to wait a few years before he can continue the series.

I realize that a big part of what I love about being a parent is living vicariously through my little one. I just love sharing his new experiences with him. His accomplishments, little joys, and little hurts. As he learns new concepts or I realize he understands something I didn't expect. As he finds new ways to play with his toys. As he does something new and then turns to catch my eye and bask in the applause. As he becomes a more confident walker and toddles across the living room, clapping. Some day it will be bigger things like studying for and doing well on a difficult test, or making a soccer goal, or heading off to summer camp. Or college. (Gulp.)

It really is amazing to get a second childhood, isn't it?

Reading was such a big part of my childhood - it would be hard for me to overestimate the importance of books in my early life. Especially since I was an only child, I think. I fervently hope that my children will love reading and that it will bring them the same joy that it still brings me. Nicknack will probably be a bookworm because I'm a bookworm. I'm probably a bookworm because my mother was/is a bookworm. In fact, she would have finished her own copy of Harry by now, had she not had houseguests this weekend. Have you finished yet, mother? I can't wait to chat!

Happy reading, whatever you're reading this week.


killlashandra said...

Thanks for not sharing anything about Harry Potter yet. :)

I rarely have a chance to read anything from beginning to end, however my stepson and I have managed to keep up on Harry Potter books. As getting him to read anything outside of a video game manuel is difficult I encourage what I can because that's about all I can do.

I admit I bought him the Halo books based on the video game because I knew he'd read them. Now he wants me to read them so we can talk about them. ;)

I do agree that toddler books are wonderful, and if I can't get him to read the classics he will sit down and read with his younger brother which is great.

Leslie said...

Finished it!!! I laughed. I cried. It was better than Cats.

Susan said...

Our oldest (he's 17) is snatching every free second to read HP. He says JK's writing in this last HP installment is BRILLIANT.

He is the only of three that actually loves reading. But he is very selective as to what he reads. He has devoured (repeatedly) the HP series.

I was a HUGE reader growing up and even into my 30's. It was an obsession...all life would come to a screeching halt when I was into a book. I had to drop my book habit. Unfortunately, not my book BUYING habit! I'm starting to allow myself reading time now...but all books to learn from, not pleasure reading...that's where I get into trouble!

Hugs and keep reading to Mr. Nicknack!

P.S. We're currently visiting colleges (gulp) with our oldest. The Man is in total denial, even as we're walking college grounds! It is going to be one tough summer and fall of 2008!

Shelly said...

:) I am finally getting to regain my identity as a book lover this summer without having been in school. It is marvelous!

Lisa said...

I hate to be a wet blanket here, but I have never read any of the Harry Potter books, nor have I seen any of the movies. We offered to take Jacob to see the latest one while in Charleston last week, but he wasn't interested.
I do have a suggestion for another set of chapter books for Nicknack (later)- try the BoxCar Children. I can't remember the author, but I remember reading it in elementary school and adored it. Also, The Adventures of Encyclopedia Brown. Those are a couple of my most beloved reading memories.

Alana said...

We have read to our children consistently at nap time and bedtime (at least) and they both love to read. Even Will who is just 3 will sit and listen to the chapter books I read with Richie and not get wiggly. Plus, you get cuddle up bonding time!

Robin said...

When I meet people who haven't or don't read I just feel SO sorry for them. They are missing out on so much - it does hurt!
I'm glad your little one enjoys books. I can just imagine many wonderful "adventures" you two will be taking together!

connorcolesmom said...

I am with you sister - I love to read!!
I would rather read than watch tv. I do love movies every once in awhile but I can't remember the last time I saw one.
My oldest is in second grade this year and I am having a ball reading with him. It is like reliving our youth - so FUN!!
Much love,

connorcolesmom said...

Ok so I have tagged you!
Go to my blog to check it out :)

Janelle & Ella said...

I totally feel the same way about being able to live a second childhood. I feel the same with my Ella who is 18 months. It's so fun to be able to play with toys again, go the park and swing and slide, play in the baby pool and sprinkler in the backyard.