I am a big Harry Potter fan. Something that most book lovers understand, others give strange looks to. I read the Harry Potter series in 2005 when I was pregnant with my second child. The elder one was 3 years old then. Read it, and fell in love with it. Hook, line and sinker.
I bought the seventh book (Deathly Hallows was the only one released after 2005) on the first day – a hard copy. I have not done that with any other book yet.
The thing with people who like to read is that they want to see their kids reading, and their siblings, and their friends…One does learn to give up on pushing them to read after umpteen attempts.
My son (the elder one) was around 6 then. We were on Rajdhani Express (train) from Mumbai to Delhi. Long train rides – such a good time to get kids to read. No TV, you see. So I started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with/to him. Soon enough with the introduction of the ghosts of different houses, something that I never thought of as scary at all, my son refused to read it any further.
I think it is similar to my husband thinking that the kids (8 and 4 at that time) will enjoy Ghajini. He had watched it earlier. Not too violent, he defended himself later. We had to leave the movie midway. The three of them had to, that is. I watched it (and enjoyed it) while he roamed around the shopping mall with the kids.
So I think Harry Potter is suitable for 6 year olds, he thinks Ghajini is cool for 8 year olds. Perspective people…Over the years, I read many books to my son. I bought tons of children’s books. He enjoyed them when I made him sit and read them. But he would never choose to spend his time reading.
The turning point was, when he borrowed Diary of a Wimpy Kid from a friend. And he converted from a non-reader to a reader. He read the series through. Reading them day and late into the night. Leading to another kind of argument.
“You shouldn’t be reading so late at night. Go to sleep now, wake up early and then read”, I would say.
“You read late at night”, would be his reply to me.
I said I had never bought any book on the first day of release except Deathly Hallows. I was wrong. I pre-booked and bought on the first day the hard copy of Wimpy kid – Hard Luck. I always claim the Deathly Hallows is the only book I bought first day, first read and even my son has not corrected me ever. It was only as I am writing this, that I am realizing that my statement is wrong. I think it is because my son-shine has moved on from being a Wimpy Kid and moved on to becoming a wizard. If you get my drift.
One day, he picked up Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone from my bookshelf. And read it. Then the second one. On to the third one. Didn’t stop till the seventh was done. He tried to get me to tell him about who Halfblood Prince is while reading the book. Or when Sirius would come back (he was sure it was a trick, and Sirius would magically reappear). I am proud that I didn’t reveal any spoilers to him.
I let him discover the magic on his own. We watched (and still watch, whenever we come across them while channel surfing, much to my husband’s chagrin) the Harry Potter movies together.
Our conversations have words like Muggles, Butterbeer, Dragons, etc. that do attract strange looks. My daughter (the younger one) is reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone now. I am not too happy about the fact that she has already watched the movie. But with the movies playing (and replaying) in the house, it was bound to happen.
You read books and love them. But rereading and reliving them with your children creates a special bond, between you and your kids… and between you and the books too!
Nimi Says: A mother of two, I am now rediscovering myself through blogging. I am a book lover and blogging has given a new vitality to my reading and writing. I blog at www.NimiArora.com