Old-school books

Reading to toddlers with real books seems to foster richer learning than does reading with e-readers or tablets.

Slow Reading

Wow. Last night I finished reading to my children the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series. What an odyssey – 3,407 pages in all. We must have started two years ago, and we read other books along the way, but Harry Potter was always there, a fellow traveller on this leg of their journey through childhood. When we started out, my daughter couldn’t read. Last night she was peering over my shoulder trying to see what was going to happen next with Lord Voldemort before I got there. Reading seems to me the ultimate act of slow. At a time when so much reading involves skimming bite-sized chunks, it is a relief and joy to tackle a very long work that repays the investment of time and attention so handsomely. I wouldn’t read Harry Potter to myself but I loved reading it to my kids. I hope the three of us will always remember those long hours spent huddled together on beds, in tents, in airplanes, by the beach, in forests, even in the car while stuck in traffic jams listening to the story unfold, slowly but surely. The question now is what big book to read next. My son is lobbying for the Hobbit and then Lord of the Rings. My daughter thinks there will be more princesses in the Narnia Chronicles. Any suggestions welcome…