Reading Harry Potter

We’ve spent every evening for the last two months reading Harry Potter. You’d think we’d be finished by now, but we have a rule that when someone talks, we stop reading and go to sleep. It’s taking a while to get through the book. I obviously have two talkers.


When I told a friend of my rule, she was somewhat (slightly) appalled. After all, part of the joy of reading a story out loud is to discuss what we’ve just read and question what may happen next. I do understand that, but pre rule our readings went a little like this.

“Chapter 1.”

“How do you know it’s Chapter 1?

“Because it says so right here and that’s what happens when you start a book.”

“How many chapters are in the book?”

“Um, I’m not sure. Let’s find out as we read.”

“Do you think there are ten chapters?”

“I’m sure there is.”

“What about one hundred chapters? What about one million chapters?”

“There aren’t a hundred or million chapters.”

“Then how many are there?”

“There are seventeen chapters. Can I continue now?” I wait for their nods. “‘Mr. and Mrs. Dursely of number four Privet Drive-” 

“What’s a privet?”

“I don’t know. It’s the name of the street.”

“Can you look it up so we know what a privet is?”

And that is why we have our rule. And also why it’s taken us so long to get two thirds of the way through the book. I have no idea how teachers do it.

Do you have any rules for reading out loud at bedtime?