Now don’t get me wrong, I read a lot. Like many other people, however, my reading has shifted from reading fiction to nonfiction, from nonfiction to research papers, from research papers to articles, from articles to blog posts. It has, in many ways, shifted away from reading for pure pleasure and more toward reading for work. Further, not only has the medium through which I am reading switched from paperback to digital, but I no longer have to seek out good material to read as Twitter and my RSS feeder deliver it to me daily. Finally, while reading used to be a solitary experience for me, it is now very much a public one as reading the comments, notes, and tweets of other readers is very much part of the process for me.
But, recent events have helped me return to my reading roots. In February, my family attended Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The newest attraction there is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After visiting, my son Ben starting reading the Harry Potter series and he asked me to join along. Since then, he has read the first two books and is diligently progressing through the third. I’m just about to start book 2.
But, I have to tell you, it has been great to get lost in a book again. To live virtually (Can I use that word if technology is not involved?) at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the past week has been thrilling. To live vicariously through the eyes of Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley has been, well… fun. Not having to worry about the deeper meaning of the words, how they relate to what my role is or to thinking in the back of my mind of how to share this with my PLN (although I am here) has been absolutely liberating. For 306 pages, I just read. And it felt great.
More importantly, however, is the experience I am having with my son. Reading these Harry Potter books is becoming a shared experience for us. We talk about the characters. He excitedly asks me where I am or whether or not I have gotten to a certain part of the book. He is eager to share what he is reading with me and he loves answering my questions when I get confused with which character is which. We are experiencing this journey together. One day I hope to share a similar experience with my daughters. Elisabeth, however, has already said she will not be reading those “Harry Potter books”.
I really hope I am not reading Twilight next.