Today I went to see Harry Potter 7.2 for the second time.

I started reading the books when I was in high school, I think I had finished the first two in time for the third to come out so I didn’t have to really wait for one until Goblet of Fire. I bought Order of the Phoenix in Saskatchewan as I drove across the country for my first real job. For Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows I attended book launch parties at Tiggy Winkle’s in the Glebe at midnight.

I loved the books, I’ve read them several times. I love the movies, but I think they’re nothing without the books. And so today, while I was watching the movie with my mother and my sister, I was also unhappily listening to the family behind us. Two parents and three children that were some of the worst kind of movie patrons – talking, kicking seats, declaring their opinions on the next plot movements. My favourite part was when the mother told her kids to be quiet and then continue speaking her thoughts out loud.

It became clear that neither the children nor the parents had read the books.

I am more peeved by this than I reasonably should be. I can understand an adult choosing not to read the books, though I do think they’re missing out if they’re only seeing the movies. (Frankly, I can’t understand why someone who enjoys the movies would not read the books, which add so much to the movies, but anyway). I cannot for the life of me understand why any parent would introduce these characters to their children without reading them the books.

I was raised on books – they were a constant in my life – and I think I owe a lot to my love of reading, which is why I am passing my books on to my daughter. I plan on reading Harry Potter with her, and I tell Joe that he’ll have to read them or else he won’t be able to follow any conversations with her for a good part of her childhood.

She already has a love of books, she pulls them off her shelves and flips through them, brings them to us and asks us to read to her. She will have good language skills and a wide vocabulary, she will have a wonderful imagination and she will always have something to occupy her time.

Why would you not want to give your child that gift? Why would you miss a great opportunity like the Harry Potter series?

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