Speed Reading Quandary

reading_ahead[1]Awhile ago, we showed NHL the first two Harry Potter movies.  After he was hooked, we made a deal that we would need to read the books before he saw any more of the movies.  I began reading the books to him starting with the first.  This was a treat for me as well as him as I had never read the books before (though I had seen all of the movies).

Slowly, we made our way through the first three books.  Then, as we read the fourth, NHL balked at watching the third film thinking he would be afraid of the werewolf.  Finally, he watched it and enjoyed it.

When we hit the fifth book, we faltered.  NHL didn’t seem to be enjoying them anymore.  He was having some problems with his teachers and, though they never tortured him the way Dolores Umbridge tortured Harry, I think the subject of a mean teacher hit too close to home.  We eventually picked it back up, though, and finished it.  He really enjoyed that movie as well.

Now, we are on the sixth book, but NHL is again slowing down.  I think part of the problem is that the books take their time in the beginning.  They set a lot of situations and characters up while the movies rush through these – or leave them out entirely.  Arguably, this makes the book better, but to NHL is means the book is a huge project to wade through while the movie can be over and done in an hour and a half.

To me, though, books hook me in.  I’m a bit of a speed reader, especially when it’s a book I like.  I was really liking Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  This was odd considering that this movie was my least favorite of the films.  The film made it look at though Harry didn’t really do anything.  He just kind of meandered his way through the film.  In the book, though, Harry is determined and focused.  Perhaps not always on what he should be focused on, but focused nonetheless.

I couldn’t take the slow pace so I forged ahead.  A couple of nights ago, I finished the book – having read about 490 pages in around four days.  I would have finished sooner, but I only had about an hour per day to read.

Now comes the quandary.  I would love to proceed on to the last book in the series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I want NHL to catch up with me.  If I go ahead, I’ll get hooked on the last book and won’t want to stop until I’m done.  Without me pressuring NHL to keep on, he might just drop the series.

One of the problems is that NHL was spoiled.  He was told about a certain major character’s death and he thinks this has ruined the book.  I reminded him, though, that there’s still much he doesn’t know.  He doesn’t know HOW the character dies.  He confidently told me that he figured that out and gave me his explanation – which was completely off.  Now that there’s some mystery left, he might want to read on.  I might even drop some non-spoiler hints about exciting story events to spur him on.  (e.g. "You’ll never believe it when SPOILER fixes the SPOILER and the SPOILER comes out to SPOILER SPOILER and SPOILER SPOILER!")

How quickly do you read when you really like a book?

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