you just can’t stop at one


“Aug 13 Finished reading Harry Potter⚡️ ❤️

Like millions of people my age, Harry Potter is the story that defines my childhood. I have memories of my mom reading the first two books to us on the couch (that was before we knew how to pronounce Harry’s friend’s name, and we called her Her-me-OH-knee). Then, waiting anxiously every year for the new book’s release. Then, lining up for hours to see the midnight premieres of the films on the giant screen at the historic Uptown Theatre in Cleveland Park. We grew up with Harry and he grew up with us.

Whenever I want to easily fall into a book, I see those magical volumes smiling at me from the shelf. And once I get started….well, I can’t just stop at one.

Last May, I rode down to Charlottesville to visit college friends who were working there over the summer. My main goals for my first visit back since graduation were obviously food related: a Bodo’s Bagel and a Take It Away Sandwich. After that…I was pretty game for anything. Maybe we would go out for a hike, visit a winery, picnic on the Lawn.

Instead, we hardly left the room my two friends were sharing, all because of Harry Potter. Partially as a joke, I grabbed the Sorcerer’s Stone from Kristina’s shelf and started reading.

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” 

I kept reading, waiting for someone to stop me. Pages kept turning and by the time I reached the end of that first chapter, I had a rapt audience.

“He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: ‘To Harry Potter — the boy who lived!'”

I wiped the tears from my eyes (seriously that first chapter is more emotional than I remembered!), and passed the book to Laura.

Of course, being a group of drama majors who love the sounds of their own voices, we kept reading for hours. The air conditioning in the room was broken, and as we burrowed under huge piles of blankets to keep from freezing, the story filled the room. Laura attempted some various British accents but none of them were very good. So she settled on reading all the dialogue in a Southern accent instead. Hagrid’s gruff accent became a hillbilly country accent. Draco Malfoy spoke with a Blanche DuBois draaawwwllll. Please, try this next time you read Harry Potter, because it is an EXTREMELY hilarious experience.

On my bus ride home, I pulled up the Sorcerer’s Stone on my kindle and flipped to Chapter 6 where we had left off. Over the next two months, I finished the first book and made my way through the six sequels for the umpteenth time, finally finishing on August 13. Like I said, I can’t just stop at one!! ❂



Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.

7 thoughts on “you just can’t stop at one

  1. I love this! Also, I just love reading stories aloud and having stories read to me. I didn’t grow up with Harry Potter, but I couldn’t resist reading the series. I did, however, resist reading the final two books for YEARS. Not sure why. Then, when I finally decided to read Half-Blood Prince, I had to go back and read the first five over again so I’d be sure to know everything that was going on. I don’t think I’ll ever be a read-all-seven-over-and-over-and-over again person, but I can imagine reading them through at least one more time. You’re right about how easy it is to fall into them!


  2. I was right there with your Mom, reading all the Harry Potter’s just before my kids. I think if you are a reader (and a drama queen to boot!) you cannot help but love these books at any age. Love your story about reading aloud in southern accents – hilarious! 🙂


  3. I can still recall when I was teaching Sean Murphy in K, his mom asking at a parent conference what I’d heard about this book that was getting lots of attention in England – Harry Potter. But I hadn’t heard of it so told her I would be on the lookout for it. You would have been in Pre-K that year…and the rest is history!! So loved how we all grew up with Harry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was a kid, I used to read aloud to our dog. She might have been humoring me, but she seemed to enjoy it.

    I didn’t read the Harry Potter books until the series was finished so I don’t really have that childhood connection with them, but I did grow up with Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, which I’ve read about seventy billion times. In fact I may or may not currently be on my second of two back-to-back readings of the whole series after the latest book came out in February…

    Books are such a wonderful gift to the world.


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