Once upon a time, there was a little girl who never had to be encouraged to read. She read so much in fact, that many of the grown-ups around her spent a great deal of time trying to limit her reading. Being a true book fanatic, however, she cleverly avoided all their efforts, and kept reading everything she could get her hands on.
One day this girl looked up from her books and realized that she had become a grown-up herself. This was about the time she also discovered boys and decided they were at least as interesting as books. Naturally, this eventually led to getting married, which eventually led to having children of her own
Her children liked books, too, but not as much as the grown-up girl still did. They were much more inclined to go out and play with their friends. This was fine with the girl, who admitted that her parents and teachers were right and perhaps she did spend too much time reading (and she would do something about that, too. Tomorrow. Or next year. Once she finished her to-be-read pile, definitely.)
And then, one fateful day, her oldest child came home with a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from her school library.
The daughter had to renew the book once, but managed to finish it within two weeks. Greatly excited, she then brought home Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. That took a week and a half. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took another week. The Goblet of Fire took six days.
At this point, the grown-up girl was in a state of shock. Her reading-is-fun-but-bikes-are-more-fun daughter started reading as soon as she woke up in the morning. She was reading as she walked in the door after school. She sneaked staying up past her bedtime to read. The grown-up girl had even started talking with her husband about ways to limit their daughter's reading time so that she had enough time playing outside, which made him laugh until he couldn't breathe and ask, "She's your daughter, what did you expect?" Then he went around shaking his head and laughing every so often.
Today my daughter will be coming home from school with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At this pace she'll be done with the series in three more weeks. Which leads to my question:
What the heck do I give her, when she's done with Harry Potter, that will keep her this excited about reading?
Oh, and J.K. Rowling? I have a new appreciation for you. My hat is off.
Books: Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling