So I’m facing a little dilemma here, and a little unsure about what to do. My younger son discovered the Harry Potter books in the fall, and devoured the first 2 very quickly. Then came Christmas, and his birthday, and although he was still only on book 3, we decided to buy him all 7 books.

He excitedly finished The Prisoner of Azkaban, and got stuck into Book 4, The Goblet of Fire. Now, I find him literally ‘stuck’. For the last few weeks, he’s been rather unenthusiastic about his bedtime reading. Oftentimes when I’d go into the boys’ room, I’d find older brother reading, and younger one messing around. Coloring, playing with various gadgets, cuddling the dog. Anything but reading.

When I’d ask him why, he’d vaguely answer “I’m just tired tonight, Mummy”. I don’t normally force the issue. But after a few weeks, I finally asked him last night if he was having trouble with his Harry Potter. I could see he felt bad saying so, but he admitted he had lost interest a bit, and just wasn’t that into it anymore. He stared guiltily at the 3 remaining books in the series, sitting waiting on his bookshelf.

My husband and I have a very strong ‘work ethic’, and have been teaching our kids that you finish what you start. But should that apply to finishing books, too? I wonder.

How many times have I started a book, only to decide after a few pages that it wasn’t for me. Do I force myself to finish? Rarely, unless I have a particular reason for doing so.

The last thing I want to do is get him discouraged about his reading. But at the same time, one of our challenges with him is that he’ll frequently give up on something if he’s finding it too hard. This includes games with his brother when he starts to lose. I want him to understand the importance of finishing something even if it isn’t always fun. Giving up is just too easy. But should this apply to reading?

What are your thoughts? My instinct tells me to just go to the library and grab a bunch of new books for him to try rather than forcing the Harry Potters on him. I basically want him reading, and there are enough opportunities to teach those valuable life lessons elsewhere (as in, not quitting the ball hockey game with his brother the second he gets scored on!!!!! Arrrgh!!!!)

I’ll just choose something from my Best Books for Boys list (shameless self-promotion), and hope something tickles his fancy. Unless I get overwhelmed with comments (shameless invitation to comment!!!) from you telling me to re-think my strategy.

Happy Reading!