Like most of you, the things I used to consider “fun” or “enjoyable” radically changed in mid-May. Activities I had always enjoyed in the past suddenly seemed either not so awesome or simply not available. Good-bye, hockey. Concerts. Parties. Restaurants. Travel. Haircuts. Oil changes. Ok, I’ll stop. This is getting depressing.
But even what we were allowed to do took on different feelings and I found that things I could do safely from home still didn’t appeal to me or rescue me from the quarantine funk I felt myself slipping into.
Reading was one of those things.
Usually an avid reader, these past months I’ve found it hard to concentrate on anything longer than the ingredient label of the hand sanitizer bottle. I couldn’t face an unhappy ending or even conflict between fictional characters because, no. Real life has enough conflict as it was. The plot had to be completely linear with zero surprises, and if it was non-fiction? Well, that certainly was not going to be a non-starter. These parameters sort of limited reading choices.
At some point I realized being deprived of art and literature certainly wasn’t healthy either; and the advice that I gave my children about exercising their mind, body and spirit a little every day during the Dark Ages wasn’t being practiced if I only yelled at Chopped contestants all day about the improper use of sea beans and gummy bear confit. So Louise and I decided to mix things up and end our reign as the Only Two Literate People You Know Personally On The Planet Earth Not To Have Read Harry Potter.* Welcome, pop culture reference enlightenment from the 90’s.
Not only were we thoroughly entertained for months as we read voraciously through the seven volumes, but our creative appetites were whetted and our imaginations opened like the portrait of the Fat Lady at the Gryffindor dormitories. Like a portkey at the Quidditch World Cup. Like platform 9 3/4 on September 1st. Like your hand when slapping me to get me to stop talking about Harry Potter as a full-grown ass adult 25 years after it’s release.
But since our time in Hogsmeade, the joy and love of reading have returned to pre-pandemic levels and although I still prefer an assured Happy Ending, I can be a little more adventurous on how to get there.
What are you reading?
10 points for Gryffindor.
*Butch and Sundance now earn this title and will probably hold it for eternity after listening to us drone on like Hagrid giving a soliloquy on Norwegian Ridgeback dragons or something.