Just One More Chapter: Ten Things to Avoid in Order to Read More “Harry Potter”

I think everyone is excited to leave 2020 behind and say hello to a new year. A new year, a new chapter of this decade, all good things that tell me that I should do a Harry Potter re-read. Reexperiencing the magic of that series, rediscovering little gems of humor or special moments reminds me of why I love this series so much. Amid all the craziness that a new year inevitably brings, let me tell you all the things you can avoid in order to read just one more chapter. Let’s go.



1. Avoid reading new books.

Who needs to read new books when you can re-read old ones? At this point in my life, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Harry Potter, but I’m still always ready to read it all over again. Meanwhile, a big stack of books sits on my bookcase – the ones that I’ve never gotten around to reading. But should that stop me? Absolutely not. Chapter 2, Sorcerer’s Stone  – here we go.


2. Avoid new hobbies: Reading is the best hobby of them all.

The new year often comes with New Year’s resolutions. And that means new or old hobbies that we want to try or revisit. That’s an admirable goal, and there can be real benefits from doing that – like being more creative or finding a fun way to get in more exercise. But do you know what else is a valuable hobby? Reading, of course. And speaking of reading, chapter 5, “Diagon Alley,” is one of my all-time favorites. Let’s read that.


3. Avoid studying with the power of procrastination.

Procrastination can be a chronic problem for many people. It stops you from being productive, it makes you feel bad about the way you study, blah blah blah. Reading is good for your brain, and if you manage to read a book in a day, can’t you say you’ve been productive? We’ll see. Just one more chapter, and I’ll get back to that assignment. I need a break from my break anyway.


Three screenshots from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone are arranged vertically. Hermione says she took out a huge book for a bit of light reading, to which Ron asks "this is light?" and earns a scolding look from her.


4. Adapt to exercise – reading poses are yoga.

We’re getting in deep here. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban just flew by, and we’re getting into the hefty ones. Everyone needs exercise, but as long as I’m reading a heavy book, can I call that strength training? What about some bed yoga? If I just readjust myself… Yup, I can feel those calories burning away. And I can still fit in another chapter.


Reading Yoga Poses


5. Reading is meditation.

Clearing your mind and being relaxed and focused can help keep you calm and productive and improve your mental health. Well, if I keep focused on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and stay super relaxed on my bed, does that count as meditation? What about if we stay like that for an hour or so? Wow, this meditation is amazing. And I can read another chapter.


6. Avoid washing clothes… Make new ones instead.

Laundry is a hassle. So why not do some DIY and make do with your surroundings? I hear that sheet togas are all the rage this year. No? Well, I don’t have to go anywhere – I’ve got another chapter to read. I’ve reached the end of Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix? Well, there’s always more in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.



7. Cooking food is too dangerous… for my book.

I love food – don’t get me wrong. And the new year is a great time to reassess diets, try some new recipes, and liven up the kitchen. But you know what else is in the kitchen? Water that might splash on my pages, mess and spills, gas flames that – heaven forbid – might burn my book! I think it’s safer if I just stay away from the kitchen and order food instead. Maybe I’ll do some meal prep after the next chapter.


Caption Contest, Week of December 19, 2004


8. Sneaky reading breaks at work.

At some point, you may have to go to work. And although this is a tricky environment to navigate, you can, potentially, sneak in a few more chapters here as well. If you work in an office environment or from home, it’s a lot easier – grab an ebook version and just continue right along. Everyone gets that blank stare look on Zoom meetings, don’t they?


9. Be social… with fictional characters.

Humans are social creatures – it’s true. But what about all my friends in here? The Harry Potter series has given us all so many characters to relate to and cherish. Re-reading Harry Potter is like catching up with old friends. So I’m sorry, but I simply can’t go out tonight. I’m extremely busy… There are only a couple more chapters, and then I’ll be on to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.



10. The sleep struggle.

Sleep is a bookworm’s greatest adversary. Reading before bed can be such a nice way to wind down for the evening, get away from all that technology and blue light, and really settle your mind. But what happens when the reading takes over? Just one more chapter, just one more chapter, just one more…



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Emily Lawrence

I was first handed my mum’s copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on my eighth birthday, and I’ve never looked back. As a proud Hufflepuff and part of the Australian-Weasley branch, I hope to one-day walk in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling and write my own magical stories. No matter where life takes me, Harry Potter will always be home.

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