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Harry Potter and the Love of Re:Reading

Appreciating used copies of a favourite book series with tips for defeating the Dark Lord

By Leah Morrison

HarryPotter1Getting kids of all ages to love reading can be
difficult in this age of distractions. But Christopher Sheedy, owner of Re:Reading (548 Danforth Ave.) knows how to connect with every one of them. In his shop, not only will you find a well-stocked children’s section (practically unheard of in used bookstores) but also a young and helpful staff who are incredibly knowledgeable about books for kids and young adults. Sheedy himself does what he can to encourage reading among children.


“It’s about getting the parents excited for the kids to read,” he explains. Sheedy donates books to local schools for silent auctions and raffles, and is always ready to assist any child who comes into his store.

Sheedy stocks all kinds of books that would interest children and teens, but everyone, even adults, are drawn to his collection of Harry Potter novels. He has the most popular ones found in every shop with the recognizable animated covers, but he also has some beautiful first editions from England. They sit proudly behind a glass display case and boast a much higher price tag than his other copies.

As a pre-teen, I loved the Harry Potter novels; it was the first series of books that seemed to 20140109_104735grow with me as I aged. I still carry a love for these books, even now in my mid-twenties. Many adults missed the excitement when the first of the Harry Potter series was released in 1998 because they understood it as a children’s book. Yet these novels have made their mark on an entire generation, and encouraged more young people to read than any other series before it. Introducing your children to the world of Harry Potter can be an excellent way of getting them excited to read and to develop a love of it.

If you know about “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” then you know how much Harry struggled to defeat him. Here are some tips that he could’ve used sooner:


It’s always good to know what Voldemort’s plans are, even if you don’t really want to. Learn to relax your mind and channel his thoughts, only picking out important details that hint to his location and his course of action. The last thing you need is for the Dark Lord to pop out from behind a tree and yell ‘Surprise!’ If it looks like he is wandering abroad then make sure he is far enough away from you so your search of the Horcruxes won’t be disturbed. If he is planning an attack, then get your wand at the ready.

Location, location, location

Do your research and find out which places Voldemort has an emotional attachment to. Explore 20140109_104816his childhood, teen years, and any family he may have had. His ancestry has proved to be a point of pride for him and he relishes his roots and where he came from. By digging into his past, you will be able to single out a few choice spots that most likely house a Horcrux, making your journey a lot easier.

Bring reinforcements

Going after the most feared and dangerous dark wizard in history is not for the faint of heart. Though you may not think you need it, make sure you bring backup. A couple of friends should travel with you on your quest. Make sure your friends are of the loyal variety and will always return to your side, despite some enticing distractions. These chosen friends should be brave, adventurous, enjoy travelling into the unknown, and be willing to curse a few Death Eaters to help save the wizarding world.

Choose your weapon

There are only a few things that are capable of destroying Horcruxes. Make sure you have something that is more powerful than the Dark Magic in them, such as the sword of Gryffindor (which is impregnated with Basilisk venom) or a tooth from a Basilisk itself. Though the beast may be nothing but a skeleton, the venom is still present in its fangs. If you’re feeling confident, you could also learn to create Fiendfyre – cursed fire that takes the shape of animal predators and devours anything in its way. You’d best learn the counter-curse for it as well, as it can get out of control very easily.

Back to basics

The trick to defeating Voldemort is using spells that have served you well in the past. When fighting other wizards, wand allegiance is always something to keep in mind. Practice your disarming charm (“Expelliarmus”) in the off chance of winning a wand from another during a duel. If someone forces the wand back into his or her possession, it will show its loyalty to you by not functioning properly when it’s used to cast a spell at you. And who knows, you might even be able to track down the illusive Elder Wand in a duel and become its new master.


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