So, on Thursday or so, I thought I’d see if I could interest 9-year-old S in The Golden Compass by having him within earshot as I read the first few pages aloud to 4-year-old F.

Three days later, S couldn’t care less about the book, but F has had me keep right on reading — at the kitchen table, in the comfy chair in the living room, in the hammock with a couple of dog snouts moistening the pages. We’ve gotten through Chapter 6, albeit with several selected omissions that he knows nothing about. When I tucked him into bed tonight, he said, “I wish dæmons were real.”

Looks like I’ll be reading Pullman aloud — very, very carefully — for quite some time.