Friday, July 15, 2011

We Love You Harry Potter

When I was ten years old, my grandmother and aunt took me to a bookstore. My family always encouraged my voracious reading, and I frequently manipulated that encouragement into free books. As we walked up and down the ailse of a Borders, we came to a pile of Harry Potter books on display. At this point, only the first two had come out, but were already beginning to gain traction in popular culture. A few of my friends had read and praised the books, but I had not interest in reading them. Not because I didn't think I'd like them (I'd always loved fantasy), but because I didn't like to read things just because "everyone else is doing it." (Which is exactly what my aunt and grandmother said to me.)

They forced me to get the books. My aunt had said. (Coincidentally, it was my father--the son and brother to my grandma and aunt--who "forced" me to read The Hobbit, one of my all-time favorite books).

Not to be one to let books go to waste, even if I didn't want to read them, I decided to give this Potter guy a try.

I devoured those books in two days.

When the third book was due to be released not too long after, I pre-ordered it through Amazon.

I coveted the moment the local library recieved an early shipment of the the fourth book and book to sneak a peak early (Mrs. Jackson was the best librarian ever).

One of my best friends in high school got a copy of the fifth book before me and I had her read the first couple of chapters to me over the phone.

The sixth book nearly got me fired from my summer job because I wouldn't stop reading it.

The seventh book was the only thing that kept my mother from killing her 19-year-old college student who came home for the weekend to tell her she was pregnant.

In between all these book releases, there were the movies, too. And for all my complaints about the movies (a lover of a book will always, I think, have a hard time watching the film version), I loved those as well.

And throughout all of this, I've been listening to the books on tape every night as I fall asleep, even after I moved in with my husband (much to his chagrin).

For over half my life, Harry Potter and his friends and his world have been a part of my life and I have made them a part of my world. I have revisted the books through reading, listening, and watching hundreds and hundreds of times. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have been there for me through thick and thin, have grown up with me (truly), and have provided endless entertainment in reading and playing.

I went to the midnight showing of the last movie last night (loved it!) and could not find a better way to describe my feelings than as a friend of mine (the one who read the opening chapters of the fifth book to me over the phone) put it: "I laughed. I cried. And now it's over. And I could say, so is my childhood. But personally, I plan on remaining a bit of a child forever. Which of course means that when I have kids someday I get to re-live the whole thing with just as much enthusiasm :-)"

These are my sentiments almost to a tee, other than I already have a kiddo running around, but I am already so looking forward to when she's old enough (8? 9?) for me to beginning reading the books to her, and experiencing Harry's world once more though her eyes.

Thank you, Harry, for everything you've done for me.


Devan @ Accustomed Chaos said...

my sister is so in love with Harry Potter - well, i guess a lot of people are :)

so glad you enjoyed the movie last night! i know a lot of people were rooting for the film.

Kirsten said...

Harry is worthy of all the love, haha. And the move was great! Thanks for commenting!

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