Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I gave into temptation and joined the Harry Potter Read Along. I was jealous reading everyone's posts. I'm rereading them right before bed. It's a nice comforting way to end the day.

I thought I'd start by sharing how I first came to read Harry Potter. It was the fall of 1999. My mom's friend from work told her she had to read them and let her borrow them. My mom blew through them and convinced me to give them a try. I thought she was crazy. What high school senior wants to read kids' books? And seriously, something about a wizard? But since we swapped books often and she sang their praises so much, I gave him. Thank God I did! I fell in love immediately and gobbled up the first three books (all that were out at that time) in one weekend. We bought our own copies. I re-read them. I convinced my boyfriend at the time, who never read, to read them. I couldn't wait until the fourth one came out. That was the last quiet release of something Harry Potter related that I went to. I breezed into Walden Books during the middle of release day and picked one right up. But after that - Harry Potter mania hit the U.S.

I went to midnight releases for the next three books. I saw all the movies on their release date, most of them during midnight releases (the first couple didn't have midnight releases here, or at least I don't think they did). For the first one, I convinced my then boyfriend now husband to go even though he thought my obsession was odd. He caught on eventually and read all the books and we've gone to Harry Potter parties with friends together now.

So, what is it about Harry Potter? In rereading HP and the Sorcerer's Stone, I'm still struck by Rowling's ability to create this magical world and enthrall us with Harry's story. This is probably the 15th time I've read this novel. Yet it still captures my attention and draws me into this world. She does such a great job creating the world that you can't help but wish you had received your letter to Hogwarts when you were 11. :) I can't wait until I eventually get to visit the Harry Potter theme park at Universal in Florida and feel like I'm really there.

One sad thing about reading this time is that it's the first time I've read it without anticipating something - the next book or the next movie. I have nothing left to wonder about! It's a bit weird, after 13 years.The other slightly disappointing thing is that the books and movies have mingled in my mind, so as I read I picture the actors and scenes from the movies. This enhances in some ways and detracts in others. They did such a great job with casting that the actors were quite close to what I pictured, so that's not so bad, but sometimes it's a little sad to not use my own imagination as much. This changes a bit when I get to the later books, when the movies annoy me in some places. But we'll discuss that later. :)

I don't think I ever posted pictures from some of the Harry Potter related things Ryan and I did when we visited England last year, so I think I'll post about that soon. Until then, happy reading!

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