I remember when the Harry Potter series first came out; I was in the third grade, almost eight years old (I was always the youngest in my class), and my teacher at the time used the first book during one of her “story time” sessions. I remember listening to her reading it and being wrapped up in the idea of a magic school. It was exactly where I wanted to be.
I eventually read The Sorcerer’s Stone on my own, and then went about devouring the next three books. By the time I got through Goblet of Fire, however, I was in a transitional period in my young reading life and I was less than excited for the release of Order of the Phoenix. My best friend loved the series and so I let her excitement spur me into attempting the fifth book; it wasn’t her fault the experience didn’t pan out for me.
I decided that I was done reading “the same book” over and over again: go to school, bad shit happens, Harry saves the day. Books 1-7. I was far more interested in reading my Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance or other big series that I could get my greedy hands on. I read so many books back in those days that it’s difficult to remember all the stories. They kind of swirl around in my head, creating one big amalgam of ideas and characters that has, I have no doubt, led to my own desire to write and the idea that go along with it.
But I’m getting off track: I remember when Harry Potter first hit the shelves, I remember liking it at first and then losing interest, and I remember feeling a bit out of place when it came to discussing books with my friends.
A few months ago, I decided to give the whole thing another go. I went out and gathered the books (all seven of the original series, anyway) and started tearing through them. Last night, I finally finished the seventh one. There’s not a lot I can say that hasn’t already been said, because Rowling created a magnificent world and engaging characters that maybe sometimes get a little old, but never for too long.
It was a wonderful experience. I regret not completing the journey as a kid, but perhaps that was the way it was meant to be. Perhaps I am better able to appreciate the story now, after years of life experiences.
Whatever. Damn good series. High recommend. Much read.