22 days with Harry Potter

Over the past few years, I watched all the Harry Potter hype with a bit of amusement. My girls never got into the stories. They’re not the wizards and magic type. I’d roll my eyes at all the world going gaga over childrens’ stories. I knew bits & pieces of the plot, but for the most part I didn’t know my Horcruxes from my Hufflepuffs.

Three weeks ago, the day after Deathly Hallows came out, the girls and I were visiting friends when conversation turned to “the book.” My friend, who is around my age, was talking about how anxious she was to read Book 7 and how she had planned her Sunday around it. I revealed that I never read the books or saw the movies. Eric enjoyed the movies, but I never bothered. I mentioned that I did plan to read the books eventually since everyone was talking about them so much. My friend offered to lend me her copies of books 1 and 2.

Eric was out of town that night, so I started reading. They sucked me in. Completely and thoroughly. I read one book after another, often finishing a book and immediately picking up the next. One long, magnificent epic, with the storytelling maturing as the main characters were. I finished Deathly Hallows on Monday, 22 days after I started Sorcerer’s Stone. Remember, I have 2 jobs and a couple of kids taking up some time! My favorite book was a toss-up between Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows. I also managed to watch all 5 movies. Emily and I saw Order of the Phoenix Monday night. She still isn’t interested in the books, but she likes the movies well enough. I truly believe that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be reading these books and will consider them classics. I had no idea when I was reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe when I was around 12 that it was written nearly 20 years before I was born. It didn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter now that I fell in love with a childrens’ book series where I have more in common with Mrs. Weasley than I do with Hermoine.

(spoiler warning just in case I’m not the last person to have read all the books)

Now I’ll be joining the rest of the world rushing to see Half Blood Prince when it comes out next November. Of all the movies, I was most disappointed in Chamber of Secrets. You have to accept that a movie won’t have all the detail of the book, but Chamber felt soul-less compared to the book. All the texture was gone. Order of the Phoenix was better. I enjoyed most of the movies as long as my mind was able to fill in the gaps of what I knew was really happening from the book. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine the movies making any sense on their own, as so much was left out. I wonder how they’re going to deal with the plot points that were dropped when they get to film Deathly Hallows? Will Ron and Hermoine’s first real kiss be as entertaining without S.P.E.W.? And I’m a bit sad that Dobby won’t get a fitting visual funeral, since the character was dropped after the 3rd movie.

I know it won’t be long until I’m reading the series again.

My favorite quote, from Chamber of Secrets:

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.


One response to “22 days with Harry Potter”

  1. They really are great books. The movies aren’t as good but still the enjoyment from seeing the things you’d imagined is nice. I just finished reading Order of the Pheonix last night to the kids. We’ll be going to see the movie tonight. I had a rule in our house . . . we don’t see an HP movie until we read the HP book first. This was the first time we caught up with the movies — normally it’s been buying them on DVD to correspond wtih our finishing the book. Good stuff.

    As for me, I’ve lost track of how often I’ve re-read the series. I do know that I’ve read Hallows twice and will read it again. Good stuff!