Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1998. I was 11 years old, turning 12 in July, when Harry Potter was unleashed into the world. Harry and I have a few things in common, at least back then. Many of the books were released near my birthday (Harry is a July baby too!) and while he was, say, 13 years old in book 3- I was 13 years old and reading book 3. Plus we both wear glasses. The point is that Harry Potter has been an important part of my life and a character I could relate to for years and yes, I grew up with him.

So rereading the first book now, 5 months shy of my 25th birthday, served as a trip down memory lane. I could recall how magical my first dive into Harry Potter had been. Middle School was not a pleasant experience for me. I mentioned this before that anything that allowed me to escape the real world I held near and dear. Unfortunately with all Harry Potter books the escape lasted only a day. I was one of those people who picked up the book the morning of the release and would finish it by bedtime.

This time around I took my time and read it little by little. It wasn't the hunger to devour a story, it was the appreciation of the writing and plot. Maybe I have begun to grow patience with age... no, that's a complete lie. Rowling began the book simply enough. She wrote the information needed to get a clear understanding of who Harry Potter, the boy, is and also to understand the life he has lived thus far. The words are simple, there isn't much excitement or many dramatic twists, but it captures the readers attention and urges you forward. It's after that the reader is quickly set off running, chasing after Harry and his friends to experience every mystery and surprise with him.

What I so loved about the book as a child, and what I still enjoyed, was that Rowling created a world that was believable. And you, the reader, discovered everything along with Harry. As the reader you did not have an omniscient position and that made it all the more exciting.

The hard cover book with the colorful book jacket, the pages that would stay open, the book has been loved repeatedly. Placing the book back on the shelf, next to my other Harry Potter books, I suspect I'll reread the series. I also feel I'll read the books to my children. They are magical and otherworldly and yet deal with the struggles of all young adults. Surely when the final movie is released I'll be very sad however I'll still have the books and childhood memories with my attachment to them.

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