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Today is Harry Potter Day. That’s right. May 2nd is the official day that Potter heads, like myself, revel in our obsession with a magical world of a boy who lived and a villain who must not be named.
This post has been a looooooong time coming. I’ve tried to write it many times before, but always stopped half-way through because I felt I couldn’t fully capture what I was trying to say – why I love the Harry Potter series.
I’ve written reviews of the Harry Potter books, depicting my love of the wizarding world and admiration for J.K. Rowling’s ability to suck in readers of all ages. By including humor, heart, and details that inspired the imagination, she ignited a reading movement that invited readers of all ages to relate to.
But, my reviews kinda felt pointless, honestly. There are TONS of reviews on Harry Potter. Why was I going to add another drop to the ocean?
I enjoyed the film adaptations in their own right – they can’t cover all the juicily dripping details that go along with each character’s backstories, but I still enjoyed them all. I remember feeling goosebumps at Harry’s realization that magic was real; jumping in my seat when I finally got to see a real quidditch match (ahem, on film), and crying at the bitter-sweet connection of a boy and his dead parents. The movies were the closest I could come to feeling that the story and characters were real.
So, I thought of writing a comparison between the movies and the books, but I know that’s been done before by zillions of critics. There’s nothing wrong with adding my opinion to the mix, or for anyone else, but I push myself a little further. What can I say? I’m a writer who is very critical of her own work and purpose.
When I listened to the Harry Potter series on audio book, I found yet another way to enjoy the series. It was like discovering the books all over again. With the narration by Jim Dale, whose perfectly fitted and designated voices for each character entranced my attention, it felt like I traveled back in time. Being read to, I was a kid again, listening intently as I lay stomach on the carpet, chin in hands, imagining a world where magic was everyday, and best friends were loyal, fighting evil together.
Read Audio Bookworm: How Audio Books Saved Me
After listening to the entire series, I took a moment to think back on the various ways I’ve enjoyed this series and I realized that my bar for a great book was set high by J.K. Rowling.
For anyone who follows my GoodReads account, you’ll find that the majority of my ratings fall in the 3 and 4 star rating. I like varying genres and can appreciate the different styles of each author. However, that doesn’t mean I am going to LOVE everything I read.
In over 360 books that I have currently rated, less than 20 have 5-star ratings.
Does that make me harsh? I doubt it since I give a ton of 4-star ratings.
My 5 stars are reserved for the books I love. If I love it, I’ll read it again. If I finish a book satisfied, but think, “Once was enough,” then 4 stars is all it’s worth to me.
There are too many books out there to read, and my time is very limited and precious to me as I juggle motherhood, a full-time job, blogging, and novel writing. So, I have to REALLY be enveloped in a book that speaks to my heart, my sense of humor, my creative writing interests, and above all, transport me to a different world that makes me want to plunge into the pages and walk among the characters.
I’ve read the whole Harry Potter series of books twice. I can’t count how many times I’ve watched the movies. I’ve listened to the audio books with gusto. And, I’ve slowly begun to embark on introducing my daughter to the illustrated books.
Obsessed much? Mmm, nah.
I still haven’t been to the Wizarding World in Florida (GASP!). I only recently purchased my first wand, and I don’t even have a scarf or article of clothing from Harry Potter, and I have never dressed up with a cloak to any Harry Potter event or attended any such gatherings.
And yet, I am a Potter Head. Because I appreciate the Harry Potter books for its sole purpose – to provide an entertaining story. I have an entire shelf among my books designated to the boy who lived, which will probably spill into a second at some point.
As big of a fan as I am, even I know that the Harry Potter series isn’t perfect. No book is (in my personal opinion). I have found my own flaws with the books that still irk.
Like the way Rowling describes death scenes. When Sirius Black died, I was unsure whether it happened and felt so frustrated that I couldn’t even cry until I read Harry’s reaction in later chapters. Same with Dumbledore. We’re in a magical world, so no one can die… right? Hence my confusion at her anticlimactic description of demise.
I’m not a fan of the way Rowling drags on certain revealing scenes, either. Readers are left in suspense and confusion, wondering what’s going on, like in the Shrieking Shack when we couldn’t figure whether to trust Professor Lupin or Sirius Black because the characters wouldn’t spit out the information already. Even the second and third time of reading/listening to those scene, I was still irritated with the unnecessarily prolonged suspense.
Nonetheless, I’m still a big fan of J.K. Rowling’s style and technique. This is why I read and reread her work. To learn why and what makes her stories so addicting and endearing to so many generations.
Isn’t that why writers are supposed to read? To learn from the classics? To learn how to, hopefully, create our own classics?
And yes, Harry Potter is now considered a classic. The fact that some literature courses list them as assigned reading is proof of that, in my humble opinion.
But, what do I know? I’m just a Potter Head.
Happy Harry Potter Day!
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