The Harry Potter books were a big part of my life. Here’s a look back at the impact that the Harry Potter books had on my life and the memories that I have made because of these books.
Being introduced to ‘Harry Potter’
I was in elementary school, 5th grade to be exact, when I was first introduced to Harry Potter. It was right around when Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book in the series, was released and I soon started to hear the name “Harry Potter” everywhere. I was the occasional reader back then but I never followed a series up to this point. I certainly didn’t fully understand why everyone was going crazy over these books at first. My one friend, Lauren, had the books and I noticed them in her bedroom during a sleepover. I was somewhat curious about them and she actually suggested that I borrow the first one, which was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was reluctant at first but she convinced me that I had to read it.
I opened the book and started reading it. It was different than what I normally read at that time. First of all the main character was a boy and up until then I usually had only picked books that had female main character. I was very intrigued with the story right away and soon found myself wanting to keep reading it until the end but it was a school night and I had to get ready for bed. I brought the book with me to school the next day and found myself trying to sneak a couple pages of reading in while the teacher wasn’t looking! It was crazy. It’s not uncommon to see kids hiding video games or cell phones from teachers and trying to use them, but here I was trying to hide a book and sneak a page or two of reading in while the teach wasn’t looking. I became consumed with it.
The start of an obsession
Why was this book so mesmerizing? I don’t have an answer. All I know is that once I got the book I couldn’t put it down. I quickly finished the first one and gave the book back to my friend. I told my parents about the book and luckily I ended up getting my own copy of book number 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was amazing. Just as good, if not better, than the first. I soon caught up to the newest release book number 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The same time that I finally got caught up in the series my teacher at school decided to have the whole class read book number 1. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t want to reread the first one because I had just started reading book number 3. In the end my class only read about 5 chapters of book number one because we all took turns reading allowed and many students had trouble with the names. It was interesting to hear the pronunciation of names because when I read it I imagined different pronunciations.
The 4th book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, came out next year. It came out about two months before my birthday which proved to be difficult as I asked for it for my birthday. When my birthday finally came I only wanted one thing, and I got it. Book number 4 was a birthday gift from my grandparents and it was the best birthday gift that year. I never really felt that I liked the books because they were becoming extremely popular. I liked the books because I liked the stories and characters. It provided an escape for me and made me feel good on the inside. For the next two books, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I had to get the books the day that they came out. I was in full obsession mode then and even collected newspaper clippings of stories that talked about the books. To this day I still have these clippings in a scrapbook.
Full obsession mode
The movies started to come out, and I was in full Harry Potter obsession mode. I tried the candies that were mentioned in the book, I bought Harry Potter stationary, I even bought a Hogwarts (the school in Harry Potter) uniform shirt. I was obsessed and couldn’t get enough of it. Who knew that a book series that I started reading in 5th grade would become this global phenomenon? I certainly didn’t see it coming and I just couldn’t get enough of it.
I related to the characters so much because I was the same age as them and was literally growing up beside them. The movies were alright but the books were so much more. The details within the books of the emotions that the characters felt during different situations were written so well that I would feel the same emotions as the characters while I was reading it. Heartbreak, sadness, joy, anger, confusion, and other emotions came off the page in such a way that I couldn’t put the book down. When I finished a book within the series sometimes I would start back up again trying to read more into different situations. I loved the back story and I liked how I could trace different characters’ family trees and find out who is really related to who. When things were revealed in later books I would then think back to earlier books and think to myself “that makes sense now!”. I enjoyed everything the books had to offer and I’m glad they became a huge part of my life.
All good things must come to an end
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 7th and final book in the series. I remember the release very well. I dressed up as the character Bellatrix Lestrange and went to the midnight release party at the Barnes and Nobles book store. It was easily one of the best nights of my life. I was surrounded with other Harry Potter fans and got the chance to participate in things that I had only read about in the books. I was happy to finally be able to know how the story ended but at the same time I was sad to know that it was indeed ending. Harry Potter was and still is a huge part of my life. After the books ended I became just as obsessed over the movies. The story just had so many life lessons that I could relate to and I fell in love with so many different characters. I’m not ashamed that as an adult now I still get excited over new Harry Potter things. I just think it’s a story that will be around for a long time. I think it will go down in history as a classic and is comparable to other great works such as the Chronicles of Narnia series and the Lord of the Rings series. I’m happy my friend told me that I had to read it because I don’t think my life would be the same if I didn’t borrow the first book so many years ago.