This week, I began to re-read Harry Potter for the last time before a movie comes out. It’s bittersweet, knowing that this is the last time I’ll do this. I’ll always re-read the books, of course, but I’ll never again be doing it with a purpose in mind. So many times I’ve re-read them to get ready for a book release or a movie release, but after this summer, that’ll all be over.
I’ve been keeping a journal of thoughts as I’ve done this. Perhaps that sounds a little overkill, but I can’t help it. These stories have been a dear part of my life for more than a decade. So here’s the first of my thoughts as I’ve been reading.
The first time I read Sorcerer’s Stone, I was thirteen-years-old. It was fall of 8th grade. My friends had badgered me for months to pick up the book and they’d finally worn me down. I sat at a table in our middle school library and started to read.
At the time, I couldn’t tell you what sucked me in. I’m still not entirely sure. Perhaps it was the idea of such an ordinary boy being something more. Perhaps it was the witty writing or the intriguing plot. Perhaps it was simply the magic.
Whatever it was, it hooked me. And not long after, it hooked my sister too when I insisted I read the books to her each night as she cleaned her hamster’s cage. Then it hooked other friends who came into my life. The stories were intoxicating.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I read this first book, or any of the others. I’m still just as invested as the first time. I know what happens, could probably quote the story verbatim, and can find any tiny detail in the book at the drop of a hat, but I’ll still stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading, like I’ve never read the book before. It will still nag the back of my mind as I do other things. When I’m reading it, even if it’s for the twentieth time, I still can’t put it down.
That is, I think, the true magic of Harry Potter–that the magic never seems to dissipate at all.