Let’s be real, I don’t think anyone needs a book review of the Harry Potter series. Most people have either read the books or seen the movies at this point and a review would really be a bit pointless. So instead I thought I would just write about why these books have held special spot in my heart for so long.
I still remember the first time I was introduced the the Harry Potter books. My family owns a cabin on Donner Lake (near Lake Tahoe) in California. One winter when I was probably 8 or 9, all of us were up at the cabin for a fun ski weekend. It was cold and the days were exhausting, but nonetheless fun because the whole family was together spending time together. Whenever the family was together when we were kids, one of my uncles or aunts would read a book or part of a book to us each night. As we got older, so did the books. And while it started feeling silly as we got older, it was still oddly comforting.
It was on this trip that I first heard about the wonderful, wizarding world of Harry Potter. If you were to ask me know which book it was, it couldn’t tell you other than it was one of the first couple books. But what I can remember is how mesmerized I was by this wonderful world that was being created in my mind. I have always been a bit of a dreamer, coming up with a million wonderful scenarios that could happen, but this was so much better than I had ever dreamed of before.
Eventually I read the first five books on my own and was just as mesmerized as I had been the first time I heard it. I then anxiously waited for the sixth and seventh books to come out. Picking them up the first day they were released and reading them in a matter of days, staying up as late as I could reading those pages.
I think I have read the full series four times at this point. It is interesting to me the different details that have stood out upon each re-read. The first time around you are just so mesmerized and all of the new details are exciting and fun. The second time I had read them, most of the movies had been released and I would analyze the details of the movies versus the books. The fourth time was an escape from stressful college days. And now, as an adult with a home and a family, I can’t help but understand the adults in the books just as much as the children.
While the Harry Potter books may be viewed as children or young adult books, they really transcend all ages. Anyone can pick them up and relate to a character or learn from another character. Most of all, the books offer an escape. While there are serious topics that are discussed, that mimic history in a lot of ways, there is still this beautiful magical world that is being created around you. A world that seems so unlikely, while at the same time feeling so familiar.
For me, the books are comforting. A reminder of a mostly happy childhood filled with wonderful people. They are something that bring back happy memories that I cherish more than most things. I will be forever grateful for this beautiful little series. What is your Harry Potter series? Until next time, friends… CML