Practically everyone knows the story of Harry Potter. In fact, it wasn’t until I got to college that I met people my own age who had never read a single Harry Potter book or watched any of the movies. For me and my childhood peers, Harry Potter was a constant presence. It had just never crossed my mind that there would be people growing up in the Harry Potter era that wouldn’t partake in a world as magical as the one J.K. Rowling had created.
Recently I have decided to reread the series due in part to my lackluster attempts at being a good little English major who spends her whole summer working her way through a long list of novels, but also because the series simply means so much to me. But before I look closer at each book and movie, I thought it would be a good idea to delve into just why Harry Potter is as important to me as it is. In a sense, I have decided to document and share my Harry Potter History.
My first introduction to the series was infact the movies, not the books. I went to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters when I was in first grade. Of course I was enthralled. I can’t think of a movie that has ever excited me as much as The Sorcerer’s Stone excited six-year-old-me.
I continued to watch the movies as they came out, but never read the books. My sister was an avid reader, but young Katie had quite a bit of difficulty in that area. In all honesty, I had to be taken out of the regular reading and language arts classes that my peers took in order to receive extra help and catch up when I was in elementary school.
By the time I entered junior high, I was all caught up and perfectly proficient when it came to reading comprehension. And as the Harry Potter movies fan that I was, I decided that it was time that I finally read the series. Oh boy. I devoured those babies. In no longer than two weeks, I had read all seven novels. They were simply magical.
From that point on, Harry Potter was not just a series of movies that I made sure I saw in theaters. They were my favorite books, my companions, and my catalyst. Harry Potter had awakened in me a thirst for stories that I do not believe will ever be fully quenched. I think that’s the real magic that Rowling created, not the spells she imagined for her characters to use, but the love of reading that she instilled in a generation. Had I never picked up Harry Potter, I may never have learned to love reading to the degree that I do. Without my love of reading, there is no way I would seriously be considering a major in English. In fact, I would probably be going to a different college, therefore having completely different experiences than those I am having now. My whole life would be different and probably not as good.
So thank you J. K. Rowling. Your books have meant the world to me.