I got in on the Harry Potter phenomenon late-I read all the books in a month before the sixth book released. And you all have Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan to thank for that because he told me to read them. I had actually started reading book one aloud with my brother a couple of years before, but we stopped reading because I had to back to school and we just never caught back up. But after I read them, I immediately called my mom and told her she had to read them with my siblings!
I didn't really hear much about Harry Potter until I was in college (and yes, it makes me feel old when my teens say they grew up reading Harry Potter), and while I had friends that read them, I was very busy and not reading as much (this is also before I really re-discovered YA). I was still in that "I'm an adult I must read fancy adult books" phase, so children's and YA wasn't on my radar. But then a few years later, enter Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan who told me to read them. I was also volunteering at the Adler Planetarium and they mentioned how there were many tie-ins to the series in the constellations, so I decided to check the books out. I was getting fed up with my boring adult reading diet, so I welcomed the idea of something new.
I gobbled up the books! I read books 1-5 in a month and finished book five just a day before the sixth book released. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I went to Borders for the midnight release, rushed back and read our copies. We weren't officially dating at the time and we credit Harry Potter as one of the things that really brought us together.
Why do I love the books?
-They reintroduced me to children's and YA lit. Once I started reading Harry Potter, I couldn't stop there. I checked out other children's and YA books. I already had the idea that I wanted to be a librarian, but reading Harry Potter helped further that idea along and introduced me to the genres I loved the read-and the perfect job-tween and teen librarian.
-The stories are inventive and magical. The writing is so fantastic and the details of the magical world J.K. Rowling has created continue to amaze me-even when I re-read the books.
-There's always something new each time I re-read one of the books. There's new hints or details I didn't notice before. Like in book seven, she has characters mention to Hermione things about Magical Law. It's little things like that I appreciate with each reading.
-My all time favorite moment of reading the Harry Potter series came in book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. All throughout the book she has you thinking Sirius Black is a killer and betrayed Harry's parents. The moment Harry learns the truth is when we figure out what really happened. When Harry believes the truth, we as the reader change our mind and believe too-and that is a powerful moment as a reader.
-They can be enjoyed by all ages. I love that I was able to share this series with my family and friends. I was able to get friends who didn't think they were readers, let alone readers of children's and YA books, to read the Harry Potter Series. The fact that we can discuss each book and movie is something I love and hold dear. I look forward to sharing the books with my niece and maybe my own children someday.
Sadly, I think there's still a stigma surrounding the Harry Potter series. I have several friends who still haven't read them-they think they can just see the movies instead. (So wrong and every time they say it's like stabbing me in my librarian heart!) And there's the fact that the fandom has taken off and it's seen as somewhat "nerdy." But I try to explain that they just need to try to read them. If you can't seem to read them, try them on audio-Jim Dale is a fantastic narrator. The funny thing is, these aren't people who will shy away from reading YA-there's just something about Harry Potter that makes them turn up their noses. But I'm still working on them-I'll get these non-readers to read Harry Potter someday!!
So why do you love the Harry Potter series? When did you become a fan? Any favorite moments or books? And if you haven't read them yet, seriously why not???:) (And don't think you can just see the movies-that's so wrong and you're really missing out!) And who's going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One?? I can't wait!