I owe my Harry Potter introduction to my little brother. One bored day (after I had re-read every single book in my dad’s bookcases – which I had done every time I visited for years) I desperately turned to the bookcases in my brother’s room. Lots of kids books, most of them once mine. Uncle Wiggly Long-ears, Disney fairy tales, Curious George… wait. What’s that? I eagerly lifted out a mammoth book, thinking it was a misplaced book of my father’s that I had missed. I mean, a kids book? That big? Naaah. I flipped it over. Oh. It was Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Of course I’d heard of Harry Potter. But I hadn’t read any of it. I mean, it was for kids. And I was an English major. One read literature or one did not read at all! (Funnily enough this snobbery *only* applied to fantasy. Anything else was fair game. But no one read fantasy. If you did you got banished from the Dostoevsky quoting “serious” writers in the English program.) Oh well, why not? I thought. I mean, I have nothing else to read.
Whoosh! I started it before bed and read that sucker all night. The next day I went to Target and picked up 1-3. And then I read them. I watched the films. I went to midnight book releases and film showings. I knit a Hatmione (which J. has stolen) and a House Scarf (which my brother now owns). I own a Time Turner. Yes, I’m an HP geek. And so is J. And my little brother. And a bazillion other people out there.
And now it is no more. HP7.2 is out. Done, dusted. I cannot imagine a world without Harry Potter. Without Hogwarts. Without that crazy mad love that everyone fell into with a magical world. Without people getting so cozy with books. Never mind that I’m far too old to care about a teenage wizard. Never mind that the sheer size of the enterprise is such that I feel I’ll never be able to write anything containing even a tiny bit of that level of awesome.
So for this new world full of wonder and wands, thank you, Mr Potter.
Pictures: Lacock Abbey, Divinity School in Oxford, Time Turner, Midnight Release of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.