Monday, July 11, 2011
Harry Harry Harry Hermione Ron
Well, it's the end.
Really, I can't quite get over it. I know, I'm not a 20-something who got their first Harry Potter read and it changed the way they felt about books... I'm a 40 something (heavy on the something) mom who discovered the JKRowling books in the ripe old era of her 30's.
My own mom regularly keeps up with the book section of the Washington Post. Back in the early 90s she read an article about a couple of books that had kids in the UK lining up around the block from every book store in town to get hold of. These books weren't yet the rage in the US. But, my daughter's birthday was coming up and the books sounded like just the thing my mom could get her for her birthday. My daughter was already a reader and these books sounded like just the thing.
We always celebrate my daughter's birthday at the beach when we're all in NC together (about 3 weeks AFTER her actual birthday - she has no complaints about this arrangement, even now at 21yrs). My mom gave my daughter the first TWO books in the series. At the time, no one I knew had even heard of them. My daughter went for a week's stay with my mom in MD after leaving the beach, so I brought all her bday presents back to PA. I was displaying all the gifts on my daughter's bed so she could re-live the birthday excitement when she got home. As I was putting all the items in a nice arrangement, I flipped open the first book in the series and read the book's synopsis inside the cover.
Soon after, I found I'd slipped down to a comfy spot on the floor just to peruse the first few pages of the story. My three younger sons were napping, so I decided I even had time to tackle the first chapter. The next thing I knew, my youngest son was tapping my leg and saying he was hungry and wanted dinner.
A few hours had passed. I'd let the kids have a really long nap and it was almost dinner time. I was so wrapped up in the book I couldn't put it down. I carried it down the stairs and pacified my kids with a snack. I kept reading. Soon, my husband came home. I kept reading, glancing over the top of the pages at him playing with the boys and secretly hoped he wouldn't ask me what was for dinner.
I can't remember exactly what dinner amounted to that night but I do know that I finished book one while sitting in the living room chair that evening.
Later that night after the kids were in bed, I snuck back to my daughters room, cracked open the fresh pages of book two and read until my husband had long since finished giving the boys their baths, reading them books and putting them boys to bed. When the book was done I couldn't get the vivid images of Hogwarts out of my head and I read voraciously through the back jacket searching for whether or not Rowling was indeed working on another volume of the story. The book stayed in my mind for days.
After my daughter read the first two books I recommended and loaned them to everyone, kids and moms alike. I ordered book 3 from the elementary school book fair and waited impatiently for my order to come in. When it finally did, I kept it under a pillow on the living room chair and secretly read it between the boys' nap time and the time my daughter got home from school. It was to be a Christmas present for her after all...only slightly dog-eared!
Since then, I've purchased every book in hard back and read them so fast I had to read them a second time to make sure I didn't pass up a detail (I never read books twice). I could read this entire series over however. Can I just say that I have never finished the final book? I have about 25 pages left. I couldn't bear for it to end. I said I'd finish it before the final movie was released but alas I haven't. Granted, I'll have to back track a bit, but I will finish it and I will see the movie in theater even if my now teenage boys won't go with me!
I love the Harry Potter books. I'm amazed by what the books did for the love of reading for an entire generation. My daughter will turn 22 on July 25th (two days after Daniel Radcliffe turns the same age). Now how's that for a coincidence?
And by the way, I love the movies too. I love them because when I watched the first one, it wasn't the typical feeling I get when I see a movie made from a book but because as I sat there, I and the folks all around me all turned to one another and said - WOW!!! everything is exactly like I had pictured it in my head. That alone says that JK Rowling could create a picture in words. She wrote something and we all saw the same picture that she imaged. How awesome is that.
I stumbled upon this post today of Harry Potter Treats. I didn't find it surprising that it was written by a 20-something. Hers is the generation that grew up with Harry Potter. I simply sat along side while the next generation read - and I followed along and enjoyed every minute of it.
The newspaper was filled with Harry Potter info this week in honor of the opening of the final movie. I love reading about the actors who played the parts. Other than the fact that I'd always pictured my own little wonderful red-headed actress-daughter as Ginny WeasleyJK Rowlings wonderful tales that will live in the hearts of young readers for generations to come.
So to all the other Harry Potter fans out there - I salute the end. And I look forward when I can read these stories to my grandchildren and create this magical world for another generation. By the way, no, there are no grandchildren on the way... my own kids are still in high school and college.
So three cheers for Gryffindor and all the other Hogwarts houses... and happy Quidditch to you all!