Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Worlds of Wonder: Hogwarts

I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 1999, right when Chamber of Secrets came out in the US. (I didn't realize until I just looked that up that it's been eleven years since I first read it. I feel a little old now.) It was the only time I would ever read two of the books in succession. After that, there would be a year wait (and later, multiple year wait) between books, as Harry grew up with me, the exact same age as me until the first major pause between books.

I wouldn't say the books changed my life. I've been, since age five, a voracious reader, so they didn't turn me on to reading. By 1999, I'd already read (or had read to me) the Narnia books and Lord of the Rings, so they also didn't turn me on to fantasy. But they were good, and quick, and I loved them as much as everyone else. My only real problem with them has been that I read them all so quickly, and they were spaced so far apart, that I really don't remember anything about any of them, except for some key moments of the first one, most of which center around my wonder at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I suspect most children sort of dream of going to a fancy British boarding school with mysterious stairways and portraits and candlelit dinners and classes in magic, and I was wholeheartedly one of them. While the films (and Christchurch) did reproduce the school about as how I'd imagined it, I'd read so many of the books and had the image so set in my head by the time they came out that nothing has ever really affected my vision of it. I love that, because it feels so rare with all the media we have immediate access to now. And I love Hogwarts because it's so terribly detailed and accurate to my childhood fantasies. Maybe even to some of my current fantasies, as well.

3 comments:

  1. Like you, I loved reading books since early age. During summers, I used to glue myself to a chair or my bed reading all day long. I would go to bed with a book, wake up in the morning, pick it up and read until my mom forced me out of the bed. I must confess though, Harry Potters books have not made it my list of reading accomplishments.

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  2. The HP series has been on my to-read list for a while, I seriously need to get started on it. I'm glad I can read them all straight through though, when I finally go for it :)

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  3. The HP series has been on my to-read list for a while, I seriously need to get started on it. I'm glad I can read them all straight through though, when I finally go for it :)

    ReplyDelete