Realised I only had four of these left when I stopped blogging, so for the sake of completeness, I’m going to rattle through the last four!
Like most people who were ten or so in the mid to late 90s, I grew up reading Harry Potter. I remember distinctly the first time I read it. I’d been bought the first three books – the third a special hard cover edition with an engraved signature that must have been a special edition for when the book was first released. I’d never even heard of Harry Potter. I lived in a small village, where the school had less than 50 pupils, my year was me and three others. There were few big readers in the school. I think I was one of three or four who regularly took books out of the school library, and one of the others would have been my sister.
Being a big reader, I got bought a lot of books, particularly by my Godfather, who is much more hip and in the know about current trends than I’ll ever be, but particularly more so than I was at ten. I’m pretty sure that’s how old I was when he bought them for me, because I distinctly remember it being in our old house, and we moved when I was eleven. I also distinctly remember being unimpressed by the cover art, thinking it made the books look boring.
Then I probably ran out of other things to read, having made my way through all of the classics that were accessible to me at the time. I’d been bought a set of twenty or so for another birthday or Christmas. Probably also by my Godfather, but the details have blurred over time.
I read Harry Potter, and like most kids of that age, I was hooked. I adored the world, the magic, the plot twist (admitted the ‘haha! it wasn’t who you thought it was all along’ trope would get a little old in later books) and the idea that a Hogwarts letter might just show up for me when I turned eleven. It didn’t. I still loved Harry Potter.
When I was in secondary school – maybe year eight or nine – the films started coming out. They’re never as good as the books, but the adaption was pretty close to perfect. I loved the realisation of Hogwarts. I just couldn’t get enough of it.
So I wrote Harry Potter fan fiction. And that opened up a whole other range of interests for me – social, reading, writing.
By the time the seventh book came out, I’d fallen a little out of love with it. The later instalments were a little more unwieldy than the pithy first three books that had secured my adoration all those years before. The behemoth of a franchise that it was by then meant I had a little bit of Harry Potter burn out. I’d discovered new things, grown into new interests.
But a little bit of me is still a big Harry Potter nerd. I have a near encyclopaedic knowledge of books one through five and still crave a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in London. Like most children of the Harry Potter Generation, a little bit of my heart will always belong to JK Rowling.