Yes, yes, I know. I vowed to write something each Wednesday and thus far I have been a smidge of a slacker. Well, yesterday was move-in day so the blog just had to wait. My sincerest apologies to all.
In other news, those of us who grew up alongside the fantastic fictional characters in the Harry Potter series were lighting a celebratory candle for Harry and J. K. Rowling’s birthdays on Tuesday. This series stands out to me in my “Why it’s Lovely to be Literate” series because my love affair with books truly began with Harry Potter. My aunt Cyndie lent me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and suggested that I give it a try and, from that first page, I was a goner.
Every once in a while, a book comes along that captivates readers in a way that is hard to describe. Even now, I am having a hard time truly expressing how formative this series was for me, as it undoubtedly must have been for many others. Up until that point, my reading was merely done for educational purposes and, like most pre-teens, recreational learning was not on my to-do list. Then this book came along and completely upturned my reality, showing me that reading was capable of being something I yearned to do instead of merely being something I tolerated. I get the impression that this shift in perception happened to readers across the globe. Rarely can a book bewitch (no pun intended, but still appreciated) readers of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Parents were equally enamored; perhaps because the books offered momentary solace and escape from everyday life and forced readers to picture a world beyond the average stretch of the imagination. Whatever the reason may have been, the entire world turned its gaze upon this series. Hannah and I were both intensely into them; I still remember the rush of excitement when I saw the Wal-Mart employees wheeling out crate after crate full of books ready to be handed out at midnight. I still remember Hannah telling me that she had stayed up all night and finished one of the books before the sunrise. I still remember thinking she was crazy but secretly being jealous that I hadn’t thought to do that as well. I am quite literally jealous of my younger self. I resent the fact that I can’t go back and read them again for the first time. Read and reread I will, until my dying day, but I will never again will it be like that very first time. I remember it being, for lack of a better word, magical.
So, we the literate, are able to fully understand the timeless value of those stories. Some people cheat and only watch the movies. Poo poo, I say to them. The movies were great but undeniably pale in comparison to the story when being told by your own imagination. Cheers to you, J. K. Thanks for writing the most influential series this generation will probably ever know. And Cheers to you, Harry. Happy Birthday to the boy who lived.