Recently I decided to reread the Harry Potter series. Although I have reread the first two books before this will be the first time I’ve reread the entire series. I’m excited about it. I’ve already pulled my beat up old paperback off the bookshelf and began. If you look over to the right at my Goodreads widget you can see I’m on The Sorcerer’s Stone but I’ll probably finish it today.
My reading has been dragging lately. Before I started this reread, I felt a burnout period was coming on. Despite that I’ve been reading good books, it’s taking me longer to finish them and I’ve found myself dreading picking them back up. I usually average two or three books a week but lately I’ve been lucky if I finish one. I’m guessing this burnout period is coming because for the past several weeks I’ve pushed past my reading average, reading book after book and staying up all night to finish each one. This was bound to happen. You can only do that for so long before you crash. With the impending burnout coming on making me sluggish, I’m surprised at how much these books have managed drawn me back in. I expected the magic to be gone or at least diminished. This is my third time reading this particular book and I’ve seen the movie probably a couple dozen times so I wasn’t exactly holding my breath hoping for a wonderful reading experience. I wasn’t expecting that until the later books. Although, I guess I was hoping that a little or I wouldn’t have started rereading them. I’ve found myself laughing and crying and remembering things I had forgotten. And it’s been wonderful. Reading Harry Potter is like reliving all the good parts of your childhood.
I’ve gotten some surprising reactions from people who’ve seen me carrying around my old paperback though. One of my younger cousins saw me with it. A boy barely a year older than Harry is in this book. He recognized the book immediately, of course. We discussed the books a little and he told me he’d stopped reading after the fourth book because all the movies were out. While it’s not exactly surprising that a kid would choose to just watch the movies instead of reading the books it is a little disappointing. I kind of wanted to shake him. This is Harry Potter! How did he not get swept up in the magic? I guess that’s just something that happens when you’re born during the Harry Potter years instead of growing up experiencing it like my generation did. I did get a negative reaction when a woman saw me reading and conversationally started to chat with me, stating how old my book looked. (We’ll just put aside the fact that talking to someone who’s reading is rude.) However, once I told her that it was Harry Potter she sneered at me and asked why I was reading that. That was really shocking. Who sneers at Harry Potter? I simply told her that I was rereading it because I want to and went back to my book. No need to explain myself to rude old ladies.
The Harry Potter series are arguably the most influential books of my generation. I grew up with him, Ron, and Hermione. I spent nearly half my life waiting for the next book or movie to come out. They brought millions of readers into a magical world where we could all be witches and wizards. We all waited on our Hogwarts letters. We were all seriously disappointed when they didn’t come but we had Harry Potter to carry us through that disappointment, so it was kind of okay. So, it strikes me as weird when someone says they never finished the books or they sneer when they find out I’m reading them. I can’t imagine not reading or not wanting to read a books that affected so many people. Plus, I like to think of Harry Potter as never really being over. I spend a lot of time on the internet and it never really seems to be done with him. Headcanons, gifs, and other people rereading are everywhere. J.K. Rowling released that short and everyone raced to read it. I think one of the fanfiction sites crashed because of it. It’s weird to find that it’s not that way in real life, since everyone on the internet does live in the real world.
I think it will be interesting to see people’s reactions and my own as I continue my reread. Maybe next time someone sneers I’ll ask them why. It might make for an interesting conversation. Or maybe I’ll just continue my reread and ignore the negativity.