2019: The Year of Harry Potter
As an avid reader, I can be a bit of snob when it comes to books. I tend to avoid books that have been hyped up, especially YA Fantasy. I prefer to vampires who take me exploring in the dark woods of eastern Europe, rather than those who glitter in the Pacific Northwest sunlight. I want to run alongside Japanese high-schoolers who are fighting to the death on an island, rather than “tributes” playing the Hunger Games. So naturally, Harry Potter was never really someone I wanted to take a journey with.
Eventually, it became a point of pride for me. “I’ve never read the books OR seen the movies,” I’d brag, as if anyone was impressed by this fact. It didn’t matter that a lot of my close friends were obsessed with Harry Potter. I had no interest in taking part in this sect of pop culture. Around me, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was NOT Voldemort.
As I got older, I didn’t feel quite the disdain for HP I did as a kid, but I still knew I would absolutely NEVER read it. I didn’t see the point in reading about angsty teen wizards as an adult.
After years of insistence from friends that I should read them, I finally cracked. I’m not entirely sure what changed my mind, but I was at least partially influenced by a close friend who was reading them for the first time. If she thought they were good reads as an adult, I guess they were worth checking out.
I cannot recall reading something so voraciously. I’m, in a word, obsessed. Books can be a great escape for me, but I can hardly remember a time I was so completely immersed in a world. And at the time I began reading them, I was desperately looking for an escape. I started 2019 on Book 4, which seems fitting, as the plot gets darker from this point forward. And as it gets darker, it becomes less fantasy and more comparable to history, maybe one we’re on track of repeating.
It is because of this real-world relevance, as well as my own life experience, that I’m thankful that I’m reading this series for the first time as an adult. Upon completion of the series, I plan to write a blog post analyzing the series. But for now, excuse me while I Apparate to my apartment and bury my nose in Book 5.