There is a lot of love among book bloggers for the Harry Potter series. For many it is the defining series of our childhoods. In different ways we grew up with the series. I belong to that first generation of readers, those aged roughly 9 – 12 around the time the first book was published, and somewhere around 18 – 21 when the final book was published. In everyway we grew up with the books. We eagerly awaited book release. We were a similar age to Harry and his friends in each book, going through the same things at the same time.
I still remember my Mam giving me the first book. It was around 1998. I was 9. The first book had been released the previous year and in that time had been generating a lot of buzz. My Mam, always on the look out for new books to feed my insatiable appetite, read about a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone which had won the Nestle Smarties Children’s Book Award. She came into my room one day and handed to me saying she had heard about this book and thought I might like it. From the first page I was hooked.
Over the years I have read and re-read them so many times. The last time was 4 years ago. I was going through a difficult time and wasn’t really able to focus on books, at least not new ones. Instead I retreated into my comfort books – Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Harry Potter. They were exactly what I needed, allowing me brief escapes from the things weighing on my mind.
The other week I saw one of the films on TV and realised that it had been 4 years since I read any of them, probably the longest I’ve gone without reading any of them since that first book. So over the next few months I’ll be attempting to re-read the entire series, in between my other reading commitments. Anyone who wishes can join me, and be sure to share you stories about the Harry Potter series and your first introduction in the comment section below.