20 Years with Harry Potter

This morning, I was perusing the old Twitter feed and came across this tweet from J.K. Rowling…

JK Rowling Tweet - 2018-09-05

20 years ago? How can that be?

I guess it makes sense. I graduated from Hogwarts high school 20 years ago. And according to J.K.’s timeline, the Battle of Hogwarts happened in 1998. Harry Potter and I are the same age, y’all.

The Wikipedia article for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone claims that it was published in the U.S. on September 1, 1998, under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, of course. But I’m gonna go ahead and trust J.K.’s dating on this one. After all, she did write the book. I would trust her word over a web page that can be edited by anyone in the world any day. Unless she was discussing the reproductive cycle of a jellyfish. Then I’d probably go with the Wikipedia.

I didn’t even pick up a Harry Potter book until Goblet of Fire was already out. Pretty sure I still didn’t know Harry Potter existed until my super senior year of college. But it was at that point that I picked up Sorcerer’s Stone. And after I tore through that, I tore through Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. By the time Order of the Phoenix was announced, I was one of those crazy people who was willing to wait in line outside Waldenbooks at midnight.

Remember Waldenbooks? Simpler time, 2003…

I waited in line at midnight for Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, too. As if that was even a question. And if you’re wondering if I read through each of those books before going to sleep, I didn’t. I got a good night’s sleep and then started reading when I woke up the next day. But I’m not a particularly fast reader, typically. I feel like, for me, I did read the Harry Potter books fairly quickly. But that means it took about a week to get through those later novels. I’m not like those kids who read it non-stop in the wee hours of the morning after picking up their copy at the bookstore.

I’m gonna get side tracked for a moment, because I’ve thought of an interesting question. Are there any books/book series that have the same kind of fan following that Harry Potter enjoyed? Are there any books out there these days that people are dying to get their hands on? Will anyone pre-order their books at Barnes & Noble and then wait in line at midnight to pick it up the day it’s released? Nothing comes to mind. But I could be out of touch.

Or has the magic (yes, pun intended) gone away with the rise of Amazon? I know I’ve pre-ordered a few books here and there over the years. But I pre-order on Amazon so the book arrives on my doorstep the day it’s released. That’s what I did when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released. Not that I really needed to. Didn’t care much for that one, honestly.

Anyway, I’m glad I had a friend who introduced me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during my last year of college. I’ve read through Rowling’s series at least three times, and listened to audio versions as well. I love the movies, and they’re decent as adaptations go. But watching them pales in comparison to experiencing the books. Which makes it so much more fun to go back and reread the books after seeing the movies, because I so easily forget the details that the movies left out.

I have all seven books in the series (no, Cursed Child doesn’t count) sitting on top of a small bookshelf. Every time I look over at them, I think, Maybe it’s time to read them again. Maybe it is time to read them again.

Even after all this time?

Snape - Always

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