Once upon a time I opened a book and read the words Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much and fell in love.
Maybe not with the opening line, and certainly not with those wretched Dursleys, but it was still the moment that marked one of my great book romances. I, like so many, many other readers, fell head over heels, why-can’t-this-be-real, I-want-a-wand, where-is-my-acceptance-letter-to-Hogwarts in love with the world that J.K. Rowling created on her pages.
It’s a world that’s far too big to be contained between those book covers – and as the curtain opens on the last of the movies, I find myself (like so many other Potterphiles) reminiscing about what the books have meant to me.
* After years of bedtime stories and me passing books down to him, these were the first books my baby brother shared up with me. He passed away five years ago and a few of my copies are even more beloved because they were his first.
* These were the first books I shared with St. Matt – truthfully, I demanded he read the first one. He required no coercion for the rest of the series. They were also the first books that I made him take away and hide after Just one more chapter, A few more pages, and I’m going to set a timer and I’ll stop reading when it goes off all failed to get me out of the book and onto my homework.
* When the first movie came out during my sophomore year in college I sweet-talked the local grocery store into giving us their Harry Potter / Coke display. The thing was amazing: the windows in Hogwarts lit up, Hedwig’s wings flapped. It was also massive – at least five feet tall and four feet across. Despite living in a shoebox of a dorm room, I kept it all year.
* The photo above is from the party I had before the first movie – I forced a group of friends — half who hadn’t read the book– to play Harry Potter Clue and trivia. I awarded prizes. We had cake — which was supposed to have a Hogwarts decal, but ended up reading “Happy Birthday, Harry Potter” instead. It was still delicious.
* Senior year in college St. Matt, my best friend, and I absconded to London for a long weekend around Halloween. St.Matt was thrilled by the James Bond display at Harrods. J-bean loved the theater. The highlight of the trip for me was standing in Leicester Square in the freezing cold for hours watching the actors arrive for the world premiere of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.
* On one of the boys’ first nights home, as we rocked and read them picture books, St. Matt looked over Baby B’s head and asked, “So, how much older do they have to be before we can read then Harry Potter?”
I’m already ticklish with anticipation of exploring these stories all over again – getting to see them as new through their eyes.
What are some of YOUR Harry Potter memories?
I always mean to update my Goodreads list, but I never do. I also have every intention of keeping a book journal or rating the books I read… but I don’t.
We have star stickers we use for recipes. Gold means I’d-eat-this-every-night, Silver means delicious, Red eqauls it’s okay… you get the idea. I could apply this same rating system to my books – all I’d need to do is put a little sticker inside the cover – but I haven’t.
This year I’m trying to remember to update my books list. I’m not very successful, but I’m trying. These are the books I remember reading so far this year. I know I’ve missed some, so I may need to come back and modify.
Read in 2009
1. Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)
2. Calder’s Game (Blue Balliet)
3. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (John Boyne)
4. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
5. Ink Exchange (Melissa Marr)
6. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Syrie Jones)
7. Patient Zero (Jonathan Maberry)
8. Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac (Gabrielle Zevin)
9. The Crushes (Pamela Wells)
10. Dragon Factory (Jonathan Maberry)
11. Elsewhere (Gabrielle Zevin)
12. Fade (Lisa McMann)
13. Ninth Grade Slays (Heather Brewer)
14. Austenland (Shannon Hale)
15. Peeled (Joan Bauer)
16. How to be Popular (Meg Cabot)
17. Forest of Hands & Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
18. 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Maureen Johnson)
19. Deadline (Chris Crutcher)
20. Ways to Live Forever (Sally Nicholls)
21. Evermore (Alyson Noel)
22. The Season (Sarah MacLean)
23. H.I.V.E. (Mark Walden)
24. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
25. Magyk (Angie Sage)
26. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
27. City of Ashes (Cassandra Clare)
28. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)
29. City of Glass (Cassandra Clare)
30. Dust of 100 Dogs (A.S. King)
31. Bliss (Lauren Myracle)
32. Beastly (Alex Flinn)
33. Cracked Up to Be (Courtney Summers)
34. Fragile Eternity (Melissa Marr)
35. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
36. Living Dead Girl (Elizabeth Scott)
37. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (E. Lockhart)
Based on what I’ve finished, what do you recommend I read next?
I didn’t link any of these but there’s a BuyIndie link in the sidebar; I encourage you to use it!