From the moment the brick rolled back and Harry stepped into Diagon Alley, I knew that I was in love! I was never much of a reader as a child or even in my teenage years. In fact, my mom used to bribe me to read books ($1 per book that I finished, which was a lot back then!) and I never finished a single book in high school that I was supposed to read for class (Shhh! Don’t tell my teachers!).
But when my brother brought me to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the movie theatre, I was hooked. After watching the movie, I had to begin reading the series to see what would happen next, since it was going to take far too long to wait for the next movie. I was 19 when I finally began to enjoy reading. When I look back I realize that it was because I never explored my literary options. I went with whatever was put in front of me, which never included a world of magic and fantastic creatures. Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High, yes. Tess of the D’urbervilles, unfortunately yes. Shakespeare, lots of it. Did I like any of them? Maybe Babysitters Club a little.
Like so many others, my literacy levels benefited greatly from the Harry Potter series, which feels sad to say considering I was 19. Now I’m ___ (well you don’t really get to know that!) and have read numerous series that span a variety of styles: fantasy fiction, romance, drama, etc. Although I was a late bloomer in this way, I am immensely grateful to J.K. Rowling for creating a world that finally caught my attention.
I recall an argument, nay, a debate, that I had with a friend on Facebook (What! That never happens!) on whether or not the Harry Potter series should be considered a Classic (akin to Lord of the Rings or anything written by Hemingway). I was, of course, of the school that it should be and he was not. Aside from the intricacies of Rowling’s imagination that intertwined these books, I was mostly looking at it as the series that changed the literary world for good. With millions of children, teens, and adults reading her books, and the popularity that it boasted, it brought literacy levels up not just for myself, but for millions of others. It grabbed hold of something deep down in so many that longed for a world that depicted our magical dreams and left us wanting more. I know that others don’t see it the same way as me, that’s okay. I’m passionate about my love for Harry Potter and hope that generations will continue to embrace it.
I’d like to know when you fell in love. Tell us about how you connected with the Harry Potter series and if you think that it should be on par with other Classics.