15th Anniversary of the beginning of Harry? I suddenly feel very old and melancholy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 years ago the J.K. Rowling released the first of her epic series of Harry Potter Books. I know the first one as Harry and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Americans know it to be the Sorcerer’s Stone. Why? I don’t know, something to do with it being more marketable in the USA. I HATE it when they do that to books.Publishers did it with The Book of Negroes in the rest of the world and Someone knows my Name in the USA. Anyways…

I became a Harry Potter fan by accident. I needed to find a story book to engage my young son in so he would want to become a reader. Books that girls would like to read seemed easier to find. I picked up this book in the Scholastic Book Club Flyer and decided it would be the bed-time story for the next few weeks. By the time we had caught up on the series, we were waiting for The Goblet of Fire to come out. We dressed up and went to the book launch at the local book store, picked up the book and went home. I read the first chapter to him for bed-time as was our usual routine. I then took the book to MY room and finished reading by 4:00 AM. This became a trend for me. Taking the book and reading it in one go, then preceding to read it my son.

By the time we had reached the (near) end of the series, my son was reading novels on his own. He preferred adventure stories but would never read Harry Potter on his own, that was reserved for me. He would watch me read the book through with tears rolling down my face, or so caught up in adventure I couldn’t hear what was going on around me. The advantage to reading first was I knew when a good time to stop the book for the night. Chapters aren’t always a good break in the story.

Rowling isn’t the worlds greatest literary author, but who cares. She made children readers because they finally understood that a book can transport you away to another time and place and lets you spend time with characters who might resemble you and your friends. Better yet, they might show flaws that make you feel normal. I knew Harry had an impact on my son when, as a 16 year old, he came home from a School Trip to California sporting a wand, 11 inches long, made of holly and had a phoenix feather core. It made me smile. The movies were fine, but both of us agree the books had that extra detail that became important to the characters and their lives.

They were important to me, because it gave me some extra cuddle time past the age when your mom reading to you at bed-time was not so cool. Those books were important to him too and set the stage for the future us to discuss books, movies and other geeky things we both find so fascinating. Even now, both my kids like it when I read to them occasionally  I take advantage of every second because these times are growing few and far between. One day it will be me and my grandkids cuddling up to read new adventures.

I’ll leave Harry Potter for the future grandkid’s dad to share with them because that needs to be a special time between a parent and child to let the tradition continue.

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13 thoughts on “15th Anniversary of the beginning of Harry? I suddenly feel very old and melancholy.

  1. I used Harry to read my daughter to sleep, from when she was six or seven months old until she was old enough to settle on her own. There are only so many picture books a woman should have to handle in one night, you know? Anyway, we got through the first three books before I became pregnant with my son and I started falling asleep beside her mid-phrase, and I read the first book to The Bug through nights of colic all of the following winter. I’m not the dressing-up, wand-waving sort of fan. Just a really grateful one 🙂

  2. My husband and have plans to share this series with our future children– we don’t have any yet, but we’re going to be sure to read HP aloud to them! We’ve also got a plan to give them the books over the years, so they can’t read the whole series in a week and then move on! HP is a journey!

      1. I love series, so I hope so! I haven’t read Peter and the Starcatchers, but it’s definitely on my to-buy list!

  3. I can’t wait to share this one with my kids. Narnia too. What’s kind of cool for me is that I sort of get to do that twice, because I have a 4-year-old brother and 5-year-old sister who will probably be getting Narnia for Christmas this year. And then I get to do it all again when I have kids of my own 🙂

      1. That’s so awesome! I’m getting married in a little over a year and I’ve been trying to think of good bridal party presents, and I’ve tossed around the idea of picking out a book for each one of them (in addition to one or two other things). Most of my friends are readers so I think they’d appreciate that 🙂

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