Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Memories of Reading the Harry Potter Books

I was thinking lately about how some books mean so much that you almost know everything about them. Well, I started thinking about the Harry Potter books, and how I can recall with surprising clarity, things about how I bought and read them. The level of detail I can remember is quite interesting.

I started with Goblet of Fire, you know, as you do. It was the most recent one, so I asked Mum to get me the "new Harry Potter book!" I must have been about 8? Mum bought it for me on a trip to London, in the bookshop on the station. This station happened to be King's Cross, but the significance of this wouldn't connect until years later. I bought it in for show-and-tell, and I can clearly remember the conversation I had with a boy in class. "Who'd want to read Harry the Pot?" "Lots of people, actually," was my response. Of course, he dressed as Quirrell for World Book Day a few years later.

So after being confused as anything, which I stubbornly wouldn't admit and told Mum that it told me what I needed to know. She had said I should start with the first book, otherwise I wouldn't understand it. We bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and I proceeded to lie on my bed for about 10 hours straight, reading it from cover to cover.

Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban were in my school's collection, but having to wait for them would get old, so I think I read both of them over the summer? These two aren't as clear.

Somewhere around this point, Pottermania hit. The films were out, merchandise was everywhere. Everyone and their mother was suddenly reading them! Of course, it didn't take me long to realise that just because other people were reading it, it didn't mean they wanted to talk about it literally all of the time, like I did.

I ordered Order of the Phoenix from a school book ordering form, despite Mum telling me I wouldn't get it on release, and we could get it in the shops if I wanted. But it was the first time I'd seen it for sale anywhere. The moral of this is listen to your Mum. Anyway, I got it a few days later, which felt like a month, and proceeded to rush home with it, write Do Not Disturb on a piece of paper and stick it on my door to read. Oh yeah, I think I remember entering a competition for this, too, in the newspaper. We had a list of Trivia questions on various different fantasy series to answer. I got to the second round, and it was up at some school I didn't know, and I had to be picked up from Guide camp to go to it. Didn't get any further, though.

My copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is literally my baby. It's been signed by Professor Flitwick. (Warwick Davis) I won a radio competition where I had to write a poem, and I got to go into the studio and I was live on air. Also, the week before, I went to Paris with the school, and I remember being more excited about the book coming out, then I was about going to Paris. We also had a £2 deposit on a pre-order from it at Waterstones, but Mum let that slide. Also, I cried when... does this count as a spoiler? Snape kills Dumbledore.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... I wanted to go to a midnight release for it. Unfortunately, we couldn't find one. So, early morning, Mum had to wake up and drive this 15-year-old who was as excited as a child on Christmas day, up to the nearest town. I raced up the street, grabbed the book with a smile... then had to wait for Mum to catch me up. There were a few other people there, and we all knew we were in for the same thing. Also, it must have been a nice day, because I remember reading it outside in the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Just a lovely post. I have a lot of vivid memories reading Harry Potter more than other books like going to cover-to-cover with Deathly Hallows in one day. These books feel like old friends, even if I hadn't read them in a while (and now I want to!). :D