I wasn’t planning on talking about Harry Potter near so early, but we got a delivery in the bookstore today of a stand and a whole lot of stickers celebrating 15 years of Harry Potter. 15 years! This made me feel old. Harry Potter is something I grew up with. I waited with baited breath for the books to come out, I reread the books hundreds of times waiting for the next book to be released, I lined up out the front of the bookstore (that, coincidentally I work at now) to buy the final book in the series when I was in my final year of school. I can remember where I read each of the books for the first time, and how many hours it took me to finish them. I was seventeen when Harry was seventeen. The release of each of the books formed landmarks throughout my childhood. I know I am not the only one; Alison, my workmate, has similar fond memories (we also both immediately stickered ourselves with the ‘I am the biggest Harry Potter’s fan’ stickers).
All this reminiscing got me thinking. I always delight when a child comes to the counter at work, buying the first book, as I think about how many hours of enchantment they have coming, reading the books for the first time. However, I am a bit sad for them too. Reading them all for the first time now, after all the books have been released, will surely be a bit different than the way I read them – a quick reader could speed through all seven books in a week. There won’t be than anticipation for the next book, that waiting, that wave of excitement when you can finally get your hands on the next book. I wonder if this will lessen the enjoyment of a child reading the books now.
I hope that another fantastic series like Harry Potter comes along, so that children can wait in line for the next installment, and stay up all night so they can finish the book before the rest of the world, and wait impatiently for the author to write the next book. I would love them to have their own book landmarks in their childhood.
1001 Children’s Book #2 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone;
1001 Children’s Book #3 – Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban; and
1001 Children’s Book #4 – Harry Potter and the Golbet of Fire
All by J K Rowling