Book Title: Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
Author: JK Rowling
Category: fiction: fantasy
The Harry Potter books are easily the most important books in my life. Because of them I have met wonderful people and had experiences that I never would have imagined before becoming a Potter Person.
That may seem like an exaggeration, but without Harry Potter I would not have made some of my best friendships, and without these books, I would not be as confident as I am today, nor as fearless when it comes to traveling. And I probably wouldn’t have gone to England for my first year of University.
I remember being in the backseat of my mum’s car, while my mum and her cousin traded stories about their daughters. We were both bookworms, and my mum’s cousin turned around and suggested I read The Harry Potter Books.
I bought Philosopher’s Stone in paperback, and with that first sentence, was enamoured.
Mr and Mrs Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. (pg 7)*
I finished reading it, and immediately went back to the bookstore to buy a box set of the first three books – the only ones out at the time. This was late in the summer of 1999, the summer before my grade 7 year of school. I never looked back.
For years now, before a new Harry Potter book release, or a movie release, I would re-read the entire series, to get a renewed sense of the words, to have everything fresh in my mind, and to read for things I thought would be important in the next book. It’s so odd to think that generations who are reading the books now, or in the future, don’t have the agony of waiting for the next book. Don’t have the luxury of years between novels to obsess over a few key lines, or what will happen next. These moments of joy, followed by years of waiting, are part of my experiences of the books, and are what led to a whole host of fan involvement, and the friendships I ultimately made.
So with the release of Deathly Hallows Part I in theatres at the end of the week, I set out to re-read the books once more, beginning with the book that started it all – Philosopher’s Stone. A book which taught me many things. There are lines I love, tried to live by, and yet that to some degree I have ignored others. Think on this one,
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. (157)
Dumbledore tells this to Harry as he sits in front of the Mirror of Erised, watching a family that he will never meet. The amount of time and energy I’ve put into my love of Harry Potter over the years, am I realy dwelling on dreams too much? Or is it okay, because parts of this experience is living? Through the Harry Potter books I’ve met many people, people who have become very important pieces of my real life. Through these books I grew into a braver person. Lived in England for a year, visited Toronto on my own, flew to Chicago, to St Louis, and traveled with other Potter People to San Francisco, Washington DC. I can link so many aspects of my life to that day when a book was suggested to me in a throwaway comment, driving in downtown Victoria one day in August.
Other great lines:
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. (221)
*Fun fact – I wrote that out from memory.