I have never read Harry Potter.
I know that is a shocking statement, for someone of my generation.
My school did not allow Harry Potter, because magic. And even a fantastical story about a boy wizard could lead young, impressionable minds down the wrong path. The Bible does, after all, have some pretty harsh things to say about witchcraft.
Similarly, it didn’t allow Twilight, not because it modeled a dangerous relationship dynamic masked as *true love*; no that part was fine. The issue was that a fantastical story about sparkly vampires may lead to an interest in the occult. But I digress.
That’s not to say that many girls in the dorm did not have the books stashed away.† I’d just rather use my limited space to stash other contraband. Like instant coffee. ‘Cause I’m a rebel like that.
You see, the first time I became aware of the cultural phenomenon of Harry Potter, I was in 10th grade, and 15 years old. It really became big in my school the next year. My childhood best friend, who was a year behind me, had her Bertie’s Bots Every Flavor Beans, and her Gryffindor scarf; but I was an Upperclassmen. Dare I even say, I was an adult. I drank coffee. And I certainly did not read children’s books.
Basically, I was a pretentious little snot. I’m sorry, anybody who knew me then.
Had I been a few years younger, I would have been the target age group, and would have loved them. A few years older, and I wouldn’t have been such a little snot, and loved them. Harry Potter just happened to occurr at the same time as I was undergoing, uh, growing pains. Thus, I missed this whole huge thing that impacted so many of my friends.
Last summer, I decided to rectify that. For my 29th birthday, I bought myself Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was finally going to understand all the Weasley jokes! I would fall in love with Hermione! I’d finally meet the Boy who Lived!
Well, it’s now a month away from my 30th (exactly!), and it’s still sitting on my shelf. I’ve set it in a prominent place, I fully intend to read it, I just haven’t yet.
So I’ve decided to blog it. Chapter by chapter, I’m going to examine exactly why Harry Potter has become such a cultural phenomenon. If you want to relive the magic, or perhaps see Harry through new eyes, or have never read the books yourself, join me as I explore Hogwarts.
I will post the first chapter later this week.
† Yes, I’m a boarding school brat. No, don’t judge me like that.