The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

harry-potter

I was very late to the Harry Potter party…very late. I saw a few of the movies in college with my friends who were Harry Potter fans, including some fun midnight showings. I just never got around to reading the books. I always knew I would like them, I just wanted to make sure I had the time to devote to read them and with 2 jobs the past 5+ years, time was not something I had a whole lot of. Then, this past Christmas, an opportunity presented itself. I noticed they were offering the very first Harry Potter book as a free download from the Amazon Kindle Store. So I promptly downloaded it and was immediately hooked.

Fast forward to now and I’m on the very last book (and I haven’t finished so no spoilers!). This one is actually a hard copy my roommate kindly brought me from the U.K. so it’s extra special. I’ve done a lot of reading in my life, for both fun and for school. I’ve read a lot of great books too and a few not so great ones. But I can say with complete confidence that the Harry Potter series are some of the best books I’ve ever read. They’re not only so utterly engrossing, they’re extremely well written. Rowling gives you just enough detail to feel like you’re going along for the ride with Harry without going overboard as a lot of authors do. These are technically considered young adult books too but Rowling never writes down to her readers. She writes intelligently and never condescendingly.

The themes and situations in these books are incredibly resonant too. Yes the books are about people who can use magic, but the struggles they deal with and the problems they have are actually just like all of us had growing up. Liking a boy or a girl and not knowing what to do about it. Having to deal with the school bully. Fights with friends. Even in the context of the magic, it isn’t something the wizards all just have and can use freely. It’s something that has to be learned just like a subject in school. It’s something they have to get good at and it’s something that can come with a price too.

The books also deal with things like racism (in the form of the pure blood vs. “mudbloods” or muggles themes) and reading some of the passages about Voldemort, I was reminded in a big way of the current president and what we’re all dealing with in that area. I think it really speaks to the power and general greatness of these books that this many years later they’re still so very applicable.

These books have helped me escape some of the outer turmoil going on. I’ve looked forward to coming home every night and cracking open the latest version and feeling like I’m at Hogwarts or in Hogsmeade right along with the characters. I’m going to be sad when I’m finally finished and won’t have the books to transport me away from the real world for a while. I imagine it’ll be a lot like when I finished Gilmore Girls for the first time. I felt like I’d left Stars Hollow for good and wanted to go back immediately. Thank you J.K. Rowling for the much needed escape and thanks for bringing us all Harry.

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2 thoughts on “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  1. I love this post and I seriously relate to it. I also recently wrote a post about why Harry Potter matters to me. I’m glad you found as much enjoyment from the series as I did

  2. Hi Jackie!

    I have really enjoyed reading through several of your posts, however being that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, I had to respond to this one. I agree that JK Rowling does an amazing job at taking you through the lives of individuals in a completely different world. I have always been amazed by her ability to captivate readers and make you feel the emotions that the characters are experiencing. Harry Potter books were also an escape from reality for me. I was heart broken when I finished the last book and have since not found a series that is as captivating as this one. I was so excited when Universal Studios in Hollywood opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, because it allowed me to experience the story all over again, drink butterbeer, and eat good food! I am interested in whether you have gone to Universal Studios since it opened, and what your thoughts were??

    I just want to say thank you for such an honest and informative blog. I have really enjoyed and learned from all of the posts that I have read both here and on your accessible traveler blog! Thank you for sharing your journey with us 🙂

    -Liz

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