There was a frantic excitement in the air when I awoke on July 21st, 2007. My mind could hardly be lulled back to sleep into speculation after speculation of how the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was going to end once and for all. For years, my Harry Potter obsession had swelled to an enormous infatuation touching every corner of my life. I watched the movies religiously, I plastered my walls in Harry Potter posters, I scribbled Harry Potter fanfiction in a cheap notebook, I had read each of the Harry Potter books at least twice, and on top of everything I had read the first three books in French.
It is hard to believe that it has been ten years since that day.
I had seen on the news how people were so anxious to get their hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that they cued for hours on end. Copies were flying off the shelves. Fun fact, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows holds the record for being the fastest selling book in history with 11 million copies in the first twenty-four hours. In my mind, I was smart. I had paid a whole five dollars (Canadian) to reserve my very own copy at Toys R Us. There was no need for me to spend hours waiting outside a bookstore. Though, honestly, if I would not have been a child, I probably would have done so.
By the time, I had arrived at Toys R Us at noon, all the die-hard fans had dispersed. I had wanted to go sooner, but when you’re a child, you cannot expect to come and go as you please. When I held the book in my hands for the very first time, I squealed with excitement. For the next two days that book might as well have been glued to my hands. Right after I picked up my copy, I was on my way to a campground site. I can remember the hot sun attempting to peer into the tent trailer as I dived into Harry’s chase for horcruxes. Meanwhile, the smell of hotdogs and hamburgers permeated through the tent trailer. I did not budge. Even the smell of chlorine from the campground’s pool could hardly pry me away from my book.
Being an only child, as well as the only bookworm in the vicinity, I couldn’t fully express how much joy I felt when reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was a strange sight to witness, I imagine. I was this small, quiet young girl who took reading with the utmost seriousness. I would sit cross-legged and trace the words line after line with my index finger. From experience, it is rare for a child to become a bookworm if their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, and cousins are not avid readers. In my case, I could not explain fully how I felt every time I would read Harry Potter, or any novel for that matter. Whenever I would try to explain, it would seem as if I were speaking another language.
Without sounding too overly sentimental on the subject, the Harry Potter series has had a profound effect on my life. Ever since I read the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, my interest in reading became a key component to who I am as a person. It fuelled my interest in reading, writing, blogging, and writing book reviews. It also, believe it or not, had an indirect hand in my choice of becoming an English literature major. To me, books are not just mere stories that seek to delight the reader. Books have an immense power to change the way we think and develop as people. They are a reflection of who we are, who we have been, and where we are going in the future. Which is why, whenever I think of where my life is heading, I tend to think of this quote from Harry Potter: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K Rowling
Until next time,