Well as you might have noticed from my mash up I am a fan of Harry Potter, however I am more so a fan of the books rather than the movies. I think this video also serves as a proper introduction…
The books for me represented something constant between my moving around all over the world. I found that it was easier for me to relate to Harry as he discovered and was introduced to a completely different world. I felt the same way every time I was switched to a different school. I am sure other people in the class are doing Harry Potter because it is a story which spans our entire childhood. For me, each book upon its release represented a different phase in my own personal life. Not only that but I can proudly say that I hold copies of books released in 3 different countries, and 3 different states. Pretty awesome, right? So I decided for this post I will go through all 7 books and talk about where I got them, how I got them, and what I remember about me first reading that book…
Looking back on this book, I keep thinking how it is strange you remember things so vividly. Things such as a book which you are very soon about to become obsessed with. I was in fifth grade and still in Ft. Drum, NY when I first picked this book up, it was being sold in the middle school library. They were having some sort of Scholastic Book Fair… I don’t remember those details. But I do remember other kids from my class talking about this book that they read. I had noticed the book there during school and I really wanted to take a copy of my own. However, being the fifth grader I was, I lacked the money required to make such a purchase. However I had a plan. That day my mom was picking me up early from school, I think I had a dentist appointment… When the office called me down to be picked up I absolutely insisted my mom come look at the library real quick.
Now I am pretty positive my mom knew I had found another book 1 that I had to have, but she played along and came with. Thats when I showed her the Harry Potter books. They were sitting on their own table, spread out in a circle so that one could casually walk by and pick it up. I cared for nothing else at that book fare, except that I had to have that book. I showed it to my mom and I told her that I had to have it. She then looked at me and did the, “Are you sure you will read this?” as moms are apparently supposed to do. 2 I remember responding, “Yes mom! I will!” So she caved and bought the book.
The entire ride to whatever appointment I had, I did not open the book. Not once. Not even to take a peak. I wanted to savor the beginning of the story in one sitting, with out any interruptions. My mom thought this was childish of me, but she just rolled her eyes. When we finally came home, I dropped everything and ran to the living room to the comfiest chair we had and began to read, “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.”
Now I was hooked. There was only one problem. The next copy wasn’t available, and wouldn’t be available till that summer. However, something came up that prevented me from buying the next book and I actually didn’t get the second book until my 11th birthday. January 10, 2000. One of my mom’s friends bought it for me. And quite honestly, it is the only gift I remember receiving that year. Soon after my birthday, like legitimately 10-15 days, we began to pack up. It was time to move. We were going to live in Germany! However there was some sort of complications, where paerwork was lost and we were still going to be kicked out of the Housing we had in Ft. Drum. I remember this presented a new set of problems, because we had no where to go. So our Aunt took us in. She lived down in Florida and she said that we could stay there until the military found our paperwork saying we could go overseas.
Now my dad was already in Germany, and he had found us a place to stay. The problem was more the military wasn’t recognizing that his family was supposed to be there to. So for 3 months, it was my mom, me and my 2 brothers living with my Aunt, Uncle and my Grandfather in Florida. My grandpa was a teacher so we were still home schooled at this time, but we didn’t really follow any guidelines. And soon boredom set in. To compensate for this my Aunt took me out and asked if I wanted to get a book. Well, of course I did, the third Harry Potter book was out! So she bought me that and we headed back to her home. The third book soon proved to be my favorite that I had read so far, and for the most part still is. 3
Now these I will run through briefly, as I am sure you have realized by now I am obsessed. And honestly, it is kind of strange to look at your life through the publication of a book series. But that was what most of my child hood was.
Now that first summer we were in Germany the fourth Harry potter book came out. And honestly, I am grateful it did. Because it was a long summer. I didn’t have that many friends, and those I did briefly meet in the 2 1/2 months at school I wasn’t really close to. So I spent most of my summer looking forward to the day that the fourth Harry Potter book came out. What I remember about this book, was that it was the first book where they had “midnight release.” The base made a really big deal about it. But I didn’t see the point, because I would have any friends there. So the next morning after it’s release I went and used my savings to buy the book. Needless to say, after finishing the book I was quite upset the next one hadn’t come out yet.
And it’s release 3 years later coincided with my families summer trip to Italy. We had decided as a gift to my Oma to take her to Naples, because she had always wanted to go but never had the chance. Now the book was released during our trip to Italy. Not to fear however! Because there was a base nearby where we were staying. And my mom promised that when we went to stock up on supplies I could by the book. So two days after it’s release, I owned a copy. The rest of my trip was spent me reading and re-reading that book. Along with participating in other various touristy activities of course.
The next two years I became obsessed. I became the definition of a Harry Potter Fan. I stalked fan sites such as Mugglenet and the Leaky Cauldron. I wanted, and needed to know how it ended. I began formulating my own theories about relationships, what everything meant, how it would end and so on. So by the time we had packed up and moved to Massachusetts in 2005, I was thoroughly immersed in the Harry Potter culture. That summer I moved, was the summer when the 6th book came out. Like the previous time I moved, I didn’t have any friends. I hadn’t even gone to school yet! So buying the book in the BX proved to be reasonable distraction for the summer.
As for the final book, it was released in another summer which I moved. The summer after my graduation from High School. Soon after I graduated my Dad finally retired and we packed up and moved down here to beautiful Virginia. It being summer (again) I didn’t have much to do because I didn’t know anyone. And by this time I was looking forward to the release of the final book, I wanted questions I had been agonizing over for the past 3 years or so answered. Also I wanted to find out whether or not Snape was good or evil. 4 So when I heard that the Borders here in Fredericksburg was having a midnight release party, I had to go. I hadn’t been to one yet and I convinced my mom to go because the book would be $5 cheaper if we went. And of course, my little brother, Nicki, had to come to. 5 But yes, I acquired the final book and spent the next day reading the entire book while sitting by a lake. Honestly, that memory of the sun warming my back and the breeze blowing every once in a while is almost a perfect ending to this obsession. I was 18, it was time for this chapter of the last 7 or 8 years of my life to close, and it closed in an almost dreamlike manner. However, the stories and the lessons I learned from Harry Potter will stay with me for the rest of my life.
- I was book-obsessed as a child, and still am ↩
- Like I said earlier, I was obsessed with books, of course I was going to read it! ↩
- Not including the 7th ↩
- I was right by the way!!!!! ↩
- He grew up with the movies, and is also a big fan of the series. He is actually reading the series now! I am such a proud sister. ↩