Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why I Re-read Harry Potter

As I sat in the family room reading the last 130 pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Monday night, my husband sat on the couch across from me laughing. Why? He was laughing at the fact that I was legitimately crying over the events in the novel, a novel that I have read at least nine times. His thought process was simple: You know what is going to happen, so why do you continue to cry about it? For that, I have no response, because his logic does make sense, but regardless of how many times I have read the novels in the Harry Potter series, I get so caught up in the wizarding world that I find myself experiencing all those emotions as if I were reading them for the first time.

My students ask the same question every year when they realize that not only do I have Dumbledore's Army posters in my classroom, wear Hogwarts t-shirts with my pencil skirts, and use Ron Weasley's wand as a pointer, but I also re-read the entire series every summer (and have done so since middle school). They think I am crazy, but what I do not think they quite realize is that I essentially grew up with Harry Potter and even now as a 27 year old woman, it is a link to my childhood. 

The Harry Potter bookshelf in the office/library

My sixth grade teacher bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for everyone in our class as Christmas gifts. Right after Christmas, I moved to Richmond and was so utterly upset over moving that I lost myself in books, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone being the first that I read. Needless to say, after reading the first, I was hooked and begged my mom to buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for me since those were the only books of the series that had already been released.

Fun Fact: The copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that Mrs. Wilson gave me for Christmas in 1999 still sits on the bookcase in my classroom (and will do so until I quit teaching) and has been the most checked out book in my "library" for the past four years.

I still remember going to Barnes and Noble with my neighbor Ben to get the sixth book at midnight and rushing home to begin reading it. When my mom woke up the next morning to go to work, I was still in bed reading and when she got home from work, I was still there, except this time there were tissues all over my bed (RIP Dumbledore). Even now, after having read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at least ten times, I still cry during Dumbledore's funeral. 

I am sure that in five to ten years when I have children of my own, I will tear up in the same parts as I always have when I read the series aloud to them. A part of me is so emotionally invested in the series that the emotions are unavoidable. Plus, the storyline is AWESOME and who in their right mind would not want to be a witch/wizard?! There is an Alan Rickman quote that I think sums up my love of Harry Potter perfectly:

All the feels!!!

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