Harry Potter's life is one he would rather forget. That is up until the age of eleven. You see, prior to this particular birthday, Harry lived his day to day life as the outcast of the Dursley family. Both of his parents passed away when he was only a baby, and thus needing guardians, Harry was left in the less than capable hands of his only blood relatives. Their spoiled son, Dudley, was not the brother any child would desire and so his troubles had a willing antagonist. But I digress, let us not dwell on his shadowy past but move forward to his future.
Upon the stroke of midnight on his eleventh birthday (is it only be or can you not help but think of a particular Disney princess story at this junction), Harry's world is truly turned upside down. Hagrid, a giant in both size and heart, comes to fetch the young lad. When asked why, the truth is finally revealed....Harry Potter is a wizard! Acceptance letter in hand, Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is his final destination...or is it? There seems to be more to the story of how his parents came to meet their end and well as how he obtained a particular lighting shaped scar on his forehead. Are the stories true? Has evil come to Hogwart's once again to finish what it started so many years ago?
You'll have to read it to find out...although I am fairly certain most people have either read the story or seen the movie by this time. (If not, where have you been hiding? This series is only one of the most talked about series of our age.) Both young and old can share in the magic, the mystery, and the adventures that author J.K. Rowling bestowed upon the pages of these novels. Is there a pinch of magic left behind for the reader with each book? Perhaps...how many other series can claim fans in all age ranges and yet boast books that range in size from approximately 200 pages upwards to 870? The newest fashion statement when the fifth installment (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) came out became tote bags just to carry your copy around!
I myself find it refreshing when any book series catches on at this large of a scale, drawing "new blood" to reading. Let's face it...true bookworms are harder to find in our age of technology, although the e-book is aiding in the comeback as well. Personally, I prefer the weight and feel of the book in my hands. The smell of the pages (no, I don't run around sniffing books...I'm just helping you to draw a mental picture), the intricate font specially chosen for the title, the images seen on both cover and chapter pages...and of course the added benefit of not having to remember to charge the battery helps too!
Now, I will admit that I became a true fan of the series prior to the fourth books release. I had seen the titles floating around the local bookstore, but never really paid it any mind. One day, I was browsing the shelves for a new title, and BOOM! I had discovered the trade paperback version of this title. Yes, my friends, I first purchased the cheapest version I could find...how was I to know if I was going to like it? Once I began reading, I was hooked! I easily read through the remaining volumes accessible to me at the time and then hungrily awaited the 4th books arrival. With each release dates approach, I had another midnight pick-up to plan for...even though I had no intention of reading the book until the next day. (I just had to have it in my possession! My precious! Oops! Wrong series....) The final book in the series was the only one I actually stayed up to read...at least until the words started to get fuzzy and make absolutely no sense.
Ahhh....a good book will take you on the adventure it holds merely by letting your imagination run wild, but for those with slightly less active creativity (there is no shame in that by the way....that's one of the reasons movies were invented!), Hollywood gave us the blockbuster hits to put faces with the beloved characters. PRESTO! Now we are able to go on the adventures with our friends and family whenever we wish...just pop in the DVD! I can hear many of you now....stop groaning, you're hurting my ears! The movies are not carbon copies of the books...alas they are adaptations (interpret as slimmed down shadows of their former glory). While I can freely say that the movies do leave out quite a bit, and most fans would rather a longer run time on the film than the removal of their possibly favorite parts, they have still done a wonderful job on such a mammoth project! I mean it would be technically impossible to satisfy every reader, every fan, every writer, and so on....they had to make the tough decisions so that we could actually get the movie. Be grateful for what they do include, share with others what they don't and use them as a platform to support the book versions once again!
Whew! I don't post for a few days and all of a sudden there is enough for a short story! I think I have been long-winded enough for today...don't you?
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time...happy reading!