In Defense of my Abiding Love for Harry Potter

I’ve kept the Harry Potter series on an almost-continuous loop since my family finished reading it.

That’s right, my dad read Harry Potter to us, and while everyone else finished the new books in a day, it took us months to read them. In some ways, this made us savor them more, appreciate the nuance of each page, but in other ways, trying to avoid spoilers almost ruined several friendships…

When we finished the sixth book we had a long standing argument about whether Snape was evil or not… how could he kill Dumbledore?  We didn’t find out Snape’s true nature until the end of the seventh book. That’s a two-year argument. But hey, my family is good at keeping things like that going…

Many people think of Harry Potter as a book for children, and it is categorized as such. But I believe that just as “The Lord of the Rings” is not just a book for fantasy lovers, Harry Potter isn’t just a book for children. Certainly, as the series progresses, the books become darker, and the characters more complex.

To be honest, I don’t consider J.K. Rowling a great writer. I think she is a good one, but I wouldn’t consider her talent the words themselves. I think the beauty of Harry Potter “the magic” is the world. Hogwarts. Without Hogwarts, Harry Potter wouldn’t work. Hogwarts is the glue that holds the books together. I think this is a reason many don’t like the seventh book… we’re taken out of our beloved Hogwarts, and instead go camping for a very long time (I actually looked, the camping thing only lasts four chapters… but it did seem like an eternity the first time I read it.)

Hogwarts

Harry Potter is to my generation, what “The Lord of the Rings” was to my parents’ generation. It’s a place of beauty and hardship, with characters who have to fight for their survival, while taking exams and struggling through adolescence. We learned that sometimes the right choice is the hardest one, but we also got to be transported to a place with flying broomsticks and talking suits of armor and the knowledge that love is the ultimate magic.

My generation knows how to pronounce Wingardium Leviosa correctly, and the correct wand movement (swish and flick), but we also know that courage can come from the most unlikely of people (looking at you, Neville).

I read Harry Potter when I’m really stressed out. It reminds me of my childhood, and nights spent listening to my dad read it aloud, back when we all lived at home and worried about nothing more than passing the next math test.

I read it now when I’m worried about paying my rent, or during the times when I can’t seem to get anywhere with my own writing. Harry Potter has been a light in times of darkness.

Lumos.

darkness


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