In the beginning…. it was The Dursley’s at the (now famous) address of Four Pivet Drive, also the opening line to the book. The Dursley’s kept to themselves, not liking anything out of the ordinary – but that was about to change.
One day… a very odd day filled with strangely cloaked persons and owls everywhere…. a package arrives on the doorstep of the Dursleys…
a baby actually. A baby called Harry Potter.
Certainly by now you know the story. Harry is raised by his Aunt and Uncle – if you can call living under the stairs, not being acknowledged, and pretty much treated worse than a house mouse, being raised.
Until one day – a visitor comes. A large visitor and it is suddenly like Harry won the lottery. He is taken to a school for wizards – wizards!!! And this is really where Harry’s story takes flight. With his new friends Ron and Hermione… who knew that Harry Potter would become a household name – and that this amazing book, about an orphaned boy with a scar was only the beginning…
I have looked for a hard covered version of this book for years. I could not find book one in hard cover! Then, this past May in New York, I not only found it at the Harry Potter Exhibit, I found it as the ten-year anniversary edition. SSSQQUUUEEEEEEE!!!!!
SO this week – the week before the final movie release and an end, really, to an era. I had to dive into Harry’s world once again.
It wasn’t me who grew up on these books… it was my kids. But really… I think in a way, I did too. These books became as important to me, as they did my two sons. We read them together…. three copies of each as they came out. Three readers, noses buried deep into a fantasy world of magic, friendships, dark forces, and a school that makes all of this
*sigh* Is it no wonder I love these books so much?
Now I know many die-hard Harry Potter fans were reading either the entire series on preparation for the final movie, or the last book, or the 6th and 7th book again. My goal was to read the first, (this one) and the last.
Because when something is ending… I like to remember the beginning. Reading Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone was going back to Privet Drive, before Harry had any idea he was a wizard, back to when Hogwarts was exciting and new, and school friends were the best thing in the world.
I had a blast remembering Harry’s first classes, how at first he and Ron found Hermione annoying and bossy (you may remember the fight in this first book where Hermione overheard Ron talking about how annoying she was…. ). This led to the whole troll in the castle chapter where we who have been through this book (and/or the movie) will always be able to recall the term “troll boogers”.
Pretty much from that point on – the three were friends for life.
Reading this book prior to seeing the final installation of The Deathly Hallows really opened up a bigger picture for me. It was hard to look at the screen as Hogwarts was no longer the beautiful and magical school it was under Dumbledore’s reign…. instead it lays in near ruins not only under poor management, but also being destroyed under the death eaters watch.
It is also pretty amazing to look at these three characters that in this book are all new to the joys of the magical world… and see them in the final movie as hardened young adults facing their destiny head on. Times… they have changed….
I think the biggest thing to remember about Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is that it was and always will be… the beginning of something that changed the world as we knew it. It changed the way we read books and it really in all truth, set the bar high for future such reads. I myself can think of a couple of series that made valiant efforts to touch the greatness of Potter and ultimately failed. In truth, I am not sure if anything can ever touch this level of world-changing reading and writing again.
I for one, would love to read a fantasy book that even comes close to the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.
The 2011 WHERE Are You reading Map has been updated to Include Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
I purchased this lovely hard cover anniversary edition in New York at the Harry Potter Exhibition