If you have read me here at Book Journey for any amount of time you know that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. You also know, my son Justin was as well and it was this book – THIS BOOK, where he and I first started to connect on reading and talking books. It became a wonderful connection for us when he was in Jr. High and continued to be “a thing” with us for all the days of his life AND will always ALWAYS carry wonderful memories for me.
I have this first book of the series in a beautiful 20 year anniversary edition. I have it also in Spanish, in soft cover and in hard cover, in audio, and with the new cover (a gift from Justin Christmas 2014). However this copy of the book I am holding will always be my favorite copy because THIS is Justin’s original 1st copy of the book. It has long since lost its dust jacket (he always took them off to protect them while reading) and the cover is well-worn…. the signs of a beloved book. And now… it still sits on his book shelf.
I loved choosing this book as my first book of the year because it was as I said… a place where we connected. I liked knowing that each page I touched, he had as well. Every word my eyes fell upon… his eyes had read these very same words on this very same page. I do not know what I was hoping for when I read this book again for probably the 5th, 6th, or 7th time…. at first the reading felt like work. It made me more sad than peaceful. The words did not come easy and my mind drifted during the early pages of Harry and the Dursley’s, and the snake, and the closet under the stairs. It wasn’t until the entrance of Hagrid where I started to fall once again into the familiar writing and I whisked myself and hopefully Justin too away to Hogwart’s.
For those of us who love the Harry Potter books…. we know they contain a bit of magic that one can not explain to the common muggle. I enjoyed getting to know Harry again as a first year, and remembering Hermione when she was all know-it-all and bushy eyebrows, and Ron when he was quiet and shy before he became a force to reckoned with. I had to once again sit in awe as I read things in this first book that I know will not come to full light until the last book… the clues we don’t recognize as clues until much later, and I have to whisper the word “brilliant” as I turn each page.
I owe JK Rowling a dept of appreciation. Her writing changed my life. That may seem dramatic, but it is true. These books connected my son and I on a level that we would not have reached without them. These books are why we went to Florida three November’s in a row and had planned on a fourth…. these books – made magic come to life.
And I for one, am forever grateful.
The Harry Potter books to me are the new classics. These are the books that need to be passed from generation to generation… it is something special to be among the first group who read them.