Truth Time: I have never read Harry Potter.
Correction: I had never read Harry Potter. Until now. Nearly two decades from when the first book was released.
So yes, I finally decided to read Harry Potter. And now I have some thoughts.
Why I Had Never Read Harry Potter
For a long time it felt like I was taking a stand against pop culture because I hadn’t read Harry Potter. I take weird stands on things and when I take a stand I feel incredibly committed to them.
As an example, at one point I took a strong stand against Dave Matthews Band. I don’t even remember why, but to this day if I hear Dave Matthews and I start to sing along I’m filled with shame.
Another example. In college I made a big stink about people using umbrellas in the snow. Umbrellas are for rain only. If it’s snowing then grab a hat or a hood but don’t you dare put up your umbrella. This was a very short-sited hard stand because I would later find myself on my way to a job interview in the snow without a hat or a hood feeling insanely guilty using an umbrella.
It was kind of the same thing with Harry Potter. It was like my hipster rebellion that didn’t make any sense at all. Harry Potter? Oh no, I’ve never read it. I’m into things other people aren’t into. Now, if you’ll let me get back to my Top 40 pop mix tapes…
Why I’m Reading Harry Potter Now
Truth be told, I’ve also never been a big fantasy fan. Tuck Everlasting was about as fanciful as I was ever willing to go in terms of literary preferences. And I fell asleep during my first and only viewing of Star Wars. Pretty sure I fell asleep during Avatar too. To be fair though, that movie is really long.
But I’ve been thinking about creativity recently. Where it comes from, how we harness it, how we keep it going. And I knew that I needed to take my own advice and be open to new things if I was going to keep the creative juices flowing.
So I expanded my podcast list, tried my hand at different writing styles, played around with graphic design, and downloaded books I hadn’t considered before. Like Harry Potter. Time to put my imagination to the test and see if I could immerse myself in Harry Potter’s world, and stop being so obnoxious about it.
Oh, and I recently got reading glasses and I felt a spiritual connection to Mr. Potter.
Harry Potter: An Overdue Review
I finished book one this week. And fine… whatever… it’s good. You win, rest of the world.
The character development is excellent, the scene setting is exceptional, and the imagination behind this bad boy… clearly top notch. Plus, that was a really good plot twist when they brought Paul Blart Mall Cop in at the end there. I’m only one book in and I’ve heard from many sources it only gets better. Like way better. So I’m all in.
My favorite character is Hagrid. Clearly. Because when I read his lines I read them outloud to myself and delight in how strong of a voice over character actor I could be. Also, he makes a good crack about stalactites and stalagmites which I enjoyed.
Malfoy is my worst nightmare of a person. Do we find out what his deal is or is his deal that he’s just a tool?
Hermione is me when I was a kid. Regrettably. Or maybe not so regrettably. I don’t know. She’s kind of cool I guess.
I really enjoy all of the animals with people names too. Norbert the Dragon. Trevor the Toad… That’s good stuff. Please tell me there will be more great animal naming in future books.
Harry Potter in 280 Characters
As I was reading, I started taking some notes in order to write an effective review of a book everyone has already read, but those notes turned into stream of consciousness thoughts about characters and potential plot twists. So I started tweeting those thoughts. This turned into a Live Tweeting of my first Harry Potter read, which is partly what I had been hoping for all along. Inspiration to write about new things and connect with people online in a new way. Hoozah!
Harry Potter fans have joined me along for the ride on Twitter leaving comments about their love for the series, encouraging my newfound appreciation for owls, and ensuring me that they won’t send any spoilers.
That’s been the most shocking part so far actually. My facetious #NoSpoilers hashtag has worked and people seem genuinely excited for me to read this whole series spoiler free. Honestly if that works though it will be insane because everyone and their mother could spoil this for me in a heartbeat and I couldn’t even be mad. It’s been 18 years… My spoiler free window has surely closed.
Closing thoughts night 2: My husband is Gryffindor, but I think I’m Ravenclaw. So now I’m confused whether you can marry outside of your house or if our marriage is a sham.— Becca Carnahan (@with_love_becca) February 28, 2019
Plot Twist: HGTV’s the Property Brothers renovate all the houses.#ReadingHarryPotter #NoSpoilers
Now I’ll move onto book two, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, according to my recent Google search. I’d like to think that one of the secrets within this chamber is the recipe for the Chick Fil A sauce. And maybe a recommendation for a cauliflower pizza crust that actually tastes good.
Plus I need to keep reading because I have a lot of questions. If you say Voldemort three times does he appear like Beetle Juice? Is Voldemort Harry’s real dad, or would that be too derivative of the Star Wars movie I never really saw? Does Herimone end up taking over this series eventually?
Serious question too… Guys… they don’t kill off Hagrid do they? Never mind… don’t tell me. No spoilers.