Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As I'm sure you all know, the final Harry Potter film will be released (in the US) this Friday. I have my tickets for a 9 p.m. showing at my local theater. Are any of you going on opening day? At midnight?


What I would like to do on this eve of "goodbye" is think back on how we all said "hello."

Personally, I was pretty darn late to the Harry Potter party. And I'm not just talking 2 or 3 books behind. I didn't start HP 1 until HP 7 was released!

(Well, okay. After HP 3, I tried to start HP 1, but there was too much hype and thus no way it could live up. I read the first couple pages and was like, "Seriously? This is what all the fuss is about?" Oh silly, stubborn Kristan.)

Fast forward a few years to July 2007. My boyfriend had been giddy for weeks at the thought of finally getting to read the end of the Harry Potter saga. When he got the book and I saw how thick it was, I thought, "He's going to be reading that thing forever!" So I figured I may as well read something too. I picked up the Sorceror's Stone, sat down on the couch, and basically didn't get up until I'd turned the last page of Deathly Hallows.

Many say I "cheated" because I didn't have to wait in agony for each book to be released. But I think that in some ways I was deprived (through my own fault, I know) because I didn't get to spend all those years with these beloved characters, living in their magical world. Thankfully, we can all jump right back into Hogwarts anytime we want. I certainly plan to reread these books several times throughout my life.

So what about you? What led you to Harry Potter? And, I'm just curious, who is your favorite character? Mine from the start was Severus Snape. And he only got better with every book.

KH

22 comments:

sonje said...

I came to the HP party late, but not quite as late as you did. I started reading it when HP4 came out. I remember seeing all the books EVERYWHERE before that and thinking, "Oh, it's a book for kids. Whatever." I'd just found out that my (estranged) father died at the time HP4 was released, and I wanted to get lost in something, so there was HP4 EVERYWHERE - plus adults everywhere were talking about it by then. I started from book 1 and read all the way through to 4, and of course I was hooked. Honestly, I'm not sure how hooked on the series I would have been if I'd read 1 when it came out and had to wait for book 2, then book 3, etc. I think I needed a good chunk of material to sink my teeth into all at once, maybe because I was reading it as an adult.

My favorite character is probably Dumbledore. I always get excited when he shows up, and I savor those scenes. Snape, however, was definitely the most intriguing character. My favorite book of the series is 6 where Harry spends all that time with Dumbledore, but the most powerful chapter of the series (for me of course) is "The Prince's Tale" in HP7 where we find out all that Snape backstory. Blew me away. I still get chills when I read that chapter (too embarrassed to admit just how many times I have read that chapter!)

chelleyreads said...

i discovered hp back in middle school. my brother was given a copy of sorcerer's stone from school (one of those free book programs). he wasn't going to read it so i took it from him and devoured it right quick. hp 2 and 3 were already out then so i quickly got my hands on both and then the next few years were agony as i waited for the next books in the series.

so excited for the movie. my sisters and i got tickets for friday too. so excited!!

Dawn said...

I came into HP at Book 4, my daughter was in Kindergarten/1st grade and was one of the few children reading chapter books. She brought it home and we read it together. After that we never missed a movie or book opening. We never go at midnight, but we go the next evening. My 10yo hasn't read the books, but loves the movies. I think I got more into it than the kids, I've done many crafty swaps where we make and exchange handmade items! My favorite has always been Severus Snape too. We're very excited to see the final movie on Friday!

Nonie said...

I watched HP & the Sorcerer's Stone in theaters, and after that I immediately got hooked. I got the first book for Christmas, right after I remember getting the other three books in a school book fair. :)

My favorite character was always Hermione because I could relate to her in a lot of ways (frizzy hair, bossiness *cough*, thinking that I know everything except not really, get really excited about classes, etc). :D

Aaronni said...

I was 8 years old and a family friend sent over HP1 (which was the Philosophers Stone then) and I fell in love with it from there!

Yiota said...

I had read all the books before the movies ever came out. I mean the ones released before them XD

It was a store, next to our store, and every time i was passing by they had only one book in the front (they didn't sell books there), and it was HP4. Before i had read only one book which was about animals or something. Nothing else. So, i was seeing this book every day, big with a dragon (i love dragons) in the cover and a kid with the wand (always wanted to be a wizard) so i was like "can you buy it for me, mum?". I got it as a birthday present and at the time i didn't know it was series. Funny, the store closed only some days later. LOL.
Then i got the rest books but i didn't read them right. I didn't know what series were so i was like HP4,HP2,HP3,HP1. None that it matters anymore, i know everything about them. I was like 7-8 years old at the time.
So HP actually put me in the books world with next step the LOTR trilogy and then Artemis Fowl series. Now my mum curse the day i started reading. Hahaha..

As for favorite character is Sirius Black. He appeals to me more. I like that kind of character in boys so yeahhh...i remember i was once obsessed with Snape,Draco and Cedric Diggory as well :)

Now i have everything from books to dvds (+posters,etc) and everyone calls for me when they have a question about them. Even my parents are "Yiota, HP is at the TV".

Alissa said...

Back around when it first came out, I was just getting into fantasy-type novels, so I thought I'd give it a try. At first I wasn't even interested. Then I picked it back up a year or so later and fell in love. I'm glad I gave it a second chance.

Sarah said...

I think I got clued in just before book 4, and read the first three really quickly. From then on, I would always pre-order and await the next one eagerly. One of them came out right after my son was born and it was so lovely for a few nights being able to read while staying up with him.

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Like you, I came upon Harry Potter late and devoured them all at once. I had borrowed most of them so I only owned Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. Then, of course, my 9-year old got hooked, and now we have them all. He is meant to finish them before I take him to see 7, but he's still on Goblet of Fire. I may have to make an exception or he'll hold it against me forever: "remember, mum, when you didn't take me to the cinema to see HP7? I've never been the same."
Favourite character is TOUGH, but I've always had a soft spot for Hagrid. xx

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I watched 'Philosopher's Stone' when it came out in theatres and I totally adored it. I got Books 1, 2 & 3 for Christmas that year (the next month) and bought Book 4 soon after. After that I was a release date buyer, anxiously anticipating the next films and books.

nicole said...

i've actually never read the HPs... am i booted from the YA community do you think :)

Sophia Richardson said...

In middle school a friend let me borrow HP1 around the time HP3 came out. She also recommended I start at the chapter where Harry enters Diagon Alley; I don't remember how younger me felt when I finally read the first few chapters, but I was hooked enough by the rest of the book to go out and buy the others.

We Heart YA said...

@sonje-
Dumbledore IS awesome. He's definitely a top for me too.

@chelleyreads-
HAH! His loss.

@Nonie-
LOL glad you are owning up to the bossiness too.

@Yiota-
Haha yeah if you had somehow manage to read all 7 books before even the 1st movie, I would be asking for your time machine. ;)

I'm sure in reality your mum is very glad that you read! And it's great that Harry Potter introduced you to the wonderful world of literature.

@Alissa-
YAY for second chances! I'm so glad we both gave one to HP.

@Sarah Wedgbrow-
Yes, you wouldn't want to scar him for life!

@nicole-
Not booted, no, but on probation. :P

Mary said...

I LOVE HP!! But, no, I'm not going to the midnight showing. Maybe not even opening day. It's the books I love, though the movies are excellent adaptations. I started HP right when the first one was released...and haven't stopped reading them. LOVE!
Happy reading,
Mary @ Book Swarm

Michele Philhower said...

This is another of those times I am glad to be a mom. I started right around the release of HP4 reading these to my son, who was in about 2nd grade at the time. His first book he read to himself was HP5, which we bought for him under the strict condition that he read it himself, which he did. I had to sneak it when he was outside to read it myself.

We Heart YA said...

@Mary-
Yeah, we prefer the books too. They're so much richer -- which is a feat!

@Michele-
LOL we know a lot of mothers who had to sneak HP books for themselves. How wonderful that so many wanted to. :)

kaye (paper reader) said...

I've been a HP fan since a friend lent me their copy of Sorcerer's Stone - it was love at first read. I devoured it and then had to buy my own copy so I could read it over and over again while waiting for Chamber of Secrets. A customary part of my summers were waiting on line at midnight for a book release (remembering to bring a flash light and a driver so I could read the entire way back!) and rereading the series before a new film and heading back to the line! I'm getting teary just thinking about it!

My favorite character has been Snape from his very first line. I always believed that he was good and would argue my point to anyone that would question it. I wrote mini essays on the subject. PoA and HBP are my favorite novels, and PoA my favorite film. There was always more than meets the eye for him and the way that everyone else was so sure about him made me even more curious and wanting to know more about his character. I could go on, but really, I'll save you. :P

But you'll see more about it later on my blog as a feature, hopefully soon. :)

Joelle said...

Well..not the usual thing but...I've only watched the movies. Yes that's right I haven't read the books. But I love the movies. I've had friends tell me that I'm missing out by not reading the books but I like the movies so much that I was afraid they'd pale by comparison.

My favorite character is also Severus Snape. With Hermione Granger as a close second.

We Heart YA said...

@kaye-
Yay, another Snape fan!! :)

@Joelle-
The books will NOT pale by comparison, trust me.

Erica said...

I was in 2nd grade...that would be like 2000? Maybe? My favorite character as always and still is Hermione. I just conntected with her so much, as I was always the one people called a know it all and what not and loved to read. As time went on, McGonagall definitely worked her way up into my favorites as well.

We Heart YA said...

@Erica-
McGonagall is great. Dame Maggie Smith does an exceptional job with her in the movies (particularly in this last one!).

Small Review said...

I came really late too. I started reading when book 6 was released. A girl I worked with forced me to read them and I love her for it! I kind of wish I had experienced the hype and anticipation as it was happening, but I'm also glad I didn't have to wait. It would have been agony!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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