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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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Why I Reread Harry Potter Every Year

For those of you who don't know and don't follow us on twitter (@LoneBookClub don't be shy) or for those who do and have missed my only semi-obnoxious tweets, I have started my annual Harry Potter reread. That's right, annual, as in, once a year, as in I schedule this event into my year. And to me it is truly an event.

It started when I was young. If a new book in the series was coming out, of course I would have to reread all of them that came before! And then the movies started coming out so of course I would have to reread all of them in anticipation for that too!! By the time the books and movies were finally at an end, not reading Harry Potter every year seemed ludicrous. My year of reading would feel empty and incomplete without it.

I get the itch to start reading them again pretty much right after I finish them, but I make myself take a break and also, you know, read other books. Most people don't really care about me carrying around my Harry Potter hard covers (I'm a purest in this respect and refuse to read them on my kindle), but when people do notice, there's normally a conversation like this that takes place: 

Them: "Are you reading that for the first time?!"

Me: "No.... I read them every year."
Them: "WHY?!"

Why indeed.

Pst, you can totally own this!

1. The Magic - Duh! Who doesn't want to be swept up in the world of Hogwarts, owls that deliver the mail, Ollivander's wands, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, trolls, centaurs, chocolate frogs....and that list could go on forever. I'm going to stop before I get too carried away. 
But the magic doesn't stop at the spells. It continues on in the magical moments.

When Hermione finally throws her arms around Ron when he expresses concern about the house elves. "Is this the moment?" 

When Dobby dies for his beloved Harry Potter. 
When Harry receives his Hogwarts letter and reads those words for the first time. 
When Dumbledore gets an ear wax flavored Bertie Bott's Bean. 

These moments are pure magic with or without a wand present.

And speaking of Dumbledore...

2. Dumbledore
"Nitwit, Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"  "Is he a bit mad?"
Yes, and he is wonderful. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is one of my favorite characters of all time. He is a genius of a man who knows more and is more powerful than anyone, yet he never lets his power overshadow his compassion. I know some people don't like him because of the idea that he knowingly sent Harry to his death. But I would argue that by killing him he saved him. He knew Harry would sacrifice himself and through his sacrifice would live and free all others from Voldemort's oppression. 
Not to mention he says some of the best quotes in the books!
"As much money and life as you could want! The two things most humans beings would choose above all -- the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them." 
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
Here's another part of this post I'm going to cut myself off before I go on forever.

3. Severus Snape - That's right! Dumbledore is one of my favorite characters, and perhaps tied for first with him is dearest Severus. The greasy, cruel, tortured sole of a man that is Severus Snape is much too heart-wrenching not to look forward to reading every year. Everything he ever did was for his greatest and only love of his life. To kill Dumbledore, to face all the ridicule and hate, and to die staring at the only part of Lily Evans left in the world, makes Severus Snape the strongest character of them all.
"After all this time?"  "Always."
4. My Childhood - I read these books as they came out. I waited in line in front of the local Barnes and Noble waiting for midnight and made my parents drive slowly home so I wouldn't get car sick reading in the backseat by flashlight. I grew up with these characters. I was 17 when I read about 17 year hold Harry defeating Voldemort, and it made me feel like I could defeat everything.
So when I say I reread them for "my childhood" I really mean nostalgia, because not only do I remember how Harry is feeling in any given part of the book, I also remember how I felt the first time I read that part of the book.

5. Me - I'm not a child anymore, but it's nice to hold on to it. And it's nice to have a place to go that will always be there for me. It is familiar, it is loving, and it is a form of home. My annual Harry Potter reread is almost a form of therapy now that calms and refocuses me. And even when I am not reading I still have that magical world with me for I will carry it with me


1 comment:

  1. Rereading a book you love is like chocolate chip cookies and milk, a roaring fire on a cold day, or a hug from Mom that makes it all better! It is one of my favorite things to do; visiting with old friends in a well-worn book!