Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nostalgia and the Harry Potter series

First things first - congratulations to my dear friend, Ashlee, who just got a publishing deal! You can read all about it over at her blog.  I'm so proud of her, and can't wait to read her story!

So, to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what I wanted to talk about in this post until about...2 minutes ago, when I realized, Oh, wait, TODAY is Wednesday.  I'd been operating under the impression it was Tuesday.  How the time flies when you don't have work.

I had asked via Facebook status what book I should read next - something for work, or something for leisure.  I got many responses, all of them which I liked, but the one that really stood out to me was this:

"You should reread the Harry Potter series!"

And I thought, "By God, I should!" 

It's no secret that I've loved Harry Potter from the minute I picked it up.  It's truly a magical series, and much of that magic comes from the nostalgia of rereading the books.  I used to reread them constantly throughout high school, but fell away from that practice once college started - which is a travesty, I know.  But, it's amazing how childhood obsessions books can have that effect on you. 

Think about it.  Isn't it funny how some books just kind of return to you, in a flash or moment, when you seem to be doing something totally unrelated.  I feel like the most powerful books are like that.  I mean "powerful" in the sense of having staying power.  Perhaps their plot is just magical.  Perhaps it's the individual words, which are so beautifully strung together that they come to you during the most mundane tasks and suddenly enrich your day.  I find that books do this for me far more than any other type of entertainment or medium.  And that's what happened today, when it was suggested I reread Harry Potter.

Needless to say, this evening has been spent scouring the libraries of Tucson for the series.  I know what you're thinking - Alex, you mean to tell me you DON'T already own it??  Yes, I do - well, my family does, at any rate.  But my family lives in Phoenix, and we've actually lost 2 or 3 of the books, so I thought, I'll just borrow them. 

Only I can't.

Because there is not a single copy of Harry Potter checked in to any of the libraries in Tucson at this moment.

Now, this is disheartening, yes, but it's also heartwarming.  It's heartwarming to know that even now, all these years later, it's still so popular.  Now, granted, this may be in part due to the movie coming out in just a few days.  But I think that's the beauty of the series, and a testament to the sheer power of nostalgia and the magical qualities books can have.  It demonstrates that love of literature is still alive and well.  It also demonstrates that the U of A library clearly needs to stock more than just one copy of the book (I mean, C'MON!). 

I'll buy the series for myself someday (after I get a paycheck...).  In the meantime, though, any friends in Tucson who may own them, please consider letting me borrow it. I'll give it back, I promise!


  1. I've got all the movies... that is - I can get them...

  2. Thank you so much for the congratulations! Your encouragement over the years has helped me get this far in writing, Alex! <3

    I kind of love that all the HP books are checked out. That really expresses how many people it's still reaching! And reading is a great thing, for anyone at any age. I hope you get the chance to re-read the series (my secret confession: I never finished reading it, even though we own the whole set, so I might have to join you in a HP marathon). I know it might be a long shot, considering the popularity, but you could check out any local secondhand bookstores. :)


  3. I wrote a great story here, but a connection glitch ate it when I tried to post, so I'm gonna punch a hole through some wood paneling & try to write it again tomorrow.

  4. Well, here's "tomorrow", heh.

    Back when HP first became popular (in part because of the "teaching kids witchcraft" controversy), I was still working my way through Animorphs. Honestly, all the hype over the Potter series was a massive turnoff for me. A few years later, the week my little brother got the 5th book to add to his other 4, I went ahead & started reading Sorcerer's Stone...& loved it so much, I caught up with him by the end of the week, even finishing Order of the Phoenix in ONE (long) DAY.

    I ended up finishing Half-Blood Prince before my brother, much to his annoyance, so when we finally got a copy of Deathly Hallows (a few weeks after it came out), I had to wait until he went to sleep to start reading it. Not because he was reading it, but because he just didn't want me to start before he did.
    ...Then before I knew it, it was 4 AM, I'd finished the book, & my eyes were watery. Yeah.