I am taking part in this year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. This is my submission for H ...
One day, boys and girls, my mother told me a story. It was about a wizard called Harry Potter. She had spotted J K Rowling's books on the bestseller lists and read the first three with delight. She burbled excitedly about them to me - but really - children's books? Naturally, I gave her a pitying look and paid no more attention. But she persisted, despite every raised eyebrow and "Mother" said with a sigh. So, to keep her quiet, I took all three home and started to read. Books 1 & 2 slipped by without changing my mind whatsoever. Then I read number 3 - The Prisioner of Azkaban - if you need reminding. The dementors were unveiled and I was hooked. Even if the writing hadn't matured particularly, the ideas certainly had. And I liked the dark twist things were taking ...
I became one of "those" people. I discussed the story with other fans, I lurked on fan forums, I even queued outside my local bookseller for the book to be released at one minute past midnight, so I could buy it, take it home and devour it in as close to a single sitting as I could manage.
What caused this crazy behaviour? Well, OK, I'd been known to read for huge lengths of time at a single sitting, but queuing up at midnight with a load of children all in costume? Utterly daft behaviour! Even to this day, I cannot say for certain what caused it. Being part of a nationwide wave of enthusiasm was certainly enjoyable - reading and anticipating each book (and later each film) with so many others. The fact that strangers would talk to one another just because one (or both) were seen reading HP. Whilst this is something I do all the time, I'd never seen it happen with such great regularlity anytime before or since. I didn't care about the quality of the writing, the derivative nature of the characters or story line, I just let it all wash over me. I loved Molly Weasley and her brood of gingers, I adored Hermione's cleverness and wonderful way with a put-down and had a secret crush on Remus (the werewolf).
I had never read magic or fantasy or fiction for young adults before. But it was fun, pure unadulterated fun. There was sadness and loss too, but most of the time, it was a rollicking good read. Before each new book came out, I would go back to the beginning and read each book again. Whenever I've had the love of reading knocked out of me by a particularly blah offering, HP brings me back to the fold once more.
I have read many better books, but none that I've enjoyed with so much simple enthusiasm as Harry Potter.
Are you a Potter fan - or do you wonder what all the fuss is about? Do you have a book (or series of books) that makes you feel this way?