I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly a fast reader. I’d say I read at a moderate pace. Typically I read novels (or any fiction longer than a picture book) at bedtime, rarely allowing myself to read them during the day. That is, of course, unless the book is one I simply can’t put down, and OH, how I love it when that happens! 🙂 My list of books To Be Read (TBR) is a very lengthy one, and stays that way because it takes me relatively long to read each book, plus new ones are added every day. So, though I may want to REread a book, I nix the idea almost immediately.
Then you have the Harry Potter series. In my opinion, this is a “read” that stands alone. In my “world of novels” these books sit at its pinnacle–not only front and center on the top shelf near the foot of my bed, but in my reader’s mind. And it’s not that I haven’t read other wonderful books that have compelled me and kept me up nights. I have! 🙂 But there was much more to “All Things Harry Potter.” Things that gripped readers of all ages in ways that classified it as a phenomenon. As one of those readers, I “get it.”
When I first became aware of the series back when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first released in the U.S., I decided I’d be sure to read each book prior to each corresponding movie release. I read them and fell in love with them, but wasn’t analyzing them deeply, having waited ’til the paperbacks were released to purchase and read each one. That changed when I finished the 5th installment: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. There was positively NO WAY I wasn’t going to have Book 6 in my hands the day it was released! And so it was. I proceeded to voraciously gobble up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as soon as it was in my hands.
It was then that I saw Barnes & Noble University (BNU, the online free university which has long been shut down and I DO miss it) had a discussion group for the book. I salivated. BUT I really debated on whether or not I should get involved. I KNEW it would likely become a bit of an obsession. Ultimately—I gave in, and yes, it became an obsession, but it turned out to be a fortuitous decision. Not only was it one of the most memorable, enjoyable times of my life (which I cannot attribute to any other obsessions that I can recall! lol), but it turned out to also tremendously benefit me as a writer!
In those BNU groups, I was blown away by the depth in which some people had analyzed these books and theorized the possible outcomes of the many subplots; it was more than impressive. I was immediately drawn into the depths of the discussions and, through it all, my appreciation of the brilliance of J. K. Rowling as an author blew wide open. What she accomplished in all aspects of writing was an astounding feat. From world-building to plotting to fleshing out her many “real” characters, she executed arcs throughout the overall entity of the 7 books, while simultaneously writing each book to stand firm individually, each with their own perfectly plotted arcs. And that’s not including the feat of her worldwide no-generation-gap appeal!
After the BNU discussion groups closed, some of us had bonded as friends and wanted to stay in touch, certainly in anticipation of Book 7, the final installment, so we formed our own “theory mongering” group. Several months prior to the release of the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, over the course of about 6 months I reread the series and took notes on each book to serve as reference for our group, then also took notes as I read “Hallows” (with a box of tissues at the ready, by the way).
That was back in 2007. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 7 years! Since then there have been many times I’ve had the itch to reread the series again, having only dipped into “Sorcerer’s Stone” a few times more as a writer analyzing, but I never went beyond that. NOW, at a time when I am still struggling to get a handle on life’s many demands, along comes Sheila of “Book Journey” blog fame. She came up with the brilliant idea to host an event: the Harry Potter ReRead/Read-a-long. The many facets of this meme literally made it impossible for someone like me to resist, regardless of my already overextended existence! (And trust me, I deliberated, practically pulling my hair out!) I guess I’ll classify this as my “7-year Harry Potter itch” because, folks, I’M DOING IT! lol I figure this will also help prime me, as my intent is to finally get into the plotting and fleshing out of my own novel series, hopefully in the near future 🙂 And yes, this “chart queen” has done the math and figured out a reading schedule so I know how much to read in order to stay on track with Sheila’s time table. (It’s here for you as a printable pdf, though I have no idea why the conversion from Word removed many of the black outlines.)
Though my favorite House is Gryffindor (as it is for many people), when I signed up for Pottermore, I was sorted into Hufflepuff House. That’s why I decided to join the ReRead as a Hufflepuff, of which J. K. Rowling says we should be proud 🙂 I’m a “7th-year” student since I completed all 7 books—3 times over, mind you! Part of the agreement is for participants to post each time a new book is being discussed, so every few weeks you will be kept abreast of how it’s going.
I also got at least one of my old “Theory-Monger” pals to sign up, too, which has made me even more excited to participate! So, if YOU are a “Potterhead,” or a “Wannabe Potterhead,” this is the perfect opportunity to reread—or read for the first time—this unforgettable series. I hope to see you there!
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: SO Glad I Didn’t Miss THIS Train!
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Still AWED While Reading Anew!
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: When a Book is a “THRILL RIDE!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Burned by the GOBLET OF FIRE!
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The PHOENIX: No Ordinary Bird…
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The Half-Blood Prince: A ROYAL READ
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: An Unforgettable, “HALLOWED” Conclusion
So, tell me—what books have you reread, and what is it that compels you?