A Reading journal
I have, technically, read a Harry Potter book once before. I don’t quite remember if I was in middle school or if I was a freshman in high school, but I was around that age. Anyway, I liked the first book well enough, but then I started the second and I don’t think I made it past page 20. It was just like the first one. I was so bored. At a time when I never quit books, I declared it a kids’ book and figured I was too old for it, tossed it aside and moved on with my life.
I have seen all the movies, and enjoyed them (apart from the one with the spiders, which I didn’t like very much). But I never felt the need to go back and read the series: I figured it was something you had to grow up with to think it was amazing, and it just wouldn’t work on an adult. But now I have nieces and nephews, and my niece is reading through the series, and I thought I’d join her. It gives us something to talk about, and it gives me the push to see what the fuss is about.
I’m sure reading these without having seen the movies would be a different experience, but we can’t undo what’s been done, so let’s not dwell.
Also, I am a literary scholar, but this is not my workplace. I try to read for fun as much as I can, and while I can’t completely shut off my analytical mind (though I do try, because I love to enjoy my trashier reads), I am not here to write an article or come up with a new reading of Harry Potter. I’m just here to have fun.
So, I just finished the chapter where Harry is… Oh, OK. We may have a problem. I am reading this in Spanish because my library was out of the English copies, and they had the beautiful illustrated edition available in Spanish, so, I got that. So technically, I’m reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, translated by Alicia Dellepiane Rawson. But there are so many words that are made up and I am trying to remember what things are called in the movies. The sorting hat? That thing. That’s how far I’ve gotten.
I am amazed at how much I am enjoying this. I am someone who actively avoids reading middle grade. I do read YA, but I am usually disappointed. There is a reason books are classified by age – YA usually doesn’t have the same substance as adult, and of course, middle grade is even more simplified, because it’s written for children (duh!). But Rowling really did create a wonderful world, and I love the details of the first book, when you are just first entering into it. I can’t remember my initial reading experience well enough, but I imagine encountering this for the first time truly is magical.
Also, this illustrated edition (illustrations by Jim Kay) is gorgeous. I wasn’t so sure at first, when I saw pictures and videos of it, but it is wonderful. What an amazing thing, too, to be the person to illustrate Harry Potter! I can’t even draw a stick figure, but I’m kinda jealous of Jim Kay.
I am also thinking about buying the Harry Potter box set or even… Even investing in these illustrated editions? Who am I?!