chapter 16 blog
The Harry Potter series has now been out for twenty years. It has made my day to see all of the touching tributes and stuff people have been posting. So many individuals have been moved and inspired by these books and words can't describe how happy I am to see that after twenty years, everyone still cares so deeply about this series. I thought I should take a minute to write about my personal experience growing up with Harry Potter in my life.
Not long after my parents moved us from my first, true home in California, I was sent "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" as a gift. I was not quite four years old, and my mom wasn't sure that I'd be able to follow the story, but she decided to try and read the first chapter to me.
A lot of my earliest, distinct memories are of that house in Kansas, waiting to find out what happened to Harry and his friends. We only stayed there a year or so, and when we moved my parents got me the first couple books on tape so I had something to listen to in the truck on the way over. I wasn't ever scared on the road, because I was making the trip with friends.
I learned to read so that I could re-read the books for myself. I learned to write so that I could write about how much I loved these books. I got into gaming because I found out EA was adapting Sorcerer's Stone. I learned to conquer my fears because I wanted to know I belonged in Gryffindor with my heroes. I learned every spell and every creature. I spent more time at Hogwarts than I did anywhere else.
I went to every midnight release, for the books, for the movies. I wore my Hogwarts uniform to every Harry Potter birthday party and magic-themed summer camp. I learned what it was to fall completely in love with a book for the first time.
J.K. Rowling was my first hero. She taught me that women can do anything - both through the strong characters she wrote and through example, because there was nothing in the world more impressive to me than the person who had created Harry Potter. She was the person I wanted to be when I grew up.
These books are the reason why I'm a writer. I don't write fantasy, or anything suitable for children, but I do write every single day, and Harry Potter is where that all started. I owe so much of who I am to this wonderful series, and I am eternally grateful to J.K. Rowling for making such a wonderful, inspiring world for me to grow up in.
Earlier this year I got to see my extended family for the first time in years. My aunt gave me the collector's set of Harry Potter books, which she had bought for me years and years ago but never sent. I was as happy getting them as an adult as I would have been as a child.
Today, I got my copy of Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers and I will start the series over in a new language. After two decades of being helplessly in love with these books, they're still inspiring me to learn new things and face new challenges.