I’ve been having a rubbish time at work lately, so I decided to take these two postcards in to work to stick on the wall next to my desk. I identity mostly as a Hufflepuff, but I do have my Gryffindor moments. So these are to remind me at work to be strong and brave and not back down from bullies but to stand up for what is right, and to work hard even when things are difficult, and to be kind and patient even when I am dealing with people who are really quite horrible. And that when things are really bad, I can go home at the end of the day and read books and escape.
This was my birthday present to myself. I am turning 27 and I am supposedly an adult now. I mean, I have a job and pay bills and do grown up things. Which means that if I want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a Harry Potter box set then I can.
A couple of years ago I wrote about reading Harry Potter properly for the first time. I’d read a few of the books as a kid, but then drifted away from the series. My friend Michael very kindly bought me the first book on my Kindle and I was hooked and went through the whole series. At the time I wrote:
I’m not totally in love with them the way that some people are, but I can see why people do have that love for them, and I kind of wish I had read them when I was younger so that I could have that too. I do really like them though.
I haven’t reread the books since then, but my opinion of them has increased as I’ve been more aware of the Harry Potter fandom and interacted more with people who really love the books. I am really quite jealous of people who got to grow up with the books and the films as a huge part of their life!
I have the series on my Kindle, but I thought it might be nice to get a physical copy, and then I saw this really cool boxset and it was impossible to resist. My only gripe with it is that it’s an American edition which means it has Sorcerer’s Stone rather than Philosopher’s Stone! But other than that I am very pleased with this, and I am looking forward to rereading the series in the near future.
- Tired of walking in on Harry, Hermione and Ron all over the school, Professor McGonagall had given them permission to use the empty Transfiguration classroom at lunchtimes.
- Stars winking in front of his eyes, he grabbed the top of the hat to pull it off and felt something long and hard beneath it.
- ‘Nice socks, Potter,’ Moody growled as he passed, his magical eye staring through Harry’s robes.
- ‘Everyone seems quite relieved, though, considering they all knew I’d get off,’ said Harry, smiling.
- Hagrid’s pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds.
- ‘Potter, you can skin Malfoy’s shrivelfig’.
- ‘It’s no wonder I can’t get it out, Hermione, you packed my old jeans, they’re tight.’
- He could feel it vibrating and let go; it hung in midair, unsupported, at exactly the right height for him to mount it.
- ‘When I came out it bobbed along a bit and I followed it behind the shed and then it…well, it went inside me.’
- ‘Some wizards just like to boast that theirs are bigger and better than other people’s.’
- ‘She tasted disgusting, worse than Gurdyroots! Okay, Ron, come here so I can do you…’
- Mr. Ollivander spent much longer examining Harry’s wand than anyone else’s.
- 'What did he do to you, Diddy?' Aunt Pentunia said in a quavering voice, now sponging sick from the front of Dudley’s leather jacket. 'Was it - was it you-know-what, darling? Did he use— his thing?'
- Instead he contented himself with scrawling a note to Ron: Let’s do it tonight.
- Harry, however, had never been less interested in Quidditch; he was rapidly becoming obsessed with Draco Malfoy.
- But whether James really did take off Snape’s pants, Harry never found out.
- ‘Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?’ said Ron.
When I last left off with my reviewing, I was midway through the Harry Potter series. Since then I have of course finished all the books, and watched the movies too. I never really got around to writing about them, mainly because I couldn’t really think of anything to say. I am sure that most of you are far more familiar with the series that I am, what with my late-on-the-bandwagon approach.
The books first… I’m not totally in love with them the way that some people are, but I can see why people do have that love for them, and I kind of wish I had read them when I was younger so that I could have that too. I do really like them though. I thought the last few books were better than the earlier ones, I liked the darker tones, but at the same time I appreciate that the books became darker and deeper as the characters matured and that is wonderfully appropriate. That being said, I think of the individual books Prisoner of Azkaban was probably my favourite.
The movies are another matter though, and I was really rather disappointed with them. To be fair they have some things to commend, the cast in particular was brilliant. But plotwise I thought they were a bit disastrous, given how many things were cut and abbreviated from the books. I honestly think that they would be difficult to follow, or at least fully enjoy, for anyone who hadn’t read the books. I enjoyed them well enough given that I had read and liked the books, but I don’t think they were particularly good films on their own merit.
Overall though, I am glad that I finally got around to seeing what all the fuss was. Now at least people will stop being horrified that I haven’t read the books! As I said before, there has been so much already written about the series that there is not really anything I can add, but I did want to at least record my opinion. And thanks to the various people who bugged me about reading the books, I did really enjoy them once I got around to it!
The Harry Potter series has finally been released in the eBook format through the Pottermore website. I have not read the series (insert shocked gasps here) and so my friend Michael got me the first one - many thanks again! This isn’t a review as I haven’t read it yet, but I just wanted to make a post about it.
When I say I haven’t read the series that is not technically true, because I have read the first three books. I remember my Mum getting me the first book, probably when it was first released in paperback. It was a gift because I was ill in bed; I used to get really bad tonsillitis several times a year when I was a kid, so I’m sure it was probably one of those times.
(The best gift my Mum ever got me when I was ill in bed was the audio book, on cassette tape, of Leonard Nimoy’s autobiography I Am Spock as read by Nimoy himself. I listened to it whilst slightly feverish, which resulted is a very bizarre experience. But that’s really a story for another time!)
Anyway, I remember I liked the first book and I got the second one when it came out. By the time the third one came out my younger sister was obsessed with it and she got the book and got it signed by JK Rowling when she was on some kind of book tour. I remember that I wasn’t particularly bothered about it by that point but I borrowed it and read it after her. But by the time the fourth one came out I was in the middle of my pretentious literary phase and even when I came to my senses and went back to reading science fiction and fantasy, I still did not go back to the Harry Potter series.
Over the years various friends have reacted with horror when they learn that I haven’t read it, and people have tried to convince me to read it. I have generally intended to at some point, it is not like I have any objection to it, I’ve just never got around to reading it yet. But now I have no excuse, so I will be starting this one shortly and I’ll see how I get on with it. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype!
I read the first few Harry Potter books when I was younger, about 12 or 13, and I kind of enjoyed them but I never had enough of an interest in the series to continue to read them when I was a bit older and the next book was released. Similarly, I saw the first film, but I didn’t much care for it. I do know a few people who are massive fans of the series though (the books or the films or both) and so I’m occasionally curious it, and what the appeal is. I have nothing against the fact that it’s a series primarily aimed at younger readers, by the way, and there are quite a few YA books that I’ve read and enjoyed immensely. It’s more the story and the setting that didn’t ever grip me. Anyway, I was considering whether or not to give in and read them, now that the series is over, or whether to watch the films in preparation for the final movie releases (or whether to just continue to ignore them!). But then it was pointed out to me that there is another option, which is where the above picture is relevant - Stephen Fry reads the audiobooks of the series. Now, I’ve never really been a fan of audiobooks, but I may be prepared to give them (and Harry Potter) another chance under those circumstances…