Towards the end of 2015, I had this yearning to re-read the Harry Potter books. It’s probably been a good 5-6 years since I have read them. I don’t think I read the final book more than once. I read the other books repeatedly, in an effort to contain my excitement for the 5th, 6th and 7th books to be released.
I was only in Kindergarten when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. I started reading them in 4th grade when the first movie was released which had me hooked. Even to this day, watching the first movie provides a sense of magic (pun intended) that I don’t feel the other movies (except for maybe the second movie) provide.
Since moving out of home, I have mostly kept my books in my old bedroom at my parent’s house, as I have not yet found a suitable bookcase (read: a bookcase I am happy to purchase because I am so picky when it comes to furniture) to display all of my books. Every time I went home to visit my parents and brothers, I would constantly forget to bring the books home with me.
Then last week I received the shock and sad news that Alan Rickman, aka, Professor Snape to me, had passed. I received that message through a 3am Facebook message from one friend, and a 6am text from another, all in caps, all in shock, that he had passed.
To be honest, I’ve never really been affected by a ‘celebrity’ passing before. The only one that’s come close is when I walked downstairs all those years ago to my brother saying “hey guess what? Michael Jackson died.” I thought he was joking for a bit because he is always fooling around, but to find out it was actually true did stop me in my tracks.
This was different though. Although I enjoyed Michael Jackson, I did not grow up in his prime. But I grew up to Harry Potter. I grew up to Alan Rickman and his distinct voice. I grew up to watching him on screen on those 8 movies which spanned over a decade, and reading those books hearing his voice every time Professor Snape spoke.
Therefore when I visited my parents on Saturday, I went upstairs to my bedroom and ensured that I grabbed my very old, very tattered copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I have not touched this book in years. It has mostly remained as it was, back when I begged my mother to purchase it for me when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I am about halfway through the book now, and I have noticed a huge spillage of food that has stained multiple pages, dirty fingerprints, and I’ve tried to be gentle with the very delicate and scruffy softcover.
I have completely forgotten the style of writing. I have completely forgotten the detail. Reading this book again has reminded me of childhood. It’s reminded me of that MAGIC. I have been completely immersed in the story just like the first time. And gosh, the book is so bloody good.
It’s reminded me of how much simpler times were back then. As a child, my biggest gripe was “why is it taking J.K Rowling so long to release the next book?!”
I think over the last several years, I have been so consumed by growing up. Getting into uni, getting good marks, getting a job, getting married, moving out. Ticking off all those boxes. And I know they’re great factors of life, definitely. But life isn’t just about ticking off those boxes. Life is also about enjoyment. And especially, to me, enjoyment of the little things. A good book. The sound of the ocean. The sun streaming in through the window in the morning. A good cup of tea. A good conversation.
I do not spend much time with children as I don’t really have any around me on a daily basis. But in a way, reading this favourite childhood novel is allowing me to rediscover my childhood. My inner child (because we all have one). And I’m glad, because it’s allowing me to view the world in a different way, and different perspective is always precious to have.
My aim is to re-read the entire series. And after that, I want to lose myself in other series. I am ashamed to say that I have not read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I completely intend to rectify my lack of Tolkien in 2016. Are there any other good series that you would recommend?