“The stories we love best live in us forever.” – J.K. Rowling
These words, as spoken by the author of my most beloved fictional book series could not hold more true. It is impossible for me to choose just one novel in the Harry Potter series that is more important to me than the others; the series has has such an incredibly profound impact on my life that I can only discuss it as a whole entity. Now, anybody who knows me knows that I am a die hard Harry Potter fan. I’ve read all seven books in the series at least eleven times each, I prefer a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios over a wild spring break in Panama City Beach and I was taken out of school early as a child on the days that a new movie was released in theaters. I have a Deathly Hallows keychain on my car keys, a Hogwarts banner hanging proudly above my bed and the instrumental scores of the first four movie soundtracks on my iPod. Needless to say, Harry Potter is an extremely prevalent part of my life.
As an avid reader my entire life, I have always had a special connection with the written word; where other children found entertainment sitting in front of the television for hours at a time, I sought my enjoyment through books. I have knocked over many glasses of water and jugs of milk at the kitchen table because I insist on reading while I eat (I guess those are the occupational hazards of being a bookworm). When I was introduced to the Harry Potter series by my sister at age eight, I had no idea that she was introducing me to seven books that would become a part of who I am today.
My adventure began with a tattered and well-read copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone passed down to me by my older sister, Alyssa. She continued to pass on her copies of each novel to me until I was old enough to join her in camping outside Barnes and Nobles at midnight on the night that a new novel was being released. It was a race between my sister and I to finish the books before the sun rose on the night that we purchased them; I would devour these sometimes-over-700-word-books in under six hours and as soon as I read the last word, I would turn to page one and begin the novel again from the beginning.
Harry Potter has provided me with an incredible and mystical world in which to immerse myself. As a child I would spend hours pouring over the pages filled with fantastical descriptions of landscapes, creatures, sports, food and clothing that I could never have dreamed possible. As a young adult I am still just as enamored with the characters and the settings as I was over ten years ago. J.K. Rowling has an unprecedented gift of description and imagery and her words allowed me to use my imagination in ways that a book had never challenged me to do before.
Not only is the Harry Potter series a fresh and entertaining read, it is written by a truly sharp woman who injects her intelligence into every word she writes. J.K. Rowling is more than a children’s book author, she is an innovator and a genius. The world that she has created in her Harry Potter series is one that I will always remember as a prevalent part of my childhood well into my adult years. The everlasting influence of this series has me automatically reading anything that has Jo Rowling’s name on it–including her new novel Casual Vacancy.
The Harry Potter series has had more influences on me than I can name. It is without a doubt my favorite and most treasured collection of books that I have ever read and I am proud to say that I am a Muggle who thoroughly enjoys reading about spellcasting, potion-making and Quidditch matches.