It’s a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. I love Harry Potter weekends because it means that no matter what time it is, there is something on for me to watch, and I can always watch Harry Potter. For some reason I love watching movies on TV because I feel like I’m connected with everyone else who happens to be watching right now.
Anyway, Harry Potter got me thinking. They have been advertising it as “the series that defined a generation”, and I tend to disagree. I think it’s more like the series that spanned generations. I was a senior in high school before I started reading Harry Potter, and at that time there were only 3 books. It was my sister, in 6th grade at the time (though she’d already been reading the books for 2 years) who introduced me to Harry Potter. Back then, it was different. Harry Potter was just starting to pick up speed, and it would, of course, only grow bigger as the books continued.
For my sister, Harry Potter was her childhood. For many who started reading the books in late elementary school, early middle school, Harry Potter defined their childhood. They came of age alongside Harry, entering puberty and learning about themselves as they followed Harry.
For me, it was a little different. Harry Potter transported me into a world that was unusual, magical, different, and yet still part of our world. I loved that, and though Harry was just a child, and I practically an adult, the books gave me a reason to be a kid again, if only for 400 or 500 pages.
Harry Potter changed my life. It brought me closer to my sister, it brought me to my husband, and through it I met several good friends. For about 5 years I lived and breathed Harry Potter, reading and rereading the books until the last one came out. Even now, in anticipation of the first part of the last movie coming out in November, I’m already rereading them from the beginning, despite the fact that I can practically quote much of the first three books.
And yet, it’s over. The Harry Potter fad, which overtook generations, kids from ages 6 to 60 (my own grandmother read Harry Potter) is done. Sure, there are the movies, but even those are almost over. There are the occasional ABC Family Harry Potter weekends, and I’m sure, someday, JK Rowling with come out with another book, possibly another series. But, generally speaking, the lovers of Harry Potter have moved on. There is always another awesome book or series to read.
This week I was asked to come up with a list of books for middle school kids for a fellow teacher of my mother-in-law. As I was thinking about the list, browsing my bookcase, my eyes fell on my series of Harry Potter books. And I remembered, all of a sudden, almost, that they probably haven’t read Harry Potter yet. I put it on the list, and was happy to know that more kids, another generation, will read Harry Potter. Some kids won’t like it, some will love the books, read them once, and move on. But maybe, just maybe, there will be someone out there like me, who will devour the books and fall in love with the world like I did.
I know Harry Potter is never going to die. I just want to make sure that people don’t forget about it.