Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book-Crush Wednesday (13) (Or, How I Came to Love Harry Potter)

This entry might be cheating.

Usually, I try to draw attention to books you haven't heard of, or at the very least books by debut authors that you may know about but haven't gotten around to reading yet. But today, the books I'm discussing are neither obscure nor recent debuts. In fact, if you've never heard of these books or their author, you've probably been living under a rock for the past 11 years, and I should get you a glass of water or, more appropriately, a cup of tea.

Today, we're going to talk about my gigantic freaking crush on the Harry Potter books.  I thought it was fitting, since 24 hours from now I'll be in line, in my Gryffindor PJ pants and Ravenclaw scarf (80 degree weather? Psh!)

If you've been with me for awhile, you know how much I love these books. I shared my experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with you. I wrote a love letter to Severus Snape. I've talked about how it doesn't matter that Jo Rowling breaks the Big Writing Rules, because she's just so freaking fantastic that she makes her own rules. But what you might not know is the story of how I came to find myself an HP fangirl, so that's the story I'd like to share today.

When I was a kid, I LOVED fantasy books. My favorite series was the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, but I loved pretty much any combination of wizard/dragon/princess/wizard/magic/dragon/knights/wizard. So when, in my eighth grade year, there was quite a bit of buzz going on about this new series about wizards, you would think I would be keen to jump on the bandwagon, right?

Wrong.

See, I was just getting into the phase in my life where I was learning to value what was different. I was making weird fashion choices (sorry...no photos. Heh.) and listening to mix tapes my older brother's girlfriend made me that featured local indie bands. And it was AWESOME. So no WAY was I going to fall victim to what the corporate machine and the rest of society was telling me was awesome (even if, inside my heart, I knew I would love it. I mean, it was about WIZARDS. I LOVE WIZARDS.)

So, fast forward three years. It's 2002, and I've spent much time mocking Harry Potter and how lame everyone who likes it is because they only like it because it's popular and why don't you try reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower? (because obviously no teenager has ever read THAT book before.) My friends were all going to see a movie, and, because I like having friends, and having friends is acceptable no matter HOW anti-establishment you pretend to be, I went with them.

They were seeing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. THERE WAS NO ESCAPING.

So for two and a half hours, I got to endure enjoy a fantastic movie about one of my very favorite subjects: WIZARDS. I was delighted. I was terrified (HELLO, ARAGOG. PLEASE GET OFF MY SCREEN NOW AND OUT OF MY NIGHTMARES.) I was...totally hooked.

At the time, I had two part-time jobs, one of which was at a dance supply store at this super sketchy mall...you know, every town has one, the mall that should have been bulldozed years ago but for some reason it's still around? (Consequently, I moved back to the town I went to high school in after college, and both that mall and another mall have actually been bulldozed since.) We were always really slow, especially on Sundays...so the next day, I went into work, and found the copy of Chamber of Secrets that I knew was in the drawer (a co-worker was reading the series.)

I read it all that day. Then I got 1-4 for Christmas, read them before winter break ended, and tried not to cry when I saw that I'd have to wait a whole YEAR before Order of the Phoenix came out.

Four years later, I was doing this:

And this:

And this:
(K, I know you never read this blog. But if you do happen to read this entry...please forgive me for posting this photo. And if you beg me to take it down, I might.)

At various midnight releases. (Do you remember the summer of 2007? That was like The Summer of Harry Potter. IT WAS EPIC.)

So, to make that long story short...I'm glad I gave in. Because Harry Potter is awesomesauce. 

Other random HP-related facts about me:
House I think I'd be in: Ravenclaw. That's usually where those Internet quizzes sort me, and also just where I think I'm most suited.

Favorite character(s): So many! I think Luna is my No. 1, though. She's so wonderful. In terms of character development, though, I love Snape. Obviously.

My next dog will be named: Dobby. I wasn't fully into HP when we got Millie, so we named her Millie, regretfully...because you cannot tell me this dog doesn't look like Dobby:

Yes, we put Halloween costumes on our dogs. We are so Those People.

Then we got Evie, and it was the hubs' turn to name a dog (even though we got Millie long before hubs and I were living together...not sure how that math works out), plus since she's dark she doesn't really look as much like Dobby. (My vote was for Luna but hubs won with Evie, a variation on Evey of V for Vendetta.) Anyway, we love these Italian Greyhounds, and we'll get another one at some point. And then we are SO naming it Dobby.

Place in HP world I'd want to live: The Burrow. Because Hogwarts is cool and all, but Mrs. Weasley is the best.

Magical ability I'd like to posses: Apparition. COME ON. Is there another more awesome choice?

Character I hate most: Rita Skeeter. This probably surprises you. There are so many great villains in the series...Voldemort! Umbridge! But Rita bothers me because she is a symbol of everything that is wrong with The Daily Prophet, and therefore of everything that is wrong with journalism in the Harry Potter universe. She disgraces my profession, and I can't stand her!

Finally:

Favorite HP-related awesome thing that is totally unclassifiable: Potter Puppet Pals.

What are your plans for the movie? Are you a Potter fan?

10 comments:

  1. OMG, I never thought about posting an HP-discovering story! Such an awesome idea. Love yours!

    Yes. Will be at the midnight premier tomorrow. Not in costume, unfortunately.

    BUT WE'LL MAKE A GO OF IT NEXT YEAR! Burlington or bust! :)

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  2. Oh, and would you believe it, I forgot to fangirl about Potter Puppet Pals. The mysterious ticking noise is a must-watch for me about once a week, if not more. I actually posted that on FB just a few hours ago because I have no other outlet for my excitement.

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  3. Yay Harry Potter!

    I'm so sad I missed all the book release parties, and I'm also sad I have no friends locally to geek out at the movie with. *sigh* Oh well, at least I can play on the internet.

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  4. HAHAHA! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that your Evie is named after a variation of V for Vendetta just like my Yvie! We're so awesome.

    I was working at Barnes and Noble back in the day and had early access to the awesomeoness that was HP. still, it took me FOREVER to convince my friends and family to read the books. It was torture not having anyone to talk to about HP.

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  5. I was very closeted about my HP love until very recently. I had all my books delivered via Amazon. I hate that I missed out on the release parties!

    I'm seeing the movie tomorrow night and seriously cannot wait!

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  6. I'm not getting to theater until Saturday, but I can't wait!! I've been spending almost all my free time reliving my reading experience at Mark Reads Harry Potter!

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  7. I'm totally in love with this post.

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  8. HP 1 was the ONLY book Daniel ever told me I HAD to read. He was about halfway through and looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, "Mom, you have GOT to read this book! It is SO good!" And he was right! And we would fight over who got to read the next book first - he usually won because he is a really fast reader!

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  9. I only read the first two books. I'd really like to read them all. I haven't seen any of the movies, though.

    If I read the other books, I'd like to read the first two again since I read them many years ago.

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  10. HP is an easy thing to fall in love with. I love it that you named your dog Dobby. That was one of the hardest deaths for me. I can't believe she killed poor Dobby! :-)

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Loved it? Hated it? Either way, I want to hear what you thought!

 
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