Folks, I did it: I finished the Harry Potter series, which I read for the first time in my mid-20s. My post from January covers why I was so late to the party. (Disclaimer: I’m going to try my best as I recap my experience to avoid giving anything away that isn’t already generally known about the series.)
I started reading the first book in January and finished it. I then started the second one and was about halfway through it before I decided to start going to the town library again. In the middle of March the library closed, but I still had a few books out from there and also from the library on campus. I finished all of those by the middle of April, so then I picked up the second book again and never looked back. From the middle of April to the end of May, I finished the last half of the second book and then read books three through seven.
I did find that reading them back to back helped; I was a little rusty when I picked up the second one again but I figured things out quickly again. Also, fun fact: I added up the page totals from half of the second book and all of books three through seven, and it totals 3,620 pages, meaning I read that in a month and a half.
I have some thoughts and questions that are listed below but I’ll say this: I really enjoyed the books. I’m not one for fantasy books, so the fact that I flew through them is saying something. I think I’m glad that I read them now because not only do I have the time to have read them but I’m a more serious reader. I also didn’t find them as confusing as I thought I would. Granted, I don’t know what all of the spells are, but I think I have a good understanding of all of the plot lines and backstories.
I feel like I finally understand more pop culture now. I’ve already taken a bunch of random Buzzfeed quizzes, and since the movies seem to always be on TV, I now they’re something else I can watch. Luckily for me, over Memorial Day weekend, SyFy was showing all of them, so I recorded the movies in my DVR. I had already seen the third and fourth in April when USA Network was showing them and I had finished the books around that time, and over the long weekend I watched the first and second when they were on. During that same week, I made my way through the last four: five, six, and seven part 1 and part 2. And if/whenever we can all safely travel again/I finally get over my fear of flying, I could see myself wanting to go to the Wizarding World at Universal Studios.
I joined the Wizarding World and found out the following:
- Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
- Wand: Cherry wood with a phoenix feather core, 10″ and quite bendy flexibility
- Patronus: Nebelung Cat
- Sirius Black is my favorite character.
- I also love the Weasley twins.
- The third, fourth, and seventh books are my favorites.
- I felt that the first two books and maybe part of the third were more stand alone books. Once you get to the fourth going forward, things seem to carry over more. And once I watched the movies, I felt like this was more of a thing. (I know that the overarching problem of all the books is Lord Voldemort but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.)
- I love the way Snape talks in the movies. He’s also always very flowy with his robes.
- However, I still don’t know how I feel about him, like where his true allegiance was to: Dumbledore or Voldemort.
- I’d like to be able to take memories out and store them in glass bottles.
- I really like the Order and everyone in it.
- I wasn’t a big fan of the fifth book, but I enjoyed the movie. Obviously that book is the longest of the series and the movie cut out a bunch of things, but I think if I reread the fifth book I’d appreciate it a little more.
- For some reason I thought that wizards/witches couldn’t die, so I didn’t believe some of the deaths in the books. But then I realized that Lily and James were a witch and wizard and the dying is the reason we’re in this mess to begin with.
- I wish the Epilogue at the end of the seventh book was longer; I wanted to know what happened to everyone else.
Some questions I have:
- Do we know why/how Voldemort’s nose is like it is?
- How does he breath during allergy szn?
- Follow up: Do we know why he chose that specific name for himself?
- Does anyone else think it’s weird that an adult tried/is trying to kill a child?
- How does a house get a house-elf?
- Who is watching Crookshanks in the seventh book? I feel like Hermione just wouldn’t leave the cat alone.
- Does Harry ever end up moving to 12 Grimmauld Place?
- Why does the Order show up kind of late to the party in the end of the fifth book?
- Do the Death Eaters have day jobs? Or are they just always and the beck and call of Voldemort?
- Where’s Pigwidgeon in the movies? Where’s Peeves???
- What exactly is butterbeer?
The books I read were borrowed, so I think in the future I could see myself buying the series for myself and maybe the movies, too. Quarantine was the perfect time to read the series, and I can now check off one of my resolutions for 2020.
Have you read Harry Potter? What are your thoughts about it? Do you have any answers to my questions?