What I Read Wednesday – Harry Potter

I’m between books on my reviewing schedule at the moment, so I thought I’d read the books that my husband has been pestering me to read for a while. He won’t let me watch the movies until I read the books first.

No, I never read Harry Potter growing up. I wasn’t allowed because my mom bought into the whole ‘magic is satanic’ and all that. They weren’t honestly my kind of books anyway, so I didn’t mind. My parents didn’t censor much of anything I read as opposed to what I watched on TV (MTV, Scooby Doo and anything with one swear word or a sex scene were banned, among other things).

I did read the first Harry Potter book a few years ago when I worked in a bookstore, but never beyond that, so I’m giving them a second chance. They’re still not my thing, I’d rank fantasy very low on my list of genres I like. I do like the story and the writing style very much.

On my reread, I finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in about a day. I appreciate a quick read, which I know I won’t have by the end of the series. In the beginning, I couldn’t silence my editor side and noticed a few things I would mark up if I was working on the book. Once the story really got started though, I got drawn in and didn’t notice anything.

Rowling is very good at world building and explaining everything without feeling like just exposition. We learn about the wizarding world along with Harry and it all feels very natural. I also appreciate that it fits the Hero’s Journey outline with the call to adventure and mentors and challenges.

We watched the first movie when I finished the first book, and like any good book to movie adaption, it was faithful to the book while still taking a few liberties, that I felt were good. For example, cutting the dragon subplot down while still keeping it in there seemed like a good thing to me.

I do think I will enjoy reading the books, but I probably won’t appreciate them as much as someone reading them for the first time as a kid.

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