Can We Talk Harry Potter for a Moment, Please?

Hogwarts-castle-harry-potter-166431Harry Potter and I have a history together. It’s rather a messy, complicated history, and really, I’m the one at fault.

In other words, it’s not you, Harry – it’s me.

I read the books about six or seven years ago when they were given to me as a gift. I read up to book six and stopped. I wasn’t impressed.

I honestly have no reason why I didn’t like the books.

I was stupid and narrow-minded.

It’s likely that I just wasn’t fully committed to jumping on the Hogwarts bandwagon. Maybe I wanted to be the “mature adult” who didn’t get sucked into such childish storytelling.

Well, fast forward to about this time last year. Nothing significant happened; I had no premonition or anything like that. I just didn’t have anything to watch; The Office had ended a few months earlier.

So I decided to rent all the Harry Potter movies from the library. I watched them all in about a two-month period. When I finished with movie number eight I immediately dug through my things and pulled out my old Harry Potter books.

I’ll save my short reviews for a later post, but right now I’m well into book five, and Sarabeth is rapidly catching up with me. We cannot get enough of this phenomenon that we missed out on for so many years.

Sarabeth has even made butterbeer for me twice and I have told her to buy me a Harry Potter wand for Christmas.

Yes, the turn-around is that drastic.

We don’t celebrate Halloween, but we’re talking about celebrating Harry Potter.

I want to paint a lightning bolt on our daughter’s head, let my wife’s hair go frizzy, while we all wear stripped scarves and go out and put hexes on things.

We’ve decided that for our daughter’s 11th birthday, we’ll give her an invitation to Hogwarts to introduce her to the books.

Oh, and we’ll definitely be visiting the Hogwarts castle in Universal Studios, thank you very much. It is now the reason I work overtime.

The moral of the story is simple.

Go back and retry that thing you once hated. And don’t ever think you’re too old to enjoy something so awesome.




About Andrew Toy
Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

82 Responses to Can We Talk Harry Potter for a Moment, Please?

  1. quarksire says:

    love all the H P stuff i do 🙂 ……… but wherever did peter pedigrew go 🙂 lol.. kewl stuff … 🙂

  2. Alexia Walke says:

    This is refreshing. I’m so glad you gave Harry another chance! Enjoy the magic.

  3. Is this one of those, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear (come back) things? I’ve never really gotten into Harry Potter, but my daughter did, so I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movies. They seem like a nice bunch of kids.

  4. Wonderful post! It is so encouraging.

  5. Geraint Isitt says:

    I love this post. Great lesson at the end. And the idea for your daughter’s 11th birthday is awesome.

  6. Better late than never! 🙂 Welcome to the wonderful world of Harry Potter! The first time I tried to read the first book, I hated it. Then I saw the first couple of movies after they came out, and tried it again. I couldn’t put it down. In fact, when I got to the last half of book 7, it was in the evening. I stayed up all night to finish it which I have never done with any other book! Then I went to church the next morning. It was great!

  7. When the books came out I was in middle almost high school and my sister was still in elementary. I saw a class project she was working on, this wizard in purple with moon glasses and promptly decided it was for kids. I put it off until the last 2 years of high school, when a friend said I “has to” read them. I was hooked and convinced my husband we need to eventually have our honeymoon at HPWorld.

  8. This made me lol! Harry Potter is phenomenal and I sooo hear you… 😉

  9. flygirl140 says:

    I love this post! I LOVE the Harry Potter movies but I still have yet to actually read the entire series so that is my new goal! I’m glad to hear you have enjoyed it so much!

  10. alisande21 says:

    I have done that same thing so many times, though often I’ll refuse to try something simply because it’s so popular, then when I finally do try it, I’m an instant convert and I always feel silly about my reticence in the first place. Harry Potter is a fave. I re-read the entire series every time a new book came out just so I’d be fresh with the story line. Welcome to the fan club. Now you just have to get sorted into a house. 😉

  11. I’m a potterhead. Every year I re-read the books starting on September first, because I always hope I ain’t too old to receive my acceptance letter and read through book 7 until christmas. So that every year I get to experience Halloween and Christmas at Hogwarts. Well, thtat’s what it feels like when I read the book. It makes me feel I’m there and every time I read it is a different experiece.

    But yeah, I know what you mean. Have felt the same thing towards Howl’s moving Castle. Sometimes, you have to give a book a second chance before you can see it’s beauty.

    • Love it! That’s the exact same thing I’ve wanted to do – read them all every year during the holidays – but there are so many other books I want to fit into my life, I might have to just do that every five or seven years.

    • That is so strange because I’m not a fan of the Potter series, but I was instantly in love with both the book and the movie for Howl’s moving castle. And I have given Harry multiple chances I just can’t seem to get into it.

  12. Sari Tjiang says:

    I’m sure your daughter will have a fun and memorable childhood! :))

  13. This was super entertaining, and it’s so true! Sometimes a story just has to hit you at the right time in life… I never made it through the first Harry Potter novel (I know, I know, everyone just gasped in horror) but maybe I should give it another try!

  14. sabina ayne says:

    So glad you are revisting Harry Potter. I reread the series every spring because the story is that good. Harry Potter has nothing to do with Halloween – just because there’s witches and wizards doesn’t mean it is bad. The overarching theme is good against evil, and which will you choose. I waited until all the movies came out until I read the books. And it is one of the few books-into-movie that I love equally (the only other one is To Kill A Mockingbird – also a frequent reread).Can’t wait for your review!

    • I think the reason people link it with Halloween (and Christmas) like myself, is because big parts of the book recognize and take place on Halloween and Christmas. Plus the music from the movies is so Christmasy!

  15. So funny that you wrote this! I am introducing my son to Harry Potter, we’re just a couple of chapters in the book and I don’t know who is more excited (but its likely me)

  16. Love this! It’s good to be reminded like this. 🙂

  17. artistdevee says:

    My kids love Harry Potter well two of them anyway; the real readers of the family. There was a whole hullabaloo in Jamaica when the first book came out because of the witchcraft etc in the book so when my daughter started reading the first book I started reading it to see what it was all about. It so reminded me of English stories from when I was a child that I was charmed. Needless to say we have all of the books and they have been borrowed and come back and my son rereads his favourite ones all the time. I found myself smiling through your blog.

  18. Love it! What a great message told in a creative way. I actually was introduced to the Harry Potter series through the first movie. I remember being a little bored, but then I read the books and fell in love. I loved the movies after that too. Guess I wasn’t ready to like it yet!

  19. Natasha Musa says:

    It’s never too late to love Harry Potter I say!…

  20. rehmanjafar says:

    Can I be really honest?Okay I’ll be,I was the same like you and now a big fan of Harry Potter series,though still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts.

    And one should absolutely retry things in life,who knows what magic you might find in them you missed.

  21. hayleyc1 says:

    The books are so much more rich in the storytelling and like you I didn’t want to join in the hype. However when book 7 was published I brought myself a set for my birthday and read all 7 in less than 30 days. I was hooked and I’ve re-read them since. Wonderful pieces of storytelling. I’m totally Potter mad!

  22. As a devoted Harry Potter fanatic since 6th grade (1999), I’m so glad you have come to enjoy the books. The elements of Christian typology and symbolism are fantastic, and Rowling’s look at love, doubt, faith (perhaps not “spiritual” faith, but faith nonetheless), and sacrifice are wonderfully in line with the greatest authors of the British tradition of literature.

    And, as CS Lewis said, a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is no good story at all.

  23. Shery Alexander Heinis says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but have just not been able to get into the books. I hope to someday. I had read “The Hobbit “and and the first “Lord of the Rings” before I saw the movies, and I like the books and the movies very much. I am in total agreement with your statement “don’t think you’re ever too old to enjoy….” any book whatsoever!

    • 🙂 I hope you can get into them one day. I’ll tell you this: Get through the first two books and you’ll have a better chance at enjoying the whole series. It really picks up at the end of book 3.

  24. The only things I hate are okra gumbo, eggplant, and coffee…………LOL

  25. Neil Flesch says:

    The moral of all books “Harry Potter” is: One can only truly esteem him who does not LOOK OUT FOR himself.. The old Goethe did not live to read this child literature, but it was very well summarized in a reply given to the counselor Schlosser in the real world. Two hundred years ago? Never mind.. nice shot! All the best, with love, Neil.

  26. I never read the Harry Potter series growing up, they came out when I was in elementary or middle school. All my friends nagged at me constantly about how I never read them so I finally did last year. They were good, introduced me to a whole new culture I had been pretending to know. Yes, I think some people are a little too obsessed, but I think introducing it to your daughter like that is awesome. Also, Harry Potter world is AWESOME!

  27. brockeastman says:

    My wife and I raced through the series when we were dating, something I often talk about in interviews. 🙂

  28. chad waller says:

    Better late to a happy party than to never show up at all. I’m kind of the opposite though. I’ve gone back to things I loved only to find out they’re…so drastically flawed that it hurts.

  29. Tim says:

    I showed the same resistance to Harry Potter when I first encountered it and the same love once I broke down and gave in to the pressure from friends to give it a try. I am glad that I did because it meant that I was actively reading them when the final book came out and I had a great deal of fun predicting with friends what would happen in the end. (The majority of our predictions failed to come true.)

  30. I have indeed learned the lesson of this post. I had to give The Lion King three tries before I liked it. This is the same reason I’m making yet another attempt to read Game of Thrones.

  31. Game of Thrones? I turned into a slug & read all 6 (or 7?) books sequentially and can’t believe I have to wait for the next one. My problem is that I speed read to finish the story and then have to go back to enjoy the beauty of the writing. That’s why I re-read The Hobbit & The Lord of the Ring series every couple of years. George R.R. Martin may be the 21st century’s J.R.R. Tolkien.

  32. Kate Rauner says:

    It seems that all my favorite books and movies are for young adults. I mostly checkout books from the library and strictly limited the number of tapes or disks in the house – a person only has so much storage space. But I have a few in my permanent, personal library. Harry Potter is there on the shelf.

  33. gloria piper says:

    Hi, James,
    And thanks for following my blog, Along the Path.

    In the late 1960s and early 70s, the Charismatic Christian Movement was in full swing. A lot of us were involved in ministries with ex-hippies and the born again. At the time, we were avid to read all the books in the Chronicles of Narnia, whether through buying, borrowing, or visiting the library.

    I’m reminded of that as I’ve now been avid to read all the Harry Potter books and to watch the whole series on film. It’s delightful to watch those kids grow and to see both the fun and the depth of the tale.

  34. Connie T says:

    The books are so much better than the movies. Get the audio books from the library and listen to them. They are great to hear.

  35. mrsmadness says:

    I had the hardest time getting through the first book but I love all the others and have read them multiple times.

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