I Can’t Believe A Year Went By So Fast
A lot can happen in fifteen years, let me tell you. In fifteen years, a boy wizard went from being an obscure children’s book to one of the most beloved and known characters in the history of literature. Harry has spawned music, other books, an online advocacy organization (hi, everyone!), and an online community which has literally changed the world for good.
What am I talking about? Well, fifteen years ago today, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published, bringing Harry and his friends to the world for us all to know and love. One of the things that I love so much about this series is how it brings together so many different people who have found it in so many ways. I’ve heard so many interesting stories, from reading it in class to coming across it through friends or relatives.
My story is not your typical one. I first heard about Harry Potter when my parents were ranting about it. To tell you all the absolute truth, I don’t know where my mother got her information, but she was absolutely convinced that Harry was both evil and promoting witchcraft. Yeah. Good one, Mom. I wasn’t the most defiant teenager in the world, but if you told me that I couldn’t read a certain book, that was a very good way to get me to read it. My senior year of highschool (2000-2001), I was able to get out of school a period early, but I had to wait in downtown Omaha for my dad to drive me home because he had to finish work.
I decided, in a great fit of… who knows what to go to the library and start reading this supposedly awful book series. Even before Harry got on the train to Hogwarts, I was hooked. The first book quickly ended, and before the end of the year, I had read through book four. I wanted more, but alas, there was no more to be had. I then went off to college, and about halfway through my first year, I mentioned to my parents that I had been reading Harry Potter. The almost requisite argument happened, and for the first (and to date, the only) time in my life, I was able to convince my parents there was nothing wrong with Harry. It’s a story of good and evil, of good overcoming evil, of finding yourself, of fighting for your friends in the face of idiots. Frankly, it’s a story that even my parents could get behind. (Ironically, a few years later, my mother participated in a midnight release at the bookstore her friend owned.)
So, thank you, JK Rowling for bringing us Harry fifteen years ago, and thank you Harry for fighting through everything and showing us what determination is. We’ve all been changed in so many ways.
How did everyone come across the books? Anyone have a good story? Please share in the comments!