A lot of people around my age have a story regarding their introduction to Harry Potter, usually occurring around the tender age of 10 or 11, about the same as that of Harry himself when this series began. I'm a part of that lot.
I'll never forget answering the phone after walking home from the bus stop:
"Have you heard of this new book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?" asked my dad.
"Uh, nope...definitely does not sound like my type of book..." I replied.
"Alright, well, I'm at Barnes & Noble and they have it here, so I'll just bring it home for you and you can see if you like it. Apparently it's getting pretty popular."
When Dad came home from work, he handed me [ in what my 5th grade mind perceived as ] the biggest, heaviest piece of reading material I could ever imagine myself attempting to conquer. Up to that point, I'd buried my nose in Babysitter's Club and other various "pre-teen-girl-geared" paperback hand-me-downs from my three older sisters. Looking at that hardcover with this boy flying on a broom and a close-up of " wait, is that a lightening bolt on his head?" made me skeptical - yeah, I was judging the book by its cover.
Three days later, I finished the whole thing.
I loved it. Devoured it. Could NOT wait for the next installment [ little did I know I'd have to wait a whole year - otherwise maybe I would've taken my time!]. Not to mention the fact that at the time we shared the same last name - aaaaand little did I know that that would haunt me until the day I got married and got a brand spankin' new one. Wherever I went, whomever I talked to on the phone for some sort of customer service, whenever teachers called my name or I met someone new, it was always followed up with a variation on the same question: "As in Harry Potter?" I think the worst was when people from foreign countries would look at my passport, chuckle, then in somewhat broken English say, "Ohh, Harry's sister!" All I could ever do was politely smile, though in my head I had to ask, "Do they truly think that's the first time I've heard that?!"
Anyway, following the first book, I'm pretty sure I managed to get my hands on each of the next six the same week [ if not the day after ] that they were released. I never went to any of those midnight release parties at bookstores, but my mom would always somehow manage to get one for me. When that last one came out in the summer of 2007, I was actually working abroad in Central America and could not for the life of me find one to buy in an airport [ sold out, you see ]. When I arrived back home, I was greeted by a copy left in my room by my mom...though I couldn't bear to start reading what I only knew was the end of this long journey. Eventually after a month of having it just sit and stare at me on the shelf in my dorm room, I opened up book #7 and read to my heart's desire until the very end [ although I took my time with this one, and it lasted a week and a half ].
I never got into the movies very much - I still haven't even seen the sixth one - though I am excited to say that Justin and I just got tickets for the part two of the final movie. Yes, we will be joining the ranks of all the other HP crazies and attending the midnight showing on opening night, July 15.
Okay, I was just about to write about how sad I am about this over-a-decade-long relationship coming to an end and realized this is actually way too long of a post to write about my affinity for all things Harry Potter.
I'm kind of embarrassed now.