It has been quite a few years now since I first took the plunge. It was in Stansted Airport. I was wandering around WH Smith bookshop looking for something new to read (which is just as well as they don't sell used books!). You can tell how long ago it was by the fact that the book I had in mind wasn't at that stage in the adult book section but was instead just in the kiddies section. And it had a very childish looking cover. However I was intrigued so I picked it up and took it to the pay counter. I must have looked a trifle uncomfortable buying a children's book. The person serving me looked at me and said "you'll enjoy that, its a great read". So, before all the hysteria and hype, I read my first Harry Potter book. And I was hooked!
So why am I writing this now? Well I've just spent a thoroughly enjoyable few days rereading the Harry Potter 6 and 7 novels. I've enjoyed them more the second time of reading than the first - and I really enjoyed them the first time round. I was prompted to reread them after reading film reviews of the latest Harry Potter film. Despite being a great fan of the books I've only seen one of the films (the first one) and I was disappointed with it. The magical fantasies and wizardry images that seem so real and believable inside one's mind whilst reading the books instead seem rather ridiculous on the big screen. Is it just me? I can imagine someone flying on a broomstick or doing magic with a wand quite sensibly in my head but on the screen it just looks well...rather ridiculous.
But back to the books. I cannot praise too highly the cleverness and complexity of the plot and how everything fits so neatly together over 3,000 pages and 7 novels. I just sit back in total wonder and amazement at how JK Rowling can have ever been so inspired as to create this story. The characters, the imagery, the humour, the drama, the whole magical world that is Harry Potter.
You may be wondering why I just reread HP 6 and 7 rather than start again at the beginning. Well having read the film reviews I was tempted to go along and see the new film of the 6th novel so I thought that before going along I would reread the book of that film. Having got quickly through book 6 I just had to go on and reread book 7. Previously, on first reading them I had had to wait a full year between those two books. Perhaps reading them back-to-back is the reason for my even greater enjoyment the second time round?
Having read them again and finally this morning putting down HP7 on completion, I realised that there was no way that I could spoil the fantastic imagery I had in my head by going to see the film.
If you are Harry Potter fans I'd really like your take on how you think the books and films compare. I'm interested to know if my regular readers are fans or whether the whole thing leaves any of you cold. And finally, if despite the hype and hysteria over the years, you've never read the books then I do thoroughly recommend them to you. There is a world of difference from the earlier books to the later ones but together they make up a story that is truly in a class of its own.