I could probably write several essays about Harry Potter. DOn’t worry, I won’t. What’s important to know is that it was a big part of my childhood. Harry Potter gave me a safe place when I was an awkward kid who was better at making friends on the Internet than in person. I still collect the books (that’s a post you’ll get eventually).
When the “short story” was announced yesterday, I happened to have some free time and decided to head over to Pottermore and check it out. I’ve had my Pottermore account since its beta, but I really hate the place. Some part of me is bitter that Rowling made the website rather than publishing the encyclopedia she promised, and that part of me should really get over it. Regardless, it’s not a place I frequent, despite the extra material (and because apparently I’m terrible at potion-making). I decided to suck it up, and pop on a book on Audible while I went to this “childish” site.
It was about halfway into sifting through chapter after chapter of “The Chamber of Secrets,” trying to unlock all of the “New from JK Rowling” information, that I realized what I would look like to my twelve year-old self at the moment. There I was, playing on a Harry Potter website (as I did a lot when I was twelve), a cat on my lap, and an audiobook about a wizard playing on my phone. A wizard named Harry.
Yep, I was listening to The Dresden Files.
I couldn’t decide if twelve-year-old me would have been proud of scared. Realistically, she probably would have been more impressed by the cell phone that played audiobooks (which were lame to her. Why listen when you could read?).
Fantasy is my favorite genre, but I’m picky about it, especially when it comes to magic. It took two exes who watched The Dresden Files TV show before I finally picked up a book and was willing to give it a shot. I love the books, because they’re easy reads that still have some depth. They’re what I like to think of as “candy” books – delicious and gone quickly, though not what you want all the time.
That’s when I had to admit that Harry Potter probably influenced my reading more than I ever wanted to admit. Since I’d always liked to read, I didn’t credit Mr. Potter with any of that passion. Harry is probably the reason I’m so picky about books about magic, though. I fell in love with some once already. I think I was actively trying not to let that become my genre, because I didn’t want to take anything from my love of Harry Potter. That, in turn, makes me appreciate the books I like in the genre even more.
Damn you, JK. It’s been years. Get out of my head.
Okay, I lied. I like you right where you are.