Friday, May 27, 2011

Me and the Boy Who Lived


I bought my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the fourth grade when I was nine. So, basically, the book is a decade old.

Things weren’t going so great for me back then. My parents had just split up, and, since I was an only child, they were fighting over who got to keep me—like I was a pet or something. I turned into a total freak over night. I stopped speaking during class, but I managed to piss off both my teachers and classmates every time I opened my mouth. The confusion, pain, and shock of it all forced me to dig a hole inside myself, and I just burrowed in, wishing everything would go away.

During one of our rare trips to the mall together, my father bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was addicted to Nancy Drew mysteries at the time, and I don’t know why I chose the book with a strange-looking boy on the cover. Maybe it intrigued me. I forgot.

This might sound cheesy but Harry Potter became the figurative light at the end of the tunnel. Here was a boy who was completely miserable, and, suddenly, he found this amazing magical place where he was famous, and all sorts of adventures were waiting for him. I walked into Hogwarts, and never wanted to look back. Harry Potter showed me that someone could possibly be more miserable than I was, and, somehow, I stopped feeling so alone.

Today, more than ten years after I first grabbed the book with my grubby nine-year-old hands, I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone again, and it’s still as amazing as I first thought. If the world suddenly makes me want to be invisible again, I have a feeling Harry Potter will still be the figurative light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how old I am.

17 comments:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Great post!

mooderino said...

Very interesting post. I've always wondered what exactly made this book so much diffrent from its contemporaries. I think this gives me quite an insight. I'm thinking of doing it as part of my Chapter One Anlaysis series.

cheers,
mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

Amanda said...

I loved hearing your story.

Red said...

It's wonderful to hear how a book could help you out during such a rough time. Great post!

Audra said...

Such a moving post -- thank you for sharing. I know it's trendy to knock Rowling and her books, but I enjoyed them and I admire Rowling. A meaningful book experience like this is, I suspect, the reason why many people write.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

It is truly amazing that a book can have such a huge influence on a person's life. I love the Harry Potter books and it's inspiring the they were so meaningful to you at such a crucial time in your life. I hope they never lose that magic for you.

Brenna said...

I recently Read Melissa's review of book 5 and reminded myself I really need to reread this series. Like you, I started them when I was quite young and I'm yearning for a trip back to Hogwarts.

simplerpastimes said...

This is really a touching story. I think we all have our books that have impacted us in some way. It's nice that you can still go "home" to this book, even years later.

Tiny Library said...

I am a Harry Potter child too. I got the first one when it first came out here in the UK in 1997, I was 11. I grew up with the books. I had a bit of a tough time in secondary school, and like you, the books did help.

Joanne said...

How lucky that you found the book when you did, no wonder it is special to you.

everybookandcranny said...

Whenever I hear someone say things like "I was nine" when the first HP book was released, it makes me feel old. :)

Great story though.

Teacher/Learner said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal connection to the novel. It amazes me how much this and other classic books mean to people and how they overcome personal issues by seeing themselves reflected in the characters. You put your experience together in words so eloquently, too. Well done :)

Biblibio said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It reminds me that the very best books mean different things for every reader. For me, Harry Potter was a liberation from the "kids book", a clear step away from the chapter books I'd been reading until that point. At first, I couldn't read the books myself (I was seven at the time of publication - another young 'un) but I grew into them, gaining more and more independence as the books came out, growing as a reader much like Rowling grew as a writer. Rereading the books retains that magic and joy of the first time, still intact after all these years.

Lovely post.

Frances said...

That's the beauty of literature--at any age and in the most difficult of circumstances. So glad you are revisiting it and discovering that it still holds magic. Books that we read when young are especially powerful and special.

Jo M (Read the Book) said...

I loved this post! I think we should start a trend or a meme...I'm off to think which book I want to write about!

Miss Marj said...

The Harry Potter series is my ultimate favorite! This book has inspired me so much. Back in high school, I even lived by a mantra inspired by my obsession with the book characters: “If Hermione can do it, why can’t I?” But no kidding, my grades really went up. LOL. I wish JK Rowling would write more. Her books have such a magical effect on people.

Danielle said...

The Harry Potter series is my ultimate favorite! This book has inspired me so much. Back in high school, I even lived by a mantra inspired by my obsession with the book characters: “If Hermione can do it, why can’t I?” But no kidding, my grades really went up. LOL. I wish JK Rowling would write more. Her books have such a magical effect on people.

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