"Unlocking the Magic of Reading": My Journey In The Wizarding World
Even though I can’t exactly recall that night around 6 years ago, I do remember the bits and pieces that shaped the way I am today. That may be a bit too dramatic, but the Golden Trio’s adventures and moments have helped guide me through some of life’s difficulties at times.
While it may be hard to believe, my love for reading wasn't as strong in the past as it is today. So, when my parents bought me my first copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. After multiple “look at the neighbor’s daughter, she has already read the whole series” and a couple of “all you do is sit around and do nothing” rebukes by my parents, I finally gave in and decided to give Harry Potter a chance and see if his adventures truly lived up to its hype. And trust me I was blown away.
It’s safe to say Harry Potter was probably my first love, after reading the first book I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with the fantasy world. Probably even more than Bella was with Edward - but I’m probably just exaggerating. It was like the quote by Fran Lebowitz, “To lose yourself in a book is the desire of the bookworm. I mean to be taken.” When I was reading this series, it was like I was completely unaware of my surroundings, just simply indulging in the amusement and desire to see what was going to happen next.
Every time I had to stop reading, the reality of my mundane world would hit, and disappointment would flood me when I realized that such a world doesn’t exist. Harry Potter was almost like another home, a place where I could escape daily challenges, even if as an elementary school kid my problems were mainly surrounding homework, not being allowed to have ice cream before dinner, or not being invited to somebody's birthday. Still, it was like a portal that transferred me into a magical world, where I found solace, relatable circumstances, and overall just pure joy and entertainment.
When COVID hit, that is where the real obsessive journey began; I would pull all-nighters which for a 5th grader was staying up till 1 am, reading chapters and chapters with the beam of moonlight, trying to make out words in the darkness. When I would hear footsteps, I would hide the book under my pillow and pretend to sleep, sometimes even throwing a snore here or there for bonus points; I mean it is better to be safe than sorry. I used to complete whole books within a few days, and I recall persistently bothering my dad until he eventually purchased the next book in the sequence. I even had two birthdays that were Harry Potter themed. My poor parents.
I felt like I was on the Hogwarts Express as I read through the books. I cried when Hedwig and Dobby died, I laughed at the Weasley twin's jokes and pranks, I felt confused at Dumbledore’s death, I was upset by Sirius’s end, I was proud of Hermoine, and I was angry at how Ron and Harry fought. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster.
If I am being honest, if I didn't read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that night, I am not entirely sure I would have been the avid reader I am today, filled with longing to visit more worlds, live different lives, make new friends, and have experiences that I wouldn't trade the world for. Every time I read a new book I always hope that they will absorb me as much as Harry Potter did, and sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. Thus far, I have never read a book that I feel like reading time and time again other than Harry Potter.
Every year I have the same craving as the last where I have the urge to reread the mythical series and delve into the events that partake. And every year I find something I missed that caught my eye, something new that I hadn’t grasped before. During different periods of my life, I relate to different things. Usually as one would expect I should feel nostalgic, but unless I’m watching the HP movies, I usually never do, mostly because I feel as though I can relate and comprehend why characters acted the way they did in certain situations as I grow older. So for me rereading the books doesn't come with the same feeling as it did when I first read them.
J.K Rowling has inspired me to become a voracious reader and has motivated me to write stories that take me into another dimension, where everything is right, where there will always be happily ever afters (most of the time) where I can display figments of my imagination.
Harry Potter has helped me become an imaginative person, thinking about the endless possibilities of life, and wanting to dive into a fantasy actuality. The Harry Potter books are not only about mythical creatures, witches and wizards, spells, magic, or dark arts, it’s not just a fabrication of real life, they are about genuine experiences. It's also about incidents that everybody goes through, love, heartbreak, school, friendships, pain, depression, loss, family, and everything in between. At the end of the day, we can all relate to something in the series, whether it’s a loss of a parent, breakups, making friends, losing important people (or pets), exams, stress, and much more. That’s what I love so much about these books.
Harry Potter was the key that opened the lock to my love for reading. My ability to completely immerse myself in a faraway land, and understand ours. I crave reading nowadays, whereas before I never fully understood the delight readers experience. The fantastical makes me get excited about what could be, or how I can make that my reality.
For almost half my life now Harry Potter‘s story has been a safe place where I can wander to escape the realities of life. Almost like a second home where I can control when to stop or when to start. As well as being a highly entertaining source, these stories have shaped who I am today and basically my entire personality, as well as how I shall go about living life to its fullest, making memories along the way… realizing that magic is not just only in mere pages, but it is what surrounds us all the time.
- A Ravenclaw, with a Pine Marten patronus, and a wand that is laurel wood with a unicorn core 9 ¾" and quite bendy flexibility