It’s Harry Potter week here at Maximum Pop! ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ turns the big 2-0 today and, for many of us, reading the ‘Harry Potter’ series was a right of passage.
Nearly every person you know would have read J.K. Rowling’s fantastic books at some point or another and if they haven’t… Well, feel free to call them every name under the sun because that’s exactly what we did when we found out one of MP!’s writers hadn’t delved into the magical world of Hogwarts. WHAT A MUGGLE.
To celebrate the release of the ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ turning 20 today, we decided it was time to change this outrageous behaviour. We gave the book to Emma (hi, hello there!) to read and you’ll cry with pride over what she now thinks of the the series.
Hold onto your hats, wizards. Here’s what she had to say.
Reading Harry Potter 20 years later…
Before we get down into the nitty-gritty of what I thought of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, I’d just like to make it clear to everyone *coughs* my fellow MP! writers that I didn’t have a deprived childhood. In fact, it was pretty great… minus the fact it didn’t consist of Butterbeer and Broomsticks. I’ve seen the Harry Potter movies, had an awkward teenage crush on Draco Malfoy (Who didn’t?!) and visited the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. But, up until a month ago I had never touched a Harry Potter book, let alone flicked through one.
Merlin’s beard – I know, I know, it’s shocking.
There’s no particular reason why I haven’t picked up J.K’s epic series.The first book, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, came out when I was 2 and whilst I definitely wouldn’t have had Harry on my mind at that age – I was probably more concerned with the ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ or ‘The Gruffalo’ – even I’ve got to admit that it seems sorta ridiculous that I’ve waited 20 years to delve into the story.
Of course, that’s all changed now! After finally sitting down and reading ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, I’m proud to say I’m a full-blown Potterhead. I’ve read 4 books in just under two weeks and have been discussing Hogwarts to everyone. The postman? My next door neighbour? The cat that lives down the street? You name it, I’ve spoken to them about it.
I’ve even composed a list of reasons why other people need to delve into the books and some of the things that surprised me most about reading ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ for the very first time. Here it is…
1. They’re classics
I don’t know what I was expecting when I first picked up ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. I’ve heard time and time again how the series is a classic, but I don’t think you can truly appreciate just how timeless it is without reading it. It didn’t feel like ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was written over 20 years ago. In fact, it could have easily been penned last week. The themes in it are so relevant and… wow… don’t even get me started on the characters.
2. You fall even harder in love with the characters
In fact, DO get me started on the characters. As fans of the series will already know, you learn so much more about the characters in the books than you do the movies. I’ve always loved Hermione, but in the books you can really develop a special bond with her. You find out so many different facts and piece of trivia that wasn’t captured in the films. So much so that whilst I was reading, I often spent moments daydreaming about what it would be like to be pals with ‘mione. We’re on nickname basis in my head, okay?
3. The books are way better than the movie
Speaking of the films. Yep, I’m throwing it out there. The books are sooooo much better than the movies. When I first picked up ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, I thought I’d constantly be comparing it to the movie but the novel took a life of it’s own. It’s also worth noting that I hid behind the sofa because I was too scared to watch the first movie on when it was first released. It was back when grainy VHS videos were still a thing. But I can safely say, no sofa’s were harmed during the reading of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.
4. Issues in Harry Potter span beyond kids books
I’ve already spoken about how timeless the Harry Potter series is. But I was also surprised at how many important issues and topics were bought up in the books. In fact, it makes me a little sad that I didn’t read these when I was younger. There are lessons in friendship, politics, bravery, women’s rights, asking for help, heartbreak, power and dictatorship, discrimination, money, the media, activism… the list goes on and on.
5. There’s a reason why everyone’s a full blown Potterhead
After reading ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, I could also see why so many people are addicted to it! I immediately logged onto Pottermore to discover my house after finishing the book. It’s Gryffindor, fyi. I’m also trying to work out when I can visit Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. J.K. Rowling hasn’t just created a story, she’s created a whole world that will leave you craving for more.
6. It’s one of the most enjoyable yet easy reads
‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ is an easy yet enjoyable read. Even if you’re not a big reader, it’s a piece of literature that everyone can pick up. J.K. writes in such a powerful yet uncomplicated way. You can read the story on a packed tube or crowded café and still get lost in her words.
7. Last but not least… it’s just pure magic
It goes without saying that the ‘Harry Potter’ series is just as magical as you’d expect – it will leave you hooked. If you’ve got issues going on at school or work, it’s an escape and a way to get lost in a world that everyone wishes they were part of.
Thanks for everything J. K. Rowling! Keep your eyes peeled on Maximum Pop! this week for even more exclusive Harry Potter content.