A&E / Archive

Forever and Always a Potterhead: Why you should reread the series in your 20’s

It’s no secret that Harry Potter will always be one of the most popular middle-grade book series, but what might shock you is how the books get even better as you age.

Growing up, I was obsessed with the Harry Potter movies. I’ve watched all eight movies over 150 times, easily. My best friend and I can recite almost every line. Despite my obsession, I refused to read the books. I tried once in middle school, but ultimately stopped because I was afraid that by reading the books, I would
lose my love for the movies.

The expression that the movie is never as good as the book came about for a reason. As an avid reader and movie-watcher, it’s safe to say that I have almost always
enjoyed the book better than the movie. As a child, I was not willing to give up my love for the movies over the book series.

I stayed true to this until my freshman year of college. I received the book collection as a graduation gift and finally convinced myself that it was time to read the books. Waiting to read the books until my 20s was one of the best decisions I could have made.

As an adult, I was able to enjoy and appreciate the books so much more than I would have as a child. J.K. Rowling implores techniques that would have been easily overlooked, and I found it fascinating to compare the books to the movies.

The “Sorcerer’s Stone” starts off slow. I hate to admit it, but I almost didn’t like it because the language seemed simple and boring. It was only as I read the rest of the collection did, I realize that the language, tone and sentence structure of each book matures as Harry does. As Harry enters a new year of school, the readings become more and more complex. The middle grade books transform into young adult novels as Harry matures from a young boy into a man.

After reading the collection for the first time, I appreciated the movies even more. I thought it was incredible how much information that they were able to include in each movie. Yes, there was plenty that was still missing, but they did have to fit an entire school year in about two hours of film for each movie.

The one drawback to my technique was not being able to imagine the characters on my own. With the famous Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, it was hard to reimagine the characters as anyone else. In my opinion, the best part about reading a book is letting the characters come to life in your mind. Despite
this tiny flaw, I wouldn’t have read the books a moment sooner.

You might be thinking that Harry Potter is for kids and that you shouldn’t reread the books as an adult, but Harry Potter has taught me more about loyalty, sacrifice
and bravery than any other book I’ve ever read. Pick up the first book again. I promise you that you are never too old to be transported into the Wizarding World.

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