How I became a Harry Potter fan
Many years before I read the first book I remember reading newspaper articles about eager fans queuing in front of bookshops in the evening already so that by midnight they might have a fresh copy of the newest volume of Harry in their hands. I imagined what a rush of excitement it must be - how eager they would be to get home as soon as possible and start reading. I imagined they would read in the car already and on their way up the stairs.
And I smiled wanly; thinking myself so superior for not following a trend.
Later that year I went to Amsterdam and while there I saw the first two Harry Potter books in a display window. They were English paperback editions and they were cheap books. For the majority of the travelling I read - but they were other books, which I brought from home. I never opened Harry. Even when I arrived home I put the book neatly on the shelf and left it at that. And so years passed and there were more news about eager fans lining in front of bookshops late at night and again I smiled at their loyalty, hardly ever remembering that I had two volumes of the world phenomenon on my bookshelf.
Some more years passed and the pages had started to turn yellow, when finally I decided to read the books and then pass them on a younger person. It never entered my mind that Harry was a book for children or that it might be inappropriate for my age - I knew it was a fairytale, but I thought I'd read it anyway. Now I'm smarter - I know Harry isn't just a book for children.
It took almost a week to get past the first 100 pages, because I was busy working at my summer job. But even at that slow pace I found the book witty, the story inventive and Rowling's imagination boundless. Her persuasive, realistic, open tone could make you believe that wizards really do exist. There's nothing artificial or forced about her story. She writes it as though she knows it is true.
I couldn't stop reading. I would read for hours on end, breezing through chapters and racking my brains for the information Harry needed. This was a wizarding detective strory - so much suspense, so much action, such nerve-wrecking scenes... Whoever thought this was a children's book?
Having finished the first book, I began reading the second volume in the same day. I finished the second book on Saturday and I couldn't wait for more. I was so desperate for more of Harry that late on Saturday boyfriend took me to CityPark to look for the third book. Sadly, they were sold out. Having to wait a whole day seemed impossible - how I was to endure a whole day without Harry was beyond me. First thing Monday morning I went to Konzorcij bookshop (I don't think I ever woke up so early during the holidays...) and bought the third and fourth volume. Right thereafter I went to a remote library to borrow the fifth book.
I read all three remaining books in a week. I got hooked.
A while after having finished the fifth book something about the plot bothered me. I went online and posted my question in an HP fan forum. They directed me to an editorial on Mugglenet and I dutifully read that. And all the 40 others. Then I began reading other columnists, I began reading fan-written editorials, thinking about theories for book 6.
I found out the day of the release of book 6 just a few hours after it was announced on Rowling's website. Three days later I went to a bookshop to ask when book 6 reservations will be available. The sales lady said they found out earlier that day and that they have no clue as of yet. I was perplexed - I exclaimed I found about the release ages ago and how they could not have known, oh my!, that were the biggest news that week. The sales lady gave me a weird look and instantly I knew that in her book I am an obsessed HP fan. And why would I even pretend not to be one? Long before that day I had made a daily habit of checking Mugglenet for news, reading an editorial here and there and re-reading the books, searching for new clues.
I booked my copy of volume 6 in March and the book was released in July. I downloaded a countdown counter from Mugglenet and counted the days until the release. On release day I came from holidays and three times on the way home I wanted to ask boyfriend to stop in Rijeka as I saw they were putting copies of Harry on the shelves in various shops. Somehow I managed to restrain myself until I got home. I opened the front door and without a hello I asked mother whether she went to the bookshop to get my copy. She replied in negative and I felt my eyes wet.
However, it was only a rude joke she played on me. She had the book and by evening, I already read a third of it. Because of Harry I kept reading all through the night and went to sleep at 7 am.
Yes, I'm in my twenties and am a Harry Potter fan. And now that boyfriend likes the series, too I can only wonder how we'll manage to read book 7 simultaneously when it comes out. Any suggestions appreciated. (We're buying a single book.)
Harry is a legend. With over 300 million books sold, the story being translated into more languages every day, I consider it a part of my world-wise education to know what Quidditch is and why Petter Pettigrew is a rat. Do you need any more persuading?
Labels: Harry Potter