The fall of 1998 came and went for me like any other year. I was just starting middle school in a new town where I didn’t know anyone (with the exception of my sister, Samantha). I was enrolled in difficult honors classes. I was just starting to notice boys and actually caring about what I wore to school. And I was still new to the wonders of The WB and MTV. I had no idea that all across the country, something was happening.
At playgrounds, schools and grocery stores, people were spreading the word and talking about the same thing. They say that word-of-mouth spreads like wild fire, and so it was, that seemingly ordinary fall when the name Harry Potter was passed in excited whispers from one person to another. For on September 1, 1998, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the United States. And the world of pop culture and literature has never been the same.
I love to read. I always have. But I’d never been in love with a book before. I’d never had genuine affection for a fictional character, or touched the worn out and torn cover of a book with such loving fondness. I’d never much cared about when a new book was to be released, let alone obsessively count down the days until it came out. However, that all changed when I first picked up that precious Harry Potter book, which had already been passed from my mother, to my sister, and now to me.
I had refused at first. Why did I want to read some little kids’ book about a stupid wizard? However, with all the talk of muggles, Quidditch, and some guy called “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” curiosity got the better of me.
So, almost two years after it was first published, I cracked open the book and proceeded to not put it down for the rest of the day. Lucky for me, the next two books in the series were already released by that time, so I quickly moved right on to Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. In a matter of a few days, I was officially a Potterhead, the affectionate name that fans of the series call themselves. And while it may seem silly, I can truthfully say that those few days of meeting Harry and discovering the magical world of Hogwarts have changed my life.
The first thing to know about us Harry Potter fanatics is that we will, without a doubt, try to convince you to read these books by any means necessary. We will offer you one of several copies of the books that we own. Why do we have so many? Well, because you have to buy the paperback because it’s easier to carry around (as you will not put it down once you start reading), but it falls apart with so much wear (again, with the not-putting-down thing), so you have to buy another one.