Rereading Harry Potter

I grew up reading Harry Potter. When I was ten I hoped for my own letter from Hogwarts. From the third book on I got every book the day it came out. But, apart from the first two, I never reread them. Maybe it’s winter and that my life has changed a lot over the past year but, for whatever reason, I found myself wanting something comforting and familiar. So I decided to reread the books, to see if they were still good to my adult eyes.

I reread the first book a few months ago. I’d read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone the most, so I remembered what happened fairly well. When I was due to start secondary school I liked Harry finding out he was a wizard and everything being new and exciting.

But just this week I decided to re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I read most of the 250 pages in a day and found it very well-plotted. When I read I am after the feeling I got from these books when I was younger; I want to forget the time and to stay up late reading, I want to lose myself in another world. Books can do miraculous literary things and playfully mess about with form, but the reader has to keep reading. And J. K. Rowling can tell a story.

The Chamber of Secrets is so well plotted. There are noticeable things in the first and second books that only become important later in the series. Rowling has had her naysayers, and maybe this put me off rereading the books, but these books are great. I love that most of the evil and good characters become more rounded as the series moves on and as the characters get older. In The Chamber of Secrets, Harry and Ron manage to fly a car the length of the country a few times and Hermione especially manages to solve puzzles the teachers can’t solve. I think that Hermione is such a great character and role model. Also, the books are funnier than I remembered. Rowling put a few laughs in for the adults who had to read these stories to children.

So if you were a fan growing up then I think you should reread them. I know somebody (my age) who is reading them for the first time now and is enjoying them. They’re a good series for the middle of winter, when it’s cold outside and you just want escapism. If you want the same you could do worse than to go back to Hogwarts.