Harry Potter. The first book was released in the States in September 1998. I was five years out of high school, just finishing up college and, as I thought at the time, clearly too old for such a book.
Pretty soon not only were my little brothers reading this book, and the subsequent releases, but my best friend was raving about them as well. I held out for as long as I could. It seemed quite ridiculous to me. I was not into fantasy.
I relented one day though and became swept up in the world of Harry, Hogwart’s and magic. I even stood in line one night in a bookstore around midnight waiting for one of the books to be released. I did not wear a wizard outfit like a lot of the folks I was in line with but I was as equally as excited as they were. It’s fun sometimes to get caught up in things and feel the shared excitement over an event with others.
Now, in the year 2011, I have read all seven books twice. Most recently, I reread them the summer before last. They were just as good the second time.
With the release of the final HP movie, Harry’s world really has come to an end. I was a little sad when I left the theater yesterday after watching the final installment. No more seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up on the big screen. No more seeing what kind of job the screenplay writers did bringing the book to life on film. Like I said, it is the end of an era.
I know that Team Edward and Team Jacob (does Bella have a team?) are waiting in the wings to take Harry’s place with their release of the fourth Twilight movie this coming November. I am sure with their November opening we will see more forty year old women sporting t-shirts showing their allegiance to a particular team.
But, really, can any franchise truly compete with Harry and his more than ten year run in the hearts and imaginations of millions of children and adults worldwide?
My hat is off to J.K. Rowling and her creative mind that brought a generation back to books. I am sure someone will rival her efforts one day. For now though, I am content to reread the Harry Potter books from time to time and once again get swept up in the world of Harry, Hogwart’s and magic.