Just to warn you, this is one of my longer and more bizarre posts…
TL;DR: I’m going to read the Harry Potter books for a really bizarre reason. Also, read to the end if you want to know which Hogwarts house I’m in.
If you don’t know me, or you haven’t been following my blog for very long or you are in denial, then you may not realise that I have not yet read the Harry Potter books. 😮 This year, I will once again attempt to read the Harry Potter series. That’s right; I want to get through all seven books before the end of 2017.
What? You haven’t read Harry Potter?
Well…When I was about 9 years old, I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone from my school library. I started reading it and…was not impressed. The story didn’t capture me at all and I didn’t find it memorable. In fact, I didn’t even finish the book; I got about two-thirds of the way through. I think it was quite possibly my first DNF! 😦
But of course, a Harry Potter frenzy swept the world and suddenly, I was the odd one out. I didn’t belong to a house, I didn’t know (and still don’t know…) what a horcrux was and my definition of a ‘snitch’ was still a tell-tale/tattle-tale. 😐
This, I must say, was isolating. Fandoms can sometimes be unforgiving and I found this when it came to Harry Potter. Obviously, some people didn’t care that I hadn’t read the series. Others, however, cared far too much.
When people find out that I haven’t yet read the books, they make remarks that confuse me such as:
“What did you do with your childhood?!”
“Oh my goodness, I don’t think we can be friends…”
And my absolute favourite:
“You won’t get it if you read it as an adult.”
I definitely became more bitter after hearing things like this time and again, and in a way, I feel as though I used these snide remarks to fuel an act of rebellion against the majority by refusing outright to read the books or watch the films. 😡
This video encapsulates pretty much the only exposure I had to the Harry Potter Universe.
So what changed? Why do you want to read them now?
Well…I had a dream…and it changed everything.
I was 22 when I had this dream (I think, I actually can’t remember). In this dream, I was in Hogwarts leading an army of children in some sort of battle. The monster we were fighting closely resembled Orcs of the Uruk-hai type (obviously, my brain compensated for my lack of Harry Potter knowledge and supplemented it with LOTR). I remember shouting commands, such as,
‘We need to get to higher ground!’
…which consisted of going up the stairs (I would be an awful commander…) and the army of children were throwing books and bookcases and things off the landing until finally the Orc-type enemy retreat. At this point, I see a young blond boy of about 11 years old sitting on the top of a bookcase. He is wearing a golden yellow jumper and he starts chanting,
and the rest of the children join in and…
…then I woke up.
Wait? What did I just read?
Yeah, I know. I found it a bit strange to dream about something I know very little about, but I didn’t really think much of it.
That was, until I visited my friend, Vivien a few weeks later in Glasgow. I don’t think she knew that I hadn’t read the books and we were discussing them and I decided to tell her about my dream. When I got to the end of my retelling, she said,
“Oh, because Hufflepuff colours are yellow!”
She made a mistake in telling me this while we were crossing the road because I stopped right in the middle; that’s how shocked I was. She eventually dragged me out of the road and asked me what was wrong. I had to explain that while I knew that Hufflepuff was something to do with the Harry Potter Universe, I didn’t exactly know what and I definitely didn’t know what the Hufflepuff colours were.
What even is a Hufflepuff?
Now, I mentioned earlier that I read two-thirds of the book 13 years prior to this dream and thus, it is clear to me that this information was stuck somewhere in my subconscious. I do not think I am psychic or anything, don’t worry.
Crystal Ball! Tell me posthaste the colours which adorn those of the clan, Hufflepuff!
However, this dream intrigued me so much that I pledged to read the books whether I liked them or not. I tried doing this the year after and I successfully got all the way through the first book! 😀
I still didn’t enjoy it all that much.
Then, in summer 2015, (around the same time I started this blog!) I thought I would read The Chamber of Secrets, but after a candid conversation with my friend Ali, it became clear that I had completely forgotten the plot of the first book. (A highlight of that conversation was me asking, “What’s the Philosopher’s Stone?”)
In 2016 came the year of the epic reading slump.
And thus, 2017 is the year in which I will attempt to read all seven books.
So, how will you read all seven in a year?
It’s worth noting that for me, only the first book of the series will be a re-read and even then, I hardly remember anything from it. I will be coming to these books rather fresh. Of course, I have come across and absorbed some Harry Potter knowledge over the years, but I don’t think I know that much in terms of major plot points. 😎
Thus, my grand master plan is as follows – *drumrollplease*
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – re-read by mid-February
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – read by the end of February
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – read by the end of March
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – read by the end of May
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – read by the end of July
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – read by the end of September
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – read by the end of November
And there we have it!
Phew. That was a long blog post! As ever, please feel free to leave your thoughts, questions and comments below! 😀
Thank you so so much for reading!
SSJ Time Lord
P.S. I promised that if you made it this far, you’d find out what house I’m in. If you want to guess, then feel free. If you want to know, highlight the line below.
Slytherin, of course!