|Read from January 23, 2012|
to January 24, 2012
Publication Date: June 30, 1997
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Number of Pages: 223 pages
Excerpt: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
Let me give a little background about my life's Harry Potter history. I read the book first through borrowing from a classmate, then from the library, reread it sometime in High School, when I finally bought the whole set, and then this month when I reread it again for the HPRC2012.
That's a total of 5 times and guess what, the magic is still there and as bright and sparklous (my self-made word after reading this) as ever. It was still as hilarious, still as enchanting and still as exciting when I first read it. The chills and nostalgia are even worst than before, if that's even possible.
On her first book out of the seven in the series, Rowling introduced as to a scrawny, bespectacled boy with an oddly shaped lightning scar on his forehead, named Harry Potter. Little did she know, Harry Potter will not only be famous in her head and in the wizarding world she created but it will also be a worldwide phenomenon.
Harry Potter lives with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who treated him awfully. He lives in a cupboard and was forced to endure his cousin, Dudley, who enjoys bullying him all the time. One day, he received a letter saying that he's been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and that he's a wizard. From then on, Harry Potter embarked on a journey some of us can only hope for. (and still hoping...)
As a wizard leaving in the world of Muggles especially with no background at all about magic, Harry Potter has a lot to learn and to take in. He didn't know what is the real reason behind his parent's death. That he is special because he has somehow defeated Voldemort when he was still a baby.
I feel this odd, powerful connection to Harry, knowing that he's trying to make sense of everything around him. Pictures that move, brooms not for sweeping but for riding on sale, candies with "all" sorts of flavor and a bank run by goblins. It was too much. But what's too much for him is like a treat to the readers. It was a different world for us too and seeing it in the eyes of Harry Potter is all so very interesting.
What's really commendable about Rowling's writing as well is its simplicity. When I reread it again today, I thought is this really how Rowling wrote Philosopher's Stone? I keep imagining it as mind-boggling and quite required the use of a dictionary but no, it's really straightforward. It must've been the British talk, I was imagining then. And the humor and hilarity were superb as well.
The friendship was also one of the things I really loved about the book. At first it was Hermione "the know-it all" vs. Ron and Harry "the troublemakers". But then the troll happened, and it was enough reason for them to be inseparable.
And the characters, oh my I can't tell you how much I love the characters in this book. Albus Dumbledore, an enigmatic, powerful magician and the Headmaster of Hogwarts who has nothing in his heart but kindness. Severus Snape who I loathed but then pulled a big shocker on us at the end of the entire series. It was enough to say I cried harder because of him than I did because of Dumbledore and Sirius combined. Minerva McGonagall who is strict and fair and just about everything but is truly a softy at heart. Draco Malfoy whose name says it all. Hagrid, a giant and the game keeper of Hogwarts whose bigness of heart and loyalty far exceeds his height and Hedwig who is not really a person but an owl, but still as important as the rest.
And the other things that sprouted out of Rowling's head is just pure, unadulterated gold. The magnificence of Quidditch and Harry being the youngest seeker in a century, the Mirror of Erised in which we got a glimpse of the longingness Harry felt for his parents that almost broke my heart, the Invisibility Cloak which lead the trio to their first adventures, the Sorting Hat which is an old hat who sings and sorts students to their houses, the Forbidden Forest first appearance on the books, Harry's first meet-up with his mortal archnemesis, He-who-must-not-be-named. Man, I could go on and on but still could not even touched the epicness that is Philosopher's Stone. Yes, we are still talking about Philosopher's Stone.
Honestly speaking, I cannot understand why I love Harry Potter so much the way I did back then. And until now I cannot really explain why I was still drawn to this wonderful world of magic and spells and why it never grows old. Somehow this story of "The Boy Who Lived" made its way to my heart and refused to leave. And I'm not even complaining. Sparklous.