Thursday, July 30, 2009

Re-Reading Harry Potter

A few days before I went to see the most recent Harry Potter film, I thought I ought to re-read the book before I went. I didn't have long, and so I started reading with my frenetic, rushed Harry Potter pace. You know the one, where you rush to get to end so no one else spoils the book for you. I got through about a chapter and decided I just didn't want to read so fast so I put the book away, and went to see the film. Of course, that put me in the mood for Harry Potter and I decided to try to read the book again.

I started slowly, a chapter a day. It's always taken me time to 'warm up' to these books, and it never seems the story really starts until everyone is ensconced at Hogwarts. After awhile, I began reading more and more until suddenly I was finished. And now I am reading about the Deathly Hallows.

I am not going to summarize Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince nor am I going to 'review' it. I just wanted to say what a different reading experience this was than before. The last three books in the series I rushed through, reading for plot and this time around I was able to take my time, get to know the characters better, particularly the secondary characters. I do really like the magical world Rowling has created - I can practically imagine the entire thing really exists - and this time I was able to really enjoy it. Another plus, was being able to jump right into the next book in the series, and who knows? Perhaps I will go back and re-read the earlier books just to experience how Rowling set the story up so long ago.

I hope my daughter wants to read these books someday, but won't it be such a different experience! She'll never have to wait and wonder what's going to happen - it's all right there in the next book.

14 comments:

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I love reading those books the second time -- so much more enjoyable. I've been collecting them in French too, which is a TOTALLY different read but just as fun.

Staci said...

These books are definitely on my re-read list. I don't often reread anything but HP is a must for me!

Rebecca Reid said...

I've often thought about the fact that my son will have not only the books just waiting to be read, but the movies. He'll already know what will happen. Will it still be as good for the second generation, without the anticipation? I wonder. I think the anticipation made it better for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in the middle of rereading them too, currently just finished number 4. I still like them a lot. :)

Ti said...

I was a HUGE Harry Potter fan and was in the middle of book 4 when I had my daughter. I actually, took the book to the hospital with me because I was halfway done and somehow, I thought I would be able to read after the she was born. The nurses laughed at me.

Let's just say, that the bookmark is in the EXACT same spot it was over 5 years ago. She was such a difficult kid that I never had time to finish it.

I promised a friend I would finish the series this summer but it hasn't happened and I almost feel that I have to start over.

BTW..some shrew at swimming lessons blew the ending to the new HP movie while on her cell. I nearly died!!

StuckInABook said...

I fast-pace read HP6 before seeing the film. Well, almost. I was still reading by the light of the cinema projector, all the way through the adverts, but had 60pp left. Then I re-read HP7. Like you, I don't feel it really begins until they're all in Hogwarts, and so it's a shame that that never really happens in HP7. I missed the innocence of the early books.

Bybee said...

My son is deeply engrossed in the series right now.

Bree said...

I rarely reread books but this is the one series that I could reread. With the new movie and buzz in media, I may have to reread series. I like what you said about zooming through them the first time and taking your time the second time around to get to really know the characters. Maybe that's what I'll do too.

Carrie K said...

I've only read the first two, one of these days I'll catch up with the rest of the books.

Your Memoir Week was really nice! Especially since I got to read all the reviews at once. The sad lives do lend themselves more to memoirs, don't they? I just felt for Evan's mom.

Danielle said...

I rushed through these books as well--particularly the second to last book as I had to read that before I could read the last one, which had just been released. A lot of the story has faded from memory already, so I'll have to reread them all again at some point, too. Slowly, like you!

Cath said...

I don't read any books as quickly as I read Harry Potter, but found, like you, that when I reread The Goblet of Fire slowly a while back it was a very different reading experience. I'm now re-experiencing them all over again because my grandaughter is reading some of the books and watching the first few movies. Her parents don't consider her old enough to read the last three (she's just nine) so for new readers the issue isn't availability of books but reaching an age where the older books are suitable reading.

Karen said...

I re-read the Half Blood Prince before seeing the movie recently too. I have to say I enjoyed the book much more than the movie - but was still glad that I went.

Tara said...

CT, I think I enjoyed 6&7 more the second time around, too. In French? Good for you.

Staci, I'm thinking of starting over with the first now!

Rebecca, It'll be interesting to see, won't it? I hope they stand the test of time.

Ti, read at the hospital, yeah right. I brought a magazine that I never read, and I was there for days due to a c-section. Starting over seems like a good idea at this point, and shame on that woman!

Simon, that's funny! I've just finished 7 and felt the same as I did the first time...the story really picks up in the last 200 pages...when they approach Hogwarts.

Bybee, good for him- what a treat!

Bree, reading HP makes me want MORE HP! It's bizzare. I may reread the 1st now.

Carrie K, thanks! I do think memoir often = sadness. Yes, my heart broke with Julie's story. It's a wonderful book.

Danielle, now that I've re-read 6&7, I realize how much I didn't remember from the 1st time. These are fun books to reread as they all thread together.

Cath, I'm in agreement with you about the age issue. I think my daughter could handle the 1st (if she were even interested) but no more than that.

Karen, I wonder how we'll feel about the 7th book/movie connection!

Kim L said...

That will be a very different experience now that the books are all written, won't it? Although I'm glad to read all of the books, it was a little sad to not have any more late night book release parties to look forward to, or speculation over what's going to happen in the next book. A totally different experience indeed.

Samantha said...

I was spurred on to "go back" to my Harry Potter reading by the latest film release but I have only just recently finished the third instalment and have recently started the fourth. So far I have been able to "block my ears" to any talk about the plot of the next novels. I absolutely agree that they don't seem to really get going until all the kids are at Hogwarts and some of Harry's past is included!