Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted on 08/13/2013 in Book Review / 32 Comments

Confessions of a Harry Potter Virgin

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At 33 years old, I had never read Harry Potter. In a world full of Muggles and Witches and Wizards, and tens of thousands of memes dedicated to all things Potter, I was unknowing. Oh, I followed Voldemort on Twitter and giggled at some of the things he said….but I didn’t get it. You don’t truly get it until you’ve read the books, even in a world saturated with Potterisms. I didn’t know about dragons, or three-headed dogs that could be sung to sleep, or potions and spells, or Quidditch and the Snitch, or Gryffindor, or invisible cloaks, or Platform 9 ¾. I didn’t know the Hogwarts school song, and I hadn’t met the Weasley Twins yet…or Professor Snape and Dumbledore. I may just have been one of the last people on Earth to begin waiting on my own letter (which, I suspect my postman may have stolen…).\r\nYes, at 33, I was a Harry Potter Virgin. These are my confessions of a Harry Potter virgin.

\r\n\r\nConfessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 1: The Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published by Scholastic Press on 6/30/1997
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Goodreads
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Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

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But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

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Considering that everyone has pretty much read Harry Potter, I’m not going to try to keep these from being spoilery. If you haven’t read them yet, well….shame on you!  And…I understand. I was there recently once myself.\r\nLet me preface this by saying I never meant to NOT read Harry Potter. It just sort of happened. I was 18 when the first book came out in the US, and I was interested in the books, but I just never got around to reading them. The next thing I knew, the last book had been finished and the movie was coming out and there I was, a world away from other bibliophiles. It got easier and easier to not read them, as other great books entered our world, but it also shamed me. Here I am, someone who blogs about books, and reads incessantly, and I’ve never read Harry Potter?! I felt guilty, and I admit, I stressed a bit when I decided to read them, because several people have been waiting and waiting…and waiting for me to enter the Potter world for the first time. I didn’t want to let anyone down by not liking them. What if I didn’t like them at all or thought they were mediocre at best?\r\nCracking the pages, I was immediately transported to Rowling’s world. Her writing, regardless whether it’s for middle-grade or not, makes it so easy to become engrossed in Harry’s story. It was magical and fantastic, and yes, as Hagrid and Harry walked the streets of the market buying supplies for Hogwarts, I was right there with them.\r\nI was there when Harry, Hermione and Ron were chosen for Gryffindor, and I was there when Harry learned to fly on a broom. (Sidenote: Harry Potter is so much a part of our culture, my computer just spell-checked “Gryffindor” for me…apparently I had spelled it incorrectly!) I ran the halls with Harry and Ron when they tried to find Hermione and protect her from the troll…before inadvertently locking it in the bathroom with her.\r\nRowling’s imagination knows no bounds…when Harry, Ron and Hermione were trying to get to the stone, everything from the keys flying through the air, to the living chess pieces, to the 7 potions and the Devil’s Snare – they were all alive for me. I can’t wait to see the movies!\r\nMy questions: Snape! Is he bad? Good? It’s so hard to tell, but I think I know now. Is Voldemort redeemable? Dumbledore explained that Quirrell couldn’t touch Harry because the mark of his parents’ love was on him; is love so powerful it becomes a residue of some sort? Is Malfoy someone I will eventually like or am I going to want to punch him in the nose every time he shows up? Is Hagrid hiding secrets?\r\nI think the biggest thing I took away from The Sorcerer’s Stone was courage. Harry and his friends came to Hogwarts as First-Years with very little sense of self or courage. Harry was raised by his Aunt and Uncle who detested him and their responsibility to him. Ron was well-loved, but lived in the shadow of the other Weasley boys, including his lovable, but trouble-making twin brothers and his perfect, I mean prefect, brother Percy. Hermione has two Muggle dentist parents….she might have to prove more than anyone, something that shows in her ingratiating efforts to get noticed and be perfect.\r\nThey were all very different children when they went home for the summer. As am I.\r\nAnd the adventure continues.

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Jennifer became addicted to books when she randomly picked up a Sweet Valley High book in grade school. She never looked back. After blowing through the SVH and SVU series faster than her parents could put them in her hands, she began perusing her stepfather's bookshelves and reading fantasy like Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which she still maintains is some of the best fantasy ever. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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32 responses to “Confessions of A Harry Potter Virgin: Edition 1: The Sorcerer’s Stone

  1. Yay! Glad to see you are reading HP! As for your question about Snape. If anybody gives you a definitive answer, they’ll totally ruin the last 2 books. It’s one of those things you will just have to wait and see about. So just keep reading!
    Chantelle’s latest thoughts >> Book Review: Eggs in Purgatory

  2. Lolz. You inspired to write my HP post. My 1st intro to Harry I was maybe 25/26. I was at a friends house who had 2 teen daughters and they loved our Harry. Well, this ladies church told her all things HP were evil and taught the devil. She went on a rant I won’t even insult HP fans with. \r\nI took the 1st book out of morbid curiosity, and she told me to bring it back when I was done!! \r\nI devoured it and the next 3 the girls had. \r\nShe threw them out. I dug them out and gave them back to the girls.\r\nI encourage reading. When I saw what their friends were upto! Awwww lawdy they were better off w/Harry & Co. as friends!
    Bella’s Shelf’s latest thoughts >> Pushing The Limits

  3. 100 years from now, our kids will still be reading Harry Potter. It’s a classic in the making.\r\n\r\nI’m glad you decided to take the plunge!

  4. OMG I’m so glad you’ve finally succumbed to good taste and READ HARRY POTTER!!!! Your world will never be the same, it will now always be better. \r\n\r\nAlso: I’m a bit in shock that not only have you not read the books but you haven’t SEEN THE MOVIES! But I look forward to seeing what you think of them too.
    Lauren’s Loquacious Literature’s latest thoughts >> The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

  5. jennifer mcdonald

    I love Harry Potter. I was 22 when I first read Harry Potter, I’m now 40. I am reading Harry Potter with my 5th graders this year. My classroom is decorated with a Harry Potter theme. So happy to see another happy reader because they read Harry Potter.

  6. Laurens Loquacious Lit

    @Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog Now that is a fiance I would be having serious words with. One should never need to question the buying of Harry Potter things.

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