This is not a book that I just finished reading. I finished reading all the books in the Harry Potter series many times over, many years ago. It has, however, been on my mind recently because one of my coworkers (a fellow donut ninja princess) is reading the series for the first time. She is almost to the bit in The Sourcerer’s Stone when Harry duels Malfoy. I asked her how she’s liking it so far and she seemed to be enjoying it then she said, “Let me guess, you think I’m going to go on a magical journey?”
I said, “Well…yeah, but I was going to wait till later in the conversation to say it. How did you know?”
Apparently she had heard that exact same phrase from most of the people that have already read the series when she told them she was starting. We laughed about it but it really made me think. Why had so many people said the exact same phrase to her? Was this just really good marketing on the publishers part? Or has the series just had that much of an impact on most people that have grown up with it that we all tend to think in the same way?
I believe the books had an excellent marketing team, and perhaps that was it. But I also like to think that everybody that has grown up with Harry and all the magic that exists in his world went on a journey themselves. When I read the books as they were coming out, and this is true for many many others, Harry was always the same age as me. Whatever issues I was having in my life Harry was having too, he just had an extra spicy magic filled life. Insecurities, crushes, problems in school, problems with authorities, self identity, and so many other growing pains, that every human experiences, were all experienced with Harry’s story of surviving these problems in hand.
It’s so incredibly cheesy to say, but growing up is a journey and a pretty scary one at that. Everybody is looking for some guidance or someone relatable to help them get through the scary turns and cross the high bridges. Harry Potter was who we looked to to tell us to just keep going and don’t look down…but he did it with magic. So yes, when you read Harry Potter you are in for a journey but you’ve already had one of those, so JK Rowling made it magical too.