Monday, August 1, 2016

A Traitor in the Midst: Or, Why I Won't Be Reading the New Harry Potter Book

Today's post is brought to you by the letter S. S is for Sick. Which, in case anyone has noticed my absence, is the reason I haven't been around for the past week. On the plus side, I'm finally vertical which is a step in the right direction. Baby steps, y'know.



All that time spent horizontal gave me plenty of time to ponder. Because (hold on to something now) I felt so poorly I didn't even want to read. 



Yeah, yeah, I know. It happens. But back to my pondering. Once I was able to get semi-vertical (propped up in bed) I noticed that my email inbox and Bloglovin' feed were blowing up with posts about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Posts about its release, posts about going to midnight HP events, posts about expectations, posts about the sheer excitement over a new entry into the world of Harry Potter. And as I took all that in, my own feelings were... meh. 

See what I did there? ;)
Now before anyone gets all up in arms and puts a curse on me, let me explain: I loved Harry Potter. I read all the books, I saw all the movies. I was thoroughly captivated by the epic story. I even remember the thrill of the release of the final book and the excitement of finally having it in my hands. 


But, no matter how much I enjoyed it all, my feelings about the series will never match those who grew up with Harry Potter. When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came out I was already 29 years old. (And by the time the Deathly Hallows released ten years later... well, you can do the math.) Reading any book as an adult will guarantee a different experience than if the book was read in childhood. And I think that goes tenfold for a series as beloved as Harry Potter.


There's something magical about experiencing a special book in childhood. Especially a story as amazing as Harry Potter. It becomes part of the fabric of your childhood. Memories of reading the books for the first time in elementary school, or receiving one of the books for Christmas... they're woven into a special time of life that is filled with nostalgia. 

So when I see readers/bloggers of a certain age gushing with excitement over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I'm happy for them. I know that for them this is an epic event. An addition to a series they have known and loved their entire lives. But for me it's different. My childhood did not include Harry Potter. It was a series that I read and loved as an adult and... that's it. For me, it's over. It was over when I read the Deathly Hallows in 2007. And it was over (again) when I saw the final movie in 2011. It's not something I feel any need to revisit. 

So, as happy as I am for my friends who are beside themselves with the release of the new book, I'll be sitting this one out. Enjoy, my Harry Potter-loving friends!
Will you be reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
Do you have a different sort of love for the books you read as a child?



17 comments:

  1. My birthday is this month, and since I was practically raised on HP, my mom decided to surprise me with The Cursed Child. I think the thing that turned me off was the format in which it's told, but I'm also really nervous. I won't expect this to out-do any of the previous HP titles, because come on, those are legendary, but with if I absolutely hate it? It'll be such a devastating blow lol. So I received it literally yesterday, and ever since then I've been stroking it, smelling it, staring at it, basically mentally debating on whether or not I'll read it. I might as well right? lol.

    & I hope you feel better girl!

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    1. LOL So it's been almost a week... have you moved past the stroking/smelling stage? If so, I hope it didn't disappoint!

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  2. I love the HP movies but I have never had the urge to read the books; my 11 year old son is really keen so we may do a read-along but otherwise I feel too 'old' to really get into this series now.

    I hope that you are feeling much better! Sharon - Obsession with Books

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    1. I totally get it, Sharon. I enjoyed them when I read them (even though I was already an adult) but I probably would have skipped them completely had my sister not been urging me to pick them up.

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  3. Don't worry, you're not missing anything.
    I hate how they're marketing this. Rowling's name plastered all over it. Saying it's the 8th HP book. Well both of those are false. Rowling didn't write the script which means it's not the 8th book. What it is is fanfic that made it, somehow.
    HP is my life and if the play makes it to Toronto I will see it. But as the separate entity it is.

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    1. Exactly! I didn't even realize it wasn't from Rowling's hand until a few days ago. Supposedly she is accepting this as canon but if I was a super-fan I would have a hard time going with it. I mean, it's a script - that was written by someone else. I don't understand how that can be canon.

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    2. From what I have read, the author based it on an original story written by J.K. Rowling. But you can definitely tell it isn't hers. Are you guys planning on watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November? The screenplay was written by Rowling.

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  4. Not reading it. I have no desire to read a script.

    I read the books while I was in college. I was student teaching and the books were all the rage with my junior high students. Definitely agree that reading them as an adult is much different than reading them as a kid.

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    1. I didn't even realize it was a script at first. Knowing that just solidifies my opinion. I'm seeing such mixed reviews, too.

      Nice that you read them when your students were into it as well. They had to love that connection.

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  5. I LOVE getting to see the throwback picture you shared Tanya! I am NOT brave enough to share any of mine, although I seriously considered it because I have a bunch of high school pictures from going to midnight showings of the movies on release days. Sadly though, my teenage angst years are something I would rather not share with the world though LOL. I get a good laugh out of going back and looking at the pictures though!
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been so sick! I sincerely hope you feel better soon and I will say some prayers for you tonight that you feel better soon! It must be really bad if you don't even want to read! I know that feeling all too well though!
    I will say, I was like "WHAT?!" when I first saw the topic of your post! I went into your post determined to convince you otherwise and gush about how great this book was and how you need to read it (I just finished it this morning and I am still on cloud 9). But after reading your post I can definitely see where you are coming from. For me though, I was definitely one of those people from the generation that grew up with HP, so for me it's my entire childhood. and getting another installment in the book series was a treat. But i can understand your point of view on it! I'm glad to hear you still read the series when you were older though and enjoyed it!
    Thanks for the honest post and here's to a speedy recovery for you!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

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    1. OMG, you are the sweetest. :) Not exactly my favorite pic or my best look (I hope LOL) but it fit the post perfectly so I went for it.

      So cool that you went to midnight showings. Those have to be fun memories. Even without the photographic evidence. :)

      I love how you were at first determined to convince me to read the book. Hee hee! I totally get how it's a generational thing. And I missed it by a couple (ahem) years. As much as I enjoyed it, today I look at it as just another series I read. (Shocking, I know!) But I love that for so many people (like you!) it is sooo much more. So I totally get the hype/excitement over this latest release.

      And thank you for the well wishes! Turns out it's pneumonia so I'm still pretty under the weather. But I'm starting to feel a little improvement. I'm thinking I've turned the corner... it's just going to take a while to get any kind of energy back.

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  6. Awww I hope you feel better, lovely! :( Nothing is worse than being sick but hopefully you'll have time to relax and read while you get better! :( And I was one of the ones that had the opportunity to grow with Harry Potter and I was just like you when the last book came out. (Wish I would have taken a picture me with it though because MEMORIES. teehee!
    I hope you get better soon!

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    1. I think it's so great that an entire generation got to grow up with Harry Potter. And that for so many people it is a huge part of their childhood. That makes the new release super exciting and I totally get that.

      Thanks for the well wishes, love! I'm getting a little better so that's encouraging!

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  7. I hope you're fully horizontal and well by now. I'm a little bit a lot of bit late. So I'm hoping. I haven't read a single Harry Potter book. Not one. My sister was the one reading it when we were younger but I never grabbed onto that. I was always mature, and reading books a little older than I should be. So, by the time I even thought about it I was/am older. Now I feel like I've aged right out of Harry Potter totally. I think if I would'be started earlier I might appreciate it now. Not sure. Needless to say after all my blabbing I won't be reading this.

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    1. Eh, I'm semi-horizontal. :) It's pneumonia so I'm feeling kind of down for the count still. But I'm getting there.

      So do people tend to clutch their chests and gasp in horror when they learn you haven't read HP? I can just imagine. It was still enjoyable to read it as an adult but as I mentioned to someone in another comment, to me it's just another series I read. I definitely don't have some big emotional tie to it. So, I can get not having any interest in reading it now. Just wouldn't have the same impact.

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  8. Glad you are (hopefully) feeling much better now! I am with you -- I loved HP and read all the books (didn't see the last few movies) but I just have no desire to pick this one up. I don't know but it feels so weird/forced to me!

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    1. Thanks Eva (and the recuperation is slow but I'm getting there). Yeah, the more I hear about this new book the more I know I'll not read it. I didn't realize that it's not even written by Rowling. Say what? Thanks but no thanks.

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