Harry Potter—It's Impact and My Experience

By Ciel W.

Harry Potter is more than just a book; it’s a promise of something better.

I am the type of person that would recommend Harry Potter to everyone, even though it might not suit their reading style. I would constantly tell people to read them. If they didn’t like it, well, I will respect their opinion. However, I will argue my point in favor of the books in hopes of changing their negative opinion about it, at least a little. If they really enjoy it, as much or even more than I do, I would engage them in endless conversations about the themes, characters, settings, and feelings the books evoke in us. This is how strongly I feel about the Harry Potter books. It is one of those books that you’d want everyone to read, at least once.

My heart warms up at the thought of Harry and his adventures, and these thoughts hurl me into a state of nostalgia, remembering all those evenings hidden in my room just lost in the spell the words and the story held on me. My mind pricked with excitement whenever I took the book and flipped through the pages, conjuring images of Hogwarts, the student body, the professors, the myriad of creatures, the countless quirky places, and the magic, especially the magic. It was a magical experience; the story was very well-crafted, and easy to read, that it seemed impossible not to lose yourself entirely in it, as if you belonged there.

I had the lucky opportunity to read Harry Potter when I was just an eleven-year old kid, having just grown out of books by Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, L.M. Montgomery, Fraces Hodgson Burnett, among others. It was a present from my father; he thought I might like it very much, knowing my voracious appetite for fiction books. He thought his gift was innocent, just a gift to make his daughter happy; only he did not anticipate the growing reading monster I had just turned into. I became obsessed with the book, and more often than not, I would refuse to come down to dinner until I had finished the chapter I was reading.

The above leads seamlessly with what I will discuss next. Harry Potter was not only an excellent read in and of itself, but also a key to unlocking many paths that would later shape my specific reading interests, in other words, genre. The books were my first contact with magic and fantasy, and it was an enthralling ride I wanted to repeat again. Shortly after reading the first book, I asked (demanded, actually!) for the rest of the installments, and went to the nearest library to ask the librarian for suggestions of good fantasy books. She recommended C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” and J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, which I loved very much. To summarize, I strongly believe that Rowling’s fantasy books seeded my love for fantasy (which is still strong today).

Harry Potter has a great impact in our young society; it actually made people read more. It doesn’t matter if they went off for young adult, romances, mystery, thrillers, or the Classics; ultimately, the most important thing is that they read. Rowling has also created a new era of authors that targets young audiences (mostly teenagers), with their “easy to read and hear” style of writing based on a skeleton of dialogues, and often omitting big chunks of descriptive paragraphs that would definitely bore the readers of today. But this matter is suited for another analysis, for now, I digress.

Harry Potter has changed my life in a positive way, expanding my reading horizons and sparking up my imagination. I owe J.K. Rowling big time. Sometimes my friends and I argue/debate about the true meaning and value of Harry Potter. Writing has become commercialized; that is practically unavoidable when an author is trying to make a living, and often times the author writes for a particular audience in mind in hopes of selling their book. So, is Harry Potter just mindless entertainment to satisfy the millions of fan worldwide?

No, it is not. Beneath all the magic, fantasy, adventure, and, putting it more bluntly, killings, of the book, there is an underlying message of goodness that weaves moral and human qualities. After all, this book deals with real human beings that are going through the same things and feelings we are, written in an inventive way. And I hope all the children, teens, adults reading the Harry Potter books do not let this message go amiss, and have a happy experience reading Harry Potter.