Return to Hogwarts: My Harry Potter Reread, Part 1

TITLE: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone| AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling | PUBLISHER: Scholastic | PUBLISHED ON:  June 26, 1997 | PAGES: 332 | RATING: 4 hooks out of 5 | SOURCE: Self-Purchased

My Thoughts:

I’ve been saying for ages that I was going to reread the Harry Potter series, but I’ve been stalling. Hard. Part of that is just my complete inability to stick to a TBR, but mostly, I was afraid that revisiting the series as an adult would take away from the magic of the experience. I grew up with Harry Potter, reading the books, watching the movies. It was one of my absolute favourites, and I can’t even tell you how many times I reread the series; it became a bit of a summer tradition for me to reread the entire series before the next book was released. I’ve reread a couple of other childhood favorites as an adult, and was left feeling a little disappointed. I didn’t want to risk feeling that way about this series which was such a massive part of my childhood. But, thanks to a Bookstagram readalong, I finally decided to take the plunge and start on my reread. And THANK FUCK, I still loved this book!

Of course rereading this as an adult is a completely different experience. It’s still magical and wonderful, but certain things definitely stand out more now than they did when I was 11 or 12. Case in point, Hagrid: WHO IS LETTING THIS MAN WORK WITH CHILDREN? As a character, I still love him of course, he’s a sweetheart who has Harry’s best interests in mind. But he’s also an alcoholic with no magical abilities, he’s horrible at keeping his mouth shut, and half the time he’s actively putting Harry and pals in danger due to his extremely poor decision-making. Mindblowing.

I also wanted to scream at Harry, Ron and Hermione to just mind their own damn business more than once. I kind of forgot what nosy little shits they are. Though, I suppose, if they weren’t, this book wouldn’t have much of a plot. As a kid, reading about their adventures is fun and exciting! As an adult, I’m wondering how the supervision at Hogwarts is so fucking lax.

All joking and get-off-my-lawnism aside, I really did still love this story. Rediscovering it as an adult is really like reading a brand new story, but one that somehow still feels so perfectly nostalgic and comfortable. I immediately sank back into the world of Hogwarts, and while I remembered the broad strokes of the story, I was surprised by how much I’d also forgotten since my last reread probably 15+ years ago.
I loved learning about magic all over again with Harry. The relationship between the main characters is still so wonderful and easy, the way all good childhood friendships should be.

I truly enjoyed re-immersing myself into this wonderful, fantastic world. It was just the right amount of nostalgia, reminding me of the days when I would stay up past my bedtime reading under the covers because I just absolutely could not even consider putting the book down in favour of sleep. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey, and I’m interested to see how I’ll feel about book #2 when I read it next, given that it was always my least favourite growing up…Stay tuned for part 2 in the next little bit, as I try to get caught up with the readalong in time for book #3 in March!

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