I class myself as a Harry Potter fan; I have a house (Ravenclaw), I love the films, I've been to Platform 9 &3/4 , I got the Harry Potter colouring book for Christmas, but here's a confession
Until yesterday I had never read a Harry Potter book.
I have never been so shocked at people's reactions as when I've told them this. Tell someone that I have a lifelong illness that tries to kill me and I get "oh poor you", but dare to utter the words "I've never read Harry Potter" and the person in front of you (or behind a screen) practically implodes with cries of "WHAT?!" and I get responses ranging from screaming that I'm not a real fan to (and this actually happened) being called an awful person, yes for not reading a book.
Honestly, I guess Harry Potter mania just passed me by as a kid, I didn't really read "children's books" and aged 10 I would proudly tell people that my favourite book was Pride and Prejudice. I went to see every film when it came out with my family and I loved them. Those are my memories of Harry Potter as a kid/ teenager, excitedly watching the movies with my sister and memorising every line and our favourite bits. But still never really had a desire to read the books despite being a bookworm. I'm not really entirely sure when I became a fan but I loved Harry Potter and everything about it, despite never reading the books. Add into it that at aged 16 (almost the same time as Goblet of Fire came out) I was diagnosed with Lupus and in the 10 years that followed I lost my ability to concentrate on books or read for long periods of time. I guess that's another excuse for not reading them, god why am I even giving excuses? I guess it's one of those things that you weirdly feel you have to give excuses for. So yesterday I bit decided to find out what all the fuss was all about.
My first thought was "is this it?"
I felt like by reading it as an adult I was missing out on some of the childlike magic. I still liked the book but I wasn't hit with this wave of "BEST THING EVER, BETTER THAN THE FILMS THE FILMS ARE TERRIBLE" that people kept telling me. This probably is the case for the later books, but I don't feel that I missed anything too much having never read this one, except Peeves and extra Malfoy being a twat.
I think the pull with Harry Potter for a lot of people is very much Nostalgia based, something that I don't have with the books. Those memories every time you reread one of the series and the feeling that you had the first time you read it. And to be honest I'm not sorry for that. I know they mean a lot to people but I just didn't get that with Philosopher's Stone like I do with the film. The tingle down my spine when Harry chooses his wand in the film (my favourite scene) didn't happen with the book, although I did love all the extra information about wands.
Don't get me wrong I still loved the book. I really liked finding out extra details about all the characters and the actual timeline and things as opposed to it happening in hours. For one thing book Hagrid and the descriptions of him are just brilliant. I really particularly enjoyed seeing how Harry, Ron and Hermione's relationship developed and they became friends.
I'm definitely going to keep reading the series, but the films will always have a special place in my heart. Those are my treasured childhood memories.
PS "Yer a wizard 'arry" is a better reveal than "Harry yer a wizard", I'm sorry it just is.