Have you ever gone into a Library, or a second-hand bookshop; picked up a really old book and felt oddly moved by the history immersed in each page? The paper feels so fragile, and has an odour of age to it. You wonder where that book has been, who has read it, who has touched it, who has loved it, and who has cherished it more than words could ever describe. That is exactly how I feel about the very first Harry Potter book.
I wasn’t one of those kids that grew up with Potter, in fact, the book had been out three years by the time I got hold of The Philosopher’s Stone, and the series had already half taken over the world, to some extent. I like to think that I didn’t jump on the band wagon, because although I’d had a mild curiosity towards the series, I’d just never really thought that deeply about it, perhaps because I was concentrating on my GCSE’s at the time, or maybe I just felt like I was too old for the books I’m not sure.
I remember the day that I was given the first book so well, it’s kinda freaky. August 2000. The day that I picked up my GCSE results. I won’t go into all the details, because you don’t really want to know, and it’s only really interesting to me, on a nostalgic level, but basically my eldest brother bought me the very first Harry Potter book, to congratulate me on passing 🙂
And so began what is now an eleven year love affair with a series of books, that weren’t necessarily the best work of literature (they were a million times better than the Twilight series, but just a little behind the His Dark Materials trilogy), but there is just something about them that I fell in love with.
I haven’t read my copy of the book since that first time (I actually re-read my brother’s “adult” copy of it whilst commuting to my work placement in London, back in 2005), and the pages just look so old, so full of history. And, I actually sat there for ages, after I’d taken these photos, just feeling the pages, thinking about where I was in my life in 2000, with absolutely everything ahead of me, College, University, my Future! Looking back and thinking about everything that I have done, everything that I have achieved, and just how much of that has been taken up by borrowing Harry Potter books from the library, watching the first film twice in one weekend, moaning about the exclusion of important characters, waiting for the postman to bring me the next book so I can read it before certain individuals tell me what happens like the book before (and yes, you do know who you are!!!)
It’s very weird how much of an effect that one book can have on you, and I honestly can’t believe that very soon, all of this will be over. Gone. Finished. Kaput. And the three child stars who, at first, I had really detested (I honestly thought the kid from My Family was going to play “Harry” ten years ago!!), are all grown up into these amazing young adults, who have reacted so well to their fame and fortune.
I might not have grown up in the same way the characters have grown through the whole series, because I’d left School by the time I read them, but I’ve grown in a sense of maturity, from having a whole future ahead of me, to being a part of that future, and actually living it.
I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with beauty, but I’d like to think that Harry Potter has been a big a part of your lives, as it has mine, and I just wanted to share how sad I really do feel that today is the beginning of the end of something that I consider to have been great (and yes, I am feeling quite emotional about it!)