Monday, March 03, 2008

Ten Years, Seven Books

Sorry for being silent on the airwaves lately - I've been consumed by schoolwork, campaigning for Hillary (and keeping my fingers crossed for her this Tuesday), and, last but not least, reading the last of the Harry Potter book series. One week ago today, I blazed through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during the course of a weekend. Now, I know this is relatively old news since most Potter fans already read the book months ago, but I just wanted to take a moment to reminisce on a series of books that have literally captured the hearts and minds of adult and children readers alike, mine included.

The Harry Potter series was most remarkable to me because the story of Harry and his compatriots unfolded in the imaginations of millions of readers in virtual-real time over the course of 10 years. While Harry grew up from an innocent 10-year old to a battle-weary 17-year old, so too did a generation of children who passed through adolescence fighting their own demons (most often in the form of their parents) during those 10 years. Though I started reading the books when I had already graduated from that stage of life - the first book came out in the States in the fall of my sophomore year of college - I too went through a transformation while reading the Harry Potter books, from being a naive college student, to an overworked investment banker, then on to a happy three years as a law student, and, now, with graduation on the horizon, to standing at the prescipice of embarking on my career.

Future readers may not have that opportunity to share in Harry Potter's growing up and I can only too easily envision them speeding through all seven books in the space of a week's time. I probably would have done the same thing if all the books were out when I first started reading them. Nevertheless, I think that's too bad, because reading the books spaced out over time was perhaps the best part of the whole experience.