I recently picked up my brother’s copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and started thumbing through the pages. The publishing date caught my eye: 1997. Nearly twenty years ago.
I started reading these books when I was about 13 years old. They weren’t huge then (and no, this isn’t a post about “I read Harry Potter before it was cool”). They sat rather lonely on the shelf at my public library.
I’ve been thinking about rereading these books for awhile, because it’s been over a decade and I can no longer distinguish the important difference between a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw. But I do remember the delicious thrill of a Harry Potter book swallowing me whole, and getting lost in a fantasy world for days on end. Except this time I get to do it weeks on end! I have the whole, complete series at my fingertips!
This is escapism at its finest, I figure. And hey, it’s better than resorting to meth and computer game addiction.
Usually I am dead set against rereading books. There are far too many new stories to discover out there; my to-read list on Goodreads is nearly 200 books long, for goodness sake. I don’t even have a home at the moment but I’m lugging around five or six books to read. How can I go back? Even worse, will rereading Harry Potter count towards my Goodreads Book Challenge?! Oh the inhumanity.
What books do you consider re-readable, or what books have you reread?
On my tentative reread list, I’m all about the series.
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
Well, this one is explained pretty well above.
My fear about Harry Potter is that I’ll dislike the books this time around. My reading tastes have changed a fair bit throughout my 20s, and I’m pretty sure studying English had something to do with it.
Buy Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (first book).
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
I read the His Dark Materials series when I was a bit older, in high school. At the time, I loved them twice as much as Harry Potter (but the first movie was atrocious).
“Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.”
This book stirred up some enormous controversy, apparently. Pullman has no qualms with bashing religion and pretty openly takes an anti-Christian stance. (Well, not openly. But read between the lines.)
Buy the first book in the series, The Golden Compass. It’s a shorter series too, with just three books.
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard over a book as when I closed the final book in this series. I resisted reading for years, because when I was a child I hated Anne because she hated her own red hair. I was stubborn even as a seven year old.
But after a quick visit to Prince Edward Island about six years ago, I stopped at the Anne of Green Gables house and picked up the book in the gift shop. I guess I was feeling inspired. I fell headlong into Anne’s life and I still kinda miss her, all these years later.
Anne of Green Gables is overwhelmingly gushy and wholesome. It’s over-the-top. But I swear to god, Anne Shirley has the sweet disposition to thaw the iciest of icy hearts.
All I’ve ever wanted is to marry Gilbert and live a simple life on a tiny Canadian island saddled with a bunch of youngsters. (Actually that sounds terrible, but I promise you, it works in book form.)
“Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.”
I hate that book description. We all know I’m everyone’s favourite redhead.
Buy the first Anne of Green Gables book.
What series have hooked you?
I’ve been reading a like a mofo these past few months, so I’ll share my reading list in a few weeks. Also, these links are affiliates. If you choose to click through and buy a book, I’ll get a small payment — at no extra cost to you.