Contrary to popular reaction, the first time I read Harry Potter I didn't actually like it. At the time I was in middle school and I had been prompted to give the novels a chance by one of my closest friends whom I trusted a great deal. However, when I first picked up "Sorcerer's Stone" something about it didn't strike any appeal in me and I put the book down for what I thought would be indefinite.
Several months later, however, I decided, for whatever reason, to pick up the book again and, looking back, I am so glad I did.
When I began reading "Sorcerer's Stone" the film adaptation for "The Half-Blood Prince" had just been released. However, before the trailers could even be teased at for "Deathly Hallows" I was already finishing up the book series as a whole.
Every word, character, and scene was enthralling and I absorbed it all without prejudice or discrimination. The wondrous world JK Rowling had created was massive, detailed, immersive, and most importantly interconnected.
Every small detail had a meaning and everything a purpose. This, to someone who had previously only read things like Magic Tree House and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, was captivating. When I finished the books for the first time, I was initially saddened and didn't know what to do with my life, however, I realized that there was an enormous and ever-growing world of lore that I could dive into. Not only were there fan theories but actual accompanying books like "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" and "Quidditch Through the Ages".
I soon found myself immersed in the lore and fantasy surrounding Rowling's work and in many ways became a Harry Potter conspiracy theorist of sorts. However, as soon as my fascination had started it just as quickly began to fade.
As I entered high school my workload increased and I found myself bored and with a lack of time for the lore, movies, and books alike. I never really dropped the Potter universe as much as I simply allowed myself to forget some of the more intense details.
Now in my freshman year of college, I have just as much work but also more free time and, as of late, have spent much of it re-watching all of the Harry Potter movies and discussing them with my friends. Although at first simply a way to spend my free time, the spark that was ignited within me the first time I actually read "Sorcerer's Stone" is slowly being rekindled. I have started to rediscover the lore and piece together broken memories and timelines of the Harry Potter universe.
As it all comes back to me I have come to rediscover the awe and wonder that initially struck me when I was younger but I also am able to pick up on things that I would never have before. For these reasons I have also found that I am able to appreciate and value the series more.
Harry Potter is truly an amazing series of books and movies that is filled with lore and backed by an amazing and active fanbase that I find unlikely to die out anytime soon.
Now older, I can say without a doubt that Harry Potter is a series meant for people of all ages and a true masterpiece of our time. Like Shakespeare or Voltaire, Rowling will go down as one of the most definitive writers of our age and with her the Harry Potter franchise.
There is no doubt that these timeless books will be read for years to come. If you have yet to read any of the books or watch any of the movies I highly suggest you do so and if you have, now more than ever is a great time to rediscover the fantasy and magic of the Harry Potter universe.