Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
Although I read this first as an adult and it is clearly a children's book, I loved it from the first. JKR's playfulness with language, her love of alliteration and punny names, charmed me as much as the magical world that she layered atop our own. It felt real in a way that make-believe worlds often do not, in that the inhabitants are mostly just ordinary people who integrate magic with technology to solve everyday problems. I enjoyed her sly commentary on our human foibles and societal attitudes. She created an interesting group of characters, placed them in a cleverly constructed world, and gave them a battle of good vs. evil to carry out. What more could anyone want?
pg. 293(show spoiler)
And so it begins.
p. 226"'You don't want me as your enemy, Quirrell,' said Snape, taking a step toward him."
I just love this character. His personality is over the top and yet so very contradictory. He's the most interesting character in this whole series, and nearly the only one in which their likeability is not clearly a marker of whether he's a white-hat or black-hat. It kept me guessing until the very last book.
"Hermione Granger was on the edge of her seat and looked desperate to start proving that she wasn't a dunderhead."
Hermione's cringeworthy know-it-all-edness is so very familiar. Not that I was ever like that. Not at all. I never had a teacher tell me to let someone else answer for a change. Nope, not me.
This book charmed me from the very first paragraph, with its description of the determinedly normal Dursley family, who didn't hold with such nonsense.
Not normally a squee-er but am squee-ing over the Harry Potter group read. I love these books and can't wait to read them with other grown-ups.