It has been quite the week here in the D.C. area. I experienced my first earthquake and now we are preparing to deal with Hurricane Irene. Luckily, we are pretty far inland and I have been in several hurricanes, so I don’t think it will be too terrible. The dogs might go a little nuts, but that’s not much different than a usual day. Of course, the people around here get paranoid when it rains a centimeter, so I am sure the stores are sold out of milk and bread (I hope you get that reference).
I have been trying to read Life of Pi, but I seem to be going at a leisurely pace. I am okay with this since I read the last few books of this project a little fast and I don’t want to get too burnt out. It makes me glad I started this Book Meme so that I can talk about some other books I have already had the pleasure of reading.
Today, I am talking about a book(s) I have read more than 3 times. Another difficult question, because I don’t reread books very often, and when I do, it has mostly only been one additional time. Then I remembered that I have read the Harry Potter series several times (cliche I am sure). To my best recollection, I have read most of them three times, and all of them at least twice. I am actually currently listening to the audiobooks while I am at work… what can I say, the last movie really got me in the mood.
Looking back, I can recall when I actually started reading the series. I had listened to people talking about the books and movies, and I had seen The Sorcerer’s Stone not long before. I wasn’t crazy about the movie, I thought it seemed rather childish, so I brushed off the series for awhile. Then, my nephew was watching The Prisoner of Azkaban and I sat down to watch it with him. The mood of the movie seemed so dark, deeper then the one I had seen before. I was hooked. I rushed out and bought the box set of the first five novels (all that had been released at the time). From that moment on, I was an HP-midnighter.
I am not going to waste time recapping any of the novels or movies. I have considered doing a book to movie comparison for this series as it is, and I am pretty sure everyone out there knows the basic story of The Boy Who Lived and his fight against He Who Must Not Be Named. When it comes to giving my review, I am not ashamed to admit, that it is pretty glowing. Like many novels, the series has some pitfalls, and some books are more lackluster than others. But when I think back to my first reading, I was so engrossed, that I could find no wrong. Clearly the amount of Quidditch can get annoying, although when you think about how they are supposed to be YA literature, it make sense. You want to add some fun in there. It shouldn’t always be so depressing for Harry, which in some ways, the later three books really have enough for the whole series. My only real complaint is some of the character development throughout the novels. Some of the descriptions are a little lackluster, some characters don’t grow/change, and some are just annoying or unnecessary (Peeves).
It is nice listening to the audiobooks now, since it has actually been a long time since I read the novels. Upon re-reading them (and seeing the movies, which I think are in some ways superior to the novels), I tend to notice things I didn’t the first time around. In some ways, it’s like reading it for the first time. It makes me want to re-read other books again. I have never been much of a re-reader. I am always finding that next book, or seeing a book that seems really interesting. I always feel like adding to the collection.
Overall, I love all of these books, and I would have a hard time picking a favorite. I have a strong attachment for The Prisoner of Azkaban since it got me into the series in the first place. I think The Half-Blood Prince made me cry the most, and I remember staying up all night to read it. But, I think I might have to pick The Deathly Hallows. I have this thing for endings in a series (just guess my favorite in Lord of the Rings). There is something about them that just give me a feeling like no other book can. In some respects, it’s the idea of catharsis, closure. Usually, the bad guy loses and the good guy gets a happy ending. But even in the books where this isn’t the case, I still enjoy them more than the others. I think it has to do with that bit of sadness at reaching the end (what does that say about me). It means it’s over… I will no longer hear about the characters I had become so attached to throughout their journeys. This goes for many series, although I think the case is stronger for Harry Potter and his friends. And now that the last movie has been released… let’s just say it’s been rough.
I guess it goes without saying that I would recommend these books. Clearly, if I have read them more than three times, there must be something to them. If you have read them as well, you should read them again. They might surprise you. And if you haven’t read them… I am not sure what else to say other than… what in the gods’ names is wrong with you?! Go read them. NOW!