It has been a couple weeks since I have answered a question about my Bookish Behavior. The last one was about my favorite series. I had trouble deciding in the beginning, but in the end, it came down to The Harry Potter series. So now I must pick my favorite of the seven. Apparently, I need to plan ahead when writing my book meme, because I pretty much answered this question in another post. Not to mention I have already talked about this series three times out of four questions!
As I mentioned when I picked this series as the one I have read more than three times, I have a thing for endings. There are many aspects that draw me to them. The closure of the adventure, the happy ending for the protagonist(s), the wrap-up, the memories. Catharsis. There is really no better word to describe it. Of course, these types of endings aren’t always the case, and they usually come after a big climactic scene, sometimes heart wrenching. But maybe that is what makes the ending that much more satisfying. Which is why in my older post, I guessed that The Deathly Hallows would be considered my favorite. However, after thinking back, I am not sure this is the case. I probably said that because I had just seen the final movie. I enjoyed the last book, but I saw the ending coming. And although I was happy for everyone in the end, I felt like it was almost a cop-out.
I enjoy beginnings a lot as well. We meet the characters for the first time. We slowly discover who they are as people. They meet others and we bask in their interactions, watching friendships grow. We experience their first adventure, or the beginnings of one, and we are excited to see where it leads. We are hopeful about the future. So then, would The Sorcerer’s Stone be my favorite? Sadly, no. I liked the first book, but it doesn’t speak to me. It’s cute and sets a good foundation, but as a stand alone, I just couldn’t pick it. It seems almost childish to me, where the other novels have a darker feel. I realize Harry is only 11 in the first book, and maybe that is why I didn’t connect with it as much. I was way past that age by the time I read it (in college).
So what about the middle novels? The Chamber of Secrets was so-so, but I found Dobby to get on my nerves a lot. I would like to think that the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, has a special place in my heart, but it is really the third movie, which is what got me into the series in the first place. Plus, there is just too much Quidditch in that one. The Goblet of Fire has it’s moments, but I felt like some of the things came from left field, plus S.P.E.W. and lots of house elves. Ugh. I am currently re-listening to The Order of the Phoenix, and I still feel the anticipation and anxiety I felt when I read it the first time. Umbridge is so infuriating, and you really feel for Harry. Then again, he is really whiny, and the pacing of the book is the slowest so far, I think.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them all, and they all have great moments, but it’s the little things that help me determine my favorite. There is something about the The Half-Blood Prince. The escalation of the conflict with Voldemort. The evil spells in the potions book. Riddle’s past. The hunt for the horcruxes. Dumbledore. Snape. I can remember when I got this book. I told myself I was too old to be one of “those people” who would go out at midnight to get it. But at 12:30, I found myself speeding to the store to make sure I got a copy. Luckily, I was attending school in a small town and they must have overstocked. I rushed home and finished reading it before the sun came up. I might not have made it to my class the next morning, but it was worth it. I remember crying. A lot. And at the end, feeling the same determination Harry did. We must get revenge. We must kill Voldemort.
I am enjoying re-listening to the books right now at work. It definitely passes the time and jogs my memory about them. I also find myself catching new things. But even just the memories they bring back is great. I am thinking about doing the same with some other novels that I haven’t read in a long time.
Since I know everyone has read this series, what’s your favorite? What are you opinions about beginnings and endings?