Anyway! On ofenjen's holiday wish list, she asked people to Read Harry Potter like it's the first time ever and blog about it.
I cheated a bit and "read" this via audiobook during my work commutes. It's been a super fun experience.
I found that it's impossible to pretend this is my first time with this story. The characters and world are just too ingrained in my brain. However, it was fascinating to me that while I can remember the movie canon flawlessly, I had completely forgotten most of the book canon details that differ. (Haggrid knits! Ron hates maroon! Nicolas Flamel loved opera!)
It also was amazing to hear the book read in an English accent. The voices that narrator used sounded SO MUCH like the actor voices too. It made the pictures in my mind all that much clearer. My one complaint (too strong a word) is that the reader pronounced Voldemort with a silent T (like...Voldemore), and that threw me every time.
I remember when I first read Harry Potter. I remember calling my Mom up and saying "WHERE IS *MY* PLATFORM 9 3/4???" I think that sense of connection, the reality of actually being special...it's a fantasy every person (kid or adult) can identify with. The reveals of Harry discovering that magic exists always have been my favorite part of the entire series, and still are.
Hermione was interesting to me. I always love her, but I had forgotten how much the boys really dislike her in this book. Even once they're allies Harry is still very SIGH about her. OH BOYS. *patpat*
It also was interesting to see how many things are teased in the first book that went on to matter in later books. The bezoar was one I caught, and all the details about Gringots. Also, when Harry looks into The Mirror of Erised, he sees his entire extended family (including grandparents and cousins), not just his parents, as in the movie. I loved him seeing the whole big family, it's much more impactful.
Randomly, my parents really do have a room under their stairs, which they call The Harry Potter Pantry (as in..."Wendy, can you grab me a trash bag? They're in the Harry Potter Pantry." I kinda love that. BUT! I had forgotten that in the first book, Harry actually isn't in the cupboard for very long! He moves into Dudley's spare bedroom as soon as the first Hogwarts letter arrives, and stays there throughout his time (in this book) at the Dursley's house.
I continue to be enchanted with these characters and this world. It was so fun to see glimpses of the characters in the beginning, knowing what they become in the end. I had a blast re-visiting this world. Thanks for encouraging me to do it ofenjen! Happy holiday wish list!