As you may have noticed, my mom had a tendency to pick up books for me as a kid. Just because she thought I’d like them. Sometimes she just up and bought them for me, other times she asked first. And there came a time when she asked me if I wanted her to get this book that they’d been talking about on the radio. It sounded really good, she said. But I have never been one to follow the crowd, and I turned her down. What did I care that they talked about some book on the radio?
A few months later, she asked me again. Was I sure I didn’t want to read this book? Its popularity hadn’t gone down. It was really getting big. But no, I was fine. I promised.
Summer came, and I prepared to go to camp for four weeks. I chose my own books to bring – nice, long ones, so I wouldn’t have to bring too many, and packed up my backpack and my two duffels. That afternoon, when I was unpacking in the cabin and arranging my bunk, I found two additional books in one of my bags. “Mom!” was all I said as I stared at the two hardcovers. She’d gotten them anyway. But I didn’t have to read them, just because they were there! Instead I read the books I’d brought, every single one of them. Only when I’d finished them all did I look at the two unexpected additions.
That’s when I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Needless to say, I forgave my mom for getting the things for me. I may not have become a raging fangirl like so many others, but you can bet that I got the rest of those books as soon as they came out, even preordering them from amazon, and absconding with them as soon as they arrived, deserting the internet until I had devoured them in later years. (You can figure that even the fourth book only took me five hours that first day.)
It’s been some five years since I last reread these books. After all, I clearly had to reread them all before seeing each of the movies. But because of the movies, and how mainstream the fandom is, I don’t often feel the need to reread them. The world reminds me of all the salient points, even many of the ones that didn’t make it into the movies. Rereading these conjures up memories of the movies, of last year’s trip to Universal, and of the original cover art.
That’s right, I have new copies of the books. My sister asked me to get her the series for her birthday this year. She didn’t even care if I gave her my old ones and got myself new ones, just as long as she had her own set that she didn’t have to drive an hour to read. Coincidentally, I had been lusting over Barnes & Noble’s lovely box set, the one with the castle splashed across the spines. Not only that, but the new cover art was in a similar style, though much more general. I wouldn’t stare at the fourth book and wonder if Harry had suddenly become female. And then, in addition to a secondary image and a synopsis of the book on the back, there’s also a quote from one of the characters, rather than some rave review from Booklist or wherever.
So here I am, rereading these seven books for the umpteenth time, but each copy is crisp and new and the very thought makes me so incredibly happy. Here’s to hoping that I don’t run into the errors in the fourth book that clearly showed how rushed Rowling was to get it out. But I won’t find that out for at least another day, as I only finished Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets today. Well, only those two in the Harry Potter series…
…after all, I also read the first Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Annual. This was longer than a normal issue and contained six separate stories featuring different characters, situations, and art styles. They ranged from ridiculous to normal. I think my favorite is the first one, featuring Jason, followed by the fourth about Goldar and then the third about Trini. The other three are, well, I read them. Part of my disinterest is the art style – these three have more cartoony styles that just don’t mesh with what I like to look at. The other part is that the stories are on the dumber side, and I’m not great with dumb. Since I’ve never actually kept up with a comic series while it was still being serialized, I can’t honestly say if this was a good annual or not, just that it was hit and miss for me personally.
I’ll also mention that, as I said was likely in an earlier post, I did take the time to reread “See Me” before shelving Those Who Fight Monsters. This was the short story featuring Tony Foster from Tanya Huff’s Smoke series. It may be a few days late, but it was still a fitting conclusion to that reread.
Anyway, I’ll be back when I’ve finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.