~I apologize for a shamefully late blog entry. Work beckoned. Sorry, Harry. I’ve only dealt with my grief now. ~
In this day and age of digital books, I feel lucky to have hitched along what probably is popular literature’s last long train ride.
And though there are no more movies to skip classes for, or thick books to spend afternoons with, every person who has ever read Harry in the books or seen him in the movies will have gathered by this time a treasure trove of memories to keep, and maybe share with their children (hoping that, when that time comes, books will not have suffered the fate of vinyl records in our time).
I identify the books with everything from skipping class to saving up, to waiting in line for Books 6 and 7 on their release days, and, of course, to writing. I scrambled between saving up allowance after allowance so I could complete my collection, and living in Baguio as a student, transport and meals and all.
I decided to skip class for the first time in college to watch a Harry Potter opening screening, and it felt liberating. I spent whole days stuck on the couch reading (and rereading, but I have since lost count). And yes, I joined in the hype, reserving my copies and waiting for the mall to open so I could be one of the first to get their hands on the hardbound copies (I especially love the scent of newly opened books!).
I wished Erika, my nine-year-old sister, had something like this to look forward to every year, but I doubt if there will ever be any other in its wake.
Rowling writes to fascinate, and whether this is a conscious effort or not, it’s something I have always found to be her books’ strongest points.
To fascinate is to excite the senses; to trigger the imagination to work double-time in response to the reality that is being created. Rowling has successfully done this in all seven books, having had enough impact to translate to an even stronger movie following and, to some, fanaticism (hence, people who wear wizard robes and wands; who religiously collect memorabilia; who buy that Hogwarts acceptance letter and have it mailed to their address).
And her words came at the opportune time—when I didn’t have a niche but unconsciously wanted to find one and nail it. The books’ most profound impact lay on my writing, my love for which, I believe, has grown as I devoured Rowling’s pages and wanted to be in the same world she has created.
Her power to create—and the career she has carved out of it since—struck me as powerful and yet very possible. I was at awe at the world she has breathed life to—the moving photographs and talking portraits, the trash bin that eats garbage, the beaded bag that could fit anything (even a person), the cool spring afternoons spent walking along the castle grounds and into the Great Lake, feasting on lamb chops and treacle tart in the Great Hall (which keeps on refilling no matter how much one eats).
Magic, I guess, is the magic word. Everyone is in love with the idea of doing what is not humanly possible and being in enchanted places. Rowling has created what closely resembles a fairytale that had more of the gruesome scenes and the evil guys, but it also had more heart and hope and promise and fun. Besides, don’t you just love the Weasley twins?
And I couldn’t be more thankful to have read her pages when I was a little more mentally prepared to absorb her language and story. For people who love the written word, her books were thousands of pages worth of added knowledge.
Harry Potter has not only been delightful afternoon pastimes, not to mention gorgeous additions to my bookshelf. It has been an inspiration in imagining, creating, writing, and believing in adventurous journeys and happy endings. It has been one good ride indeed.
~Photo taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows