I'm a tad late kicking off Harry Potter month here at Rally the Readers, but my tardiness has actually worked out because it parallels my introduction to the world of HP. The fandom had been in full swing before I realized that HP was like, the greatest story in the history of ever.
Back in 2001, I was two years out of college and fumbling to rediscover the love of reading I knew before high school. I would read a book here and there, but I was still fairly far from making reading the necessary daily activity it is today.
So fourteen years ago, I was aware of the Harry Potter books and their popularity, but I didn't really have much interest in checking them out further. I thought the books were for kids, and I was already struggling to read "grown up" literature with something resembling regularity.
And then the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hit theaters. My best friend, who'd read the books, suggested that we go see the movie. Curious to find out what all the buzz was about at last, I agreed. Nothing—NOTHING—could have prepared my brain for the extent to which it was about to be BLOWN. AWAY.
I don't know if a movie has ever held me so transfixed as Sorcerer's Stone did. Obviously, I knew zip about HP going in, so every new discovery that young Mr. Potter made about the wizarding world left me in absolute, mouth-permanently-fixed-in-open-position awe. Diagon Alley! Platform 9 3/4! The Hogwarts Express! Hogwarts! HOGWARTS! I distinctly remember being totally amazed by the moving portraits at Hogwarts and telling my mom all about them later, like I was 5 years old again, lol.
By the time my friend and I exited the theater, I was desperate to get my hands on the books. A sweet hardcover box set of the first four novels was available at the time, no doubt to coincide with the movie release, and once I got my box set, I didn't know anything or anyone until I'd read them straight through. Seeing the Sorcerer's Stone movie before reading the book did not spoil the reading experience AT ALL; quite the opposite—I was practically giddy reliving events in the book, especially since it was going to be months before I could rewatch the movie on DVD. XD
Thinking back to my initiation into all things HP evokes some truly happy memories, as I'm sure it does for many of us. Please feel free to share yours in the comments! :)