If you follow my book recommendations, then it should be clear that I’m not at all opposed to re-reading books. Even though I may know what happens when I’m re-reading, I still manage to discover something new or, at the very least, rediscover something I’d forgotten about.
That the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, is one that I’ve read multiple times should come as no surprise. What is surprising is that it took me so long to post a recommendation.
Harry Potter grew up thinking he was a normal, if ill-treated, young boy. But when he’s invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers that he’s actually about as far from normal as it’s possible to get.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone really needs my summary of the Harry Potter series. They may not even need this recommendation, which is why this isn’t written like one of my usual recommendations. I just want to tell you a little bit about why I love these novels so much, and why I so often choose to re-read them.
I’ll admit it: I didn’t start reading the Harry Potter series until the first movie came out. I saw it in the theatre, went home, and stole the first four books from my brother. They never made it back to him (he didn’t have much interest in them, to be honest). I read all four within a week, then waited impatiently for the rest of the series.
I fell utterly in love with the world Rowling spun within those pages. The magic, the creatures, the characters… they all held this pull for me.
When I re-read these books, what strikes me most is how the characters progress. Every one of them changes in some way, or at least seems to through the limited point of view provided. They make mistakes, they learn, and sometimes they repeat those mistakes. They don’t all end up with their happily ever afters. These characters are flawed, but they’re stronger for it, as was the writing.
If I had to choose a series that meant the most to me–the one I couldn’t possibly live without–this would be it. This is the series that formed my little writer’s heart into the strong, ever-beating organ it is today. I’m filled with a sense of warmth each time I re-read them and I hope that, some day, my books will do the same for someone else.
Goodreads summary for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.
I remember reading The Philosopher’s Stone when I was a child; it was riveting. All great books are worth being reread, just like a television series or movie is worth re-watching. You end up catching small subtleties that add more flair and personality to the narrative.
I completely agree! Not enough people have that mindset, I think. I know at least a few people who don’t re-read books.
Re-reading books is a true blessing. If I couldn’t re-read certain books then they would lose their essence.