The Compulsive Reader: The Great Harry Potter Re-Readathon 2016, Day 1

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Great Harry Potter Re-Readathon 2016, Day 1

Happy 2016, everyone!

When I graduated with my MFA back in July, I admit to spending a few weeks feeling bit lost when it came to my reading habits. While I was in my program, I read anywhere from 10-15 books each month, making certain to keep a careful balance of YA, MG, picture books, early readers, graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction, contemporary and classics. This sort of thing requires careful planning, a bit of juggling, and lots of energy, and even though it was fun (because I was basically reading kids' books for homework--teenage me would have died of happiness), it did get a little tiring. Sometimes you just want to binge read something you love, you know?

But then graduation came and passed and it felt so peculiar not having a reading list that I forgot why I had even looked forward to such freedom to begin with. Give me a list and a deadline, damn it! It was in the midst of this post-graduation confusion, when my reading habits were wild-ranging and erratic, that I had an epiphany: For the first time in my adult life, I could read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. As an English major who went straight to grad school for writing, this concept felt almost sinful. Anything. I. Wanted. So I asked myself: If I could stop time or run away to a mountain cabin for a month, what books would I take with me?

The answer was obvious--the entire Harry Potter series, all over again.

Like most twenty-somethings, I grew up reading Harry Potter and then re-reading, but I haven't had a great big binge read since the seventh book came out, the summer I was 15. I've always had the excuse of school to stand in my way, but now that school has poofed away out of the equation, I can do this! And honestly, what better books to get me back into my reading groove than the series that made my generation into such great readers to begin with?

I'm a bit nervous. I was still very much a kid and read like one the last time I enjoyed these books. I think they'll hold up to an adult re-read pretty well, but I'm afraid that with my new MFA perspective, I'll over-analyze them (this happens quite a bit these days). There's nothing that can erase how magical I found them as a kid, and how much I loved the books and imagined myself into that world, but I'm afraid I'll read them and not tap into that sense of wonder because the critical part of me will be in the way. Nonetheless, I'm going in! And I'll blog about it as I go, plus tweet/Instagram it, too.

My goal is to finish the seventh book by January 31st--completely doable, I think. I usually read 8-11 books per month, and even though there are only seven, those last three are loooooooong. Either way, it's on. And I'm not stopping til Voldemort is dead. (Also, these posts are going to be spoilerific. You have been warned.)

My original copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, purchased at a Scholastic Book Fair, circa 2000.

If you can to join me, please do! Comment/tweet me your thoughts and progress!

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