Happy Anniversary, Harry

I wonder if I’ll ever read the entire Harry Potter series. We didn’t start buying them until 2000 or so. I read the first book and about half of the second, just to keep up, when Gwen was reading them aloud to our children Raven and Gavin. I don’t clearly remember why I stopped.

It’s true enough that I’ve never been a big reader of fantasy, particularly in series. But it’s also true that I’m reaching back for a memory from the period immediately after my father’s death, when depression was starting to settle heavily on me. I expect it was getting harder to find joy in a lot of things.

I seem to remember having issues with the writing on a sentences-and-paragraphs level. As a person with some fondness for various kinds of sportsball, I hatedhatedhated the game design of Quidditch. And I think I have to confess to some petty pangs of professional envy, tied to the beginning of hard times in my own career (a cancelled contract, an editor/publisher ally passing away).

But those are trivial things, especially from this distance. The power of Harry’s story, and the magnitude of J.K. Rowling’s accomplishment, stand undisputed. So as the final reel of DEATHLY HALLOWS rolls on Freeform’s weekend marathon, I raise a cup in salute to her, and in observance of this anniversary with Harry’s countless fans.