Friday, July 20, 2007

Good-bye Harry

I want to write this post before I have a chance to read the book. Here is my history with Harry.

Seven years ago....

I was home from college on break and someone was telling me about Harry Potter and how controversial it was for Christians. They explained to me how kids were suddenly reading like crazy, these huge hardback books, but they were centered on witchcraft. Well, to be honest, I'm the kind of person who likes to find these things out for myself for better or worse, so when one of my workmates had the books, I asked to borrow them.

I was totally delighted. I fell in love straight away with Harry and his wizarding world and powered through the first three books like there was no tomorrow. I laughed, and laughed some more. My imagination was set on fire. But most of all, I couldn't understand the problem. At all. I was reading books full of moral courage and sacrificial love and a very imaginary sort of wizarding power. I was reading books written for children, enjoyed by adults about what is real and true in this world. I just didn't get it.

I joined the throngs of people waiting for each new book. I bought books five and six and read them on release date, as I plan to do with Deathly Hallows. I found that people from all over the world loved Harry when I lived abroad and we could talk about it. I saw each movie in the theater (something I rarely do) Harry Potter has been a big and welcome part of my life and the world for the last several years.

And now, as all things must, this comes to an end. The films will still come out. I can always go back and reread the books. But there will never again be the joyful anticipation of the next chapter of Harry's life. There is sadness in that. But I thank you JK Rowling and Harry for bringing something good into this world, yes something imaginary and fiction, that we could love together.

For an article with some of the history of Harry Potter and JK Rowling's own good-bye, go here.

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