There are a lot of reasons why it is a travesty that I haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet.
The first is the simple fact that everyone and their pet parrot has read all seven books three times over and can quote the movies line-for-line. But then again, I haven’t read The Da Vinci Code, Twilight, or The Five People You Meet in Heaven either. I don’t care enough about those books that “everybody has read” because by the time I get around to reading them, everyone has already told me enough about them for me to piece together the plot, so why bother?
The second reason why I should have read these already is because I worked at Chapters (that’s a Canadian chain of bookstores, for you American readers, analogous to Barnes and Nobles but with more silly decorating ideas) at the height of the Harry Potter mania. My store did the midnight openings when the latest book came out, the other employees used terms like “muggles” and “quidditch” in everyday conversation, and I couldn’t walk through the kids section without cleaning up seven copies of The Prisoner of Azkaban from secluded corners behind the shelves.
And then there is the fact that I am teacher. An English teacher. Of 11 -year-old kids.
The last one is the least forgivable. In fact, when I went to my old Chapters to finally pick up the series, one of the employees there yelled at me about that one. Then she hit me with a copy of The Goblet of Fire.
Fine. I get it. I’m reading them now. I’m exactly halfway through the series, and I do understand why everyone loves J. K. Rowling’s magical world. I wish that I had a Firebolt from Quality Quidditch supplies that I could fly around my neighbourhood. I sometimes imagine that dragons are living in the basement. I long after a school that looks more like Hogwarts and less like a brick rectangle.
I’m catching up. Slowly, steadily, I am catching up with the rest of the world.