Road Trip Wednesday

This is my very first foray into Road Trip Wednesday, via the lovely folks at YA Highway. Yay! Where’s the confetti?

This week’s topic is What’s your favorite reading memory?

This is a no-brainer. True, I have fond memories of devouring the new Babysitter’s Club book each month or reading Anne of Green Gables for the umpteenth time, but there is one that sticks out in my head as The.Best.Reading.Experience.EVAH!

Let’s go back to the summer of 1999. I was on break from college and was teaching improv to kids at a summer camp. I wandered into the kid’s section of Barnes and Noble and picked up a book titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I had no idea what it was, but it looked interesting, so I bought it. I stayed up reading it the entire night and went back the next morning and bought Chamber of Secrets. I took it to camp with me and read it furiously during my breaks. I would get annoyed whenever I actually had to stop and teach the kids. Oops. I told everyone I knew (no really, EVERYONE I KNEW) about the book, and being that this was 1999, no one had heard of it either. Most people dismissed me — “You want me to read a kid’s book?” — but I turned several friends and family members into rabid fans. I bonded with a fourth grader who I saw carrying the book into the cafeteria one day. He was only on the first book, but when he moved on to the second, he came and sought me out because he desperately wanted to talk to someone about how cool the Nimbus 2001s were, and no one understood what he was talking about. I re-read both books several times that summer, anxiously awaiting the release of the third one.

The third book was released that fall, when I was back at school. I went to the local bookstore the day it was released to buy it but couldn’t find it. I asked a clerk where I could find Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He looked at me and said, “Harry Who? Never heard of it.”

Oh how times have changed. But man, that was a great summer.

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5 Responses

  1. Kate Hart says:

    I can't imagine a Harry Potter-less world. It's too horrible to contemplate now.

    Welcome to RTW!

  2. chaosoflcd14 says:

    Your first RTW? Sweet! ^_^ *confetti* I love the first Harry Potter books, but things went down when first Sirius, then Dumbledore met their demise. I still haven't read the last book. I keep on telling myself I'll get to it eventually. Prisoner of Azkaban has to be my favorite book from that series, other than the first one. It introduced Sirius Black and Professor Lupin after all! And the Marauder's Map. šŸ˜› Oh great, now I've got to go re-read them while I've got other books to finish (and I'm on a time limit to do that)! XD

  3. Sarah Enni says:

    "Harry who?" !!! Man it is hard to remember when that was the state of things.

    I love that HP had such a profound impact on all of us RTW-ers!

  4. Jess says:

    I distinctly remember the first time I heard of Harry Potter, back before they were huge. I was one of those silly people who said, "Teenage wizards? Puh-leeeeaze." But then I read them and realized how foolish I had been…

    Great post, and welcome to RTW! šŸ™‚ ***streamers and noise makers***

  5. I didn’t start reading the Harry Potter books until after the sixth one came out, when I was in the second or third grade. I remember my third grade teacher to take back Prisoner of Azkaban because it was too hard for me. I absolutely refused. She got over it after she retested me and my reading level was 6.1. XD

    I bought the seventh one at midnight and consumed it in five hours. I was I had time to read like that now.

    J. K. Rowling was truly dedicated to her craft. She spent time making sure every book was just right, not just banging them out to make money.

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