Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone

20 Years of Harry Potter: Could You Do It All Again?

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Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone
Image by EG Mum

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the very first release of the very first Harry Potter book. So many many people have read the books, watched the movies, played the games, cosplayed the characters… But it is a small group who did all of this from the very beginning with JK Rowling. If you had the opportunity to start it all again, would you? Could you?

I have been accused of cruel and unusual punishments on my spawnlings. Nothing quite at the Umbridge level (after all, I actually do love my kids), but there have been a few times when other people have twitched an eyebrow and queried my motives. The most common concern is the reading of Harry Potter books. But not for the reasons you may think.

EG Dad and I came up with this idea to introduce the spawnlings to Harry Potter at the same age as the characters (or close enough to). Originally, the plan was to gift Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Sinister on his 10th birthday, the same age as the main character (yes – before the 11th birthday where he receives the letter to Hogwarts). Each year thereafter, he would receive the next book, growing in age with the characters.

Only problem: by the time Sinister’s 10th birthday arrived, he was in Year 5 in the gifted program at school. Almost every other student in his class had read the entire series. The teacher even allocated the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for ‘novel studies’.

Yeah, he hasn’t been able to avoid all the spoilers. Most, but not all.

However, Sinister has loved this idea. I kept asking him over the last 12 months if he wants to stick with this idea. And he keeps saying yes! He loves the idea of growing with the characters. He really gets the characters because he IS the same age as them. He is a kid. Just. Like. Them.

That was until he recently finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And now he is torn! Sinister really wants to read the rest of the series. But on the other hand, he says he doesn’t want to spoil this unique experience of growing with the characters.

If you could read the Harry Potter series again, without any prior knowledge or memory, and read it with the characters… What Would You Do?

Check out our other posts celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter:

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5 thoughts on “20 Years of Harry Potter: Could You Do It All Again?

  1. I was fortunate enough to “grow” with the characters. I read the first 4 books when I was 12 when the books were first published in my country. Then I had to wait 3 years for the Order of the Phoenix book to be published. By that time I was 15, still same age as the characters. Then had to wait two more years for the Half-Blood Prince and finished at 19 with the release of the Deathly Hallows. But if I was given the chance to read the whole series when I was 12, I would have done it without hesitation and after that reread the books as much as I want 🙂

  2. I read them as an adult… I kind of wish I could have read them as I grew up alongside the kids. That’s a totally different experience. I’ve been pushing for L to read them but… maybe this is better?

  3. My son binge read from 1-4 when he was 10. Then he got burned out and never read the rest! He skipped to the movies. Now he’s fifteen and I keep trying to encourage him to go back and read the rest, but he’s not keen. I wish I’d made him pace himself from the beginning. On the other hand my daughter had read the entire series twice through by the time she was 10 and I didn’t even realise! She just churned through them in the school library and told me about it later. She was in the same situation of being in a class full of gifted children who’d all read them and she didn’t want to miss out on the playground conversation. Now she and her friends are 12, still huge fans, and recently came second in a Harry Potter Trivia contest against much older teenagers. So I guess it depends on the child?

  4. I was nearly an adult when these came out, and would ADORE to do this with all my kids, in fact that was my plan. Alas,my 8 year old reads on nearly an adult level and is BEGGING and has been for a year+ to read the HP series. My own set of hardcover books lies battered and broken in my bedroom, from being read and re-read. I told her maybe this summer…

  5. Update on Sinister reading HP: After nagging me all day yesterday, Sinister walked up to me this morning and said “I’m going to wait, mum. I’ll continue reading one per year. It’s a good idea and I trust you”.

    ARGH!!!!!!

    I think the spawnling is trolling me. Or at least reverse psychology. The pressure is unbearable. I’m so close to caving!

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