I am a self-confessed Harry Potter devotee. I've read the books multiple times and watched the films more times than I can count. Once, I even watched all eight films back-to-back. It took around nineteen hours to watch them all and I was rather tired by the time I went to bed! My sister and I even named our pet gerbils Fred and George, after the Weasley twins.
J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is something that I grew up with. When I was in primary school, my teacher used to read us a little bit of Harry Potter at the end of the school day, if we had been good. I remember receiving Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for my birthday one year and being overwhelmed by the number of pages! I also remember building the Hogwarts Express out of Lego - there were even small figures of Harry, Ron and Hermione included!
I can't quite put my finger on why the Harry Potter saga is so popular. Perhaps it's the imagination behind the books - all the characters, the quirky places, the unusual little details - which make it such an intriguing collection of stories. Or maybe it's simply that we all have a fascination with magic - even though we know it's completely made up. Reading the books transports us into an alternative world, where anything is possible. Although I love watching the films, I have always preferred reading books: the images jump off the page and you're free to imagine for yourself how everything should look.
Three years ago, I visited the Harry Potter Studios which are located just outside of London, near the town of Watford. I was given a ticket by my friends for my eighteenth birthday and went with a friend for the day. It was so exciting to explore all of the sets, to see the costumes and, of course, to try some Butterbeer (which is actually a non-alcoholic drink). We tried on cloaks, played with the wands and took photos at every opportunity! It was a fantastic trip, and one which I would recommend to any fan!
In both my first and second years at university I was a member of the Quidditch and Harry Potter Society. The society held regular film viewings and events, including a sorting ceremony! I have also read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in French and hope to read the rest of the series! One day, I would love to visit Harry Potter World in America - it would be a dream come true!
Are you a fan of Harry Potter?