Wednesday, September 29, 2010
These pretty much made my life. First of all whoever got to put these together has the BEST JOB ON THE PLANET. Second, he or she clearly loves the world of Harry Potter and knows that world deeply and truly, the way any HP fan does. Because that's what these books do. They don't just entertain or tell a story. They create this enormous, lovely, weird, beautiful, fanciful world and they let you become a part of it. The details of these internet mock-ups are so painstaking, so almost tender in their adherence to JK Rowling's world, and reading through these I was just reminded again of how much these books mean to me.
I've watched the previews for the upcoming HP movie and will go see it, as I have all the other ones. But it will break my heart. Because these books without question changed my life. I remember so clearly the fall afternoon I walked into a little hole in the wall bookstore in Richmond with my mom. She wanted to get a book for our upcoming beach trip, and I tagged along, probably sulking and being a general pain in the ass. I was in seventh grade, and I was an absolutely shit. I mean really. The only thing I cared about was being popular. I was as big of a dork then as I am now of course, but I wouldn't accept that. I wanted to be one of the cool kids, and so I literally made it my mission. And my silly little middle school brain thought the key to popularity was to ditch everything that made me unique and geeky and well, me. I started purposefully not doing as well in school. I treated some really good friends really badly. And I denied that at my core I was a reader and a writer. I only read for school. I stopped writing stories on my electronic typewriter (yes I really had one of these, I think that means I'm 90). And when I heard about this Harry Potter series and the hype around it, I rolled my eyes and acted above it all.
But for some reason on that October afternoon, in the aisles of a dark and dusty store crammed with used and new books, I picked up the first Harry Potter book. Maybe because I was with my mom, maybe because I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, maybe because despite how hard I was trying to stifle my inner dork, it was just screaming to get out. But I picked up the first Harry Potter (there were only three out at the time then), and asked my mom to buy it for me. I finished it in one weekend, and a lifelong love was born. Now it would be simplifying things to say that this changed me overnight. I still had a few more years of acting like a brat and trying to climb the so called high school social ladder (suffice it to say I never got above the first rung, like I said, enormous dork, all the popular kids could always see what I couldn't, and also suffice it to say that on that first rung I found my real friends and my real self and movie of the week, super special episode blah blah blah, you know the rest).
But my point is that Harry Potter was like that first movement back toward me. I fell in love with the story of a boy with a scar living in a cupboard under the stairs. I was taken into the warmth of this colorful, odd, wonderful world. And I realized that no matter how hard I tried to deny it, stories (whether being read or wrote) were not just a way to pass the time for me, but a fundamental part of who I was, who I am, who I always will be.
And so I guess my very long winded point is that Harry Potter will never just be a book to me. And judging from the above internet mock ups which are just so perfect and spot on that they could only have been written by someone who has fully lived in the world of these books, I'm not the only one.