Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I think this is the first time I’ve blogged about a book that I’ve just re-read, that’s because as I rule, I don’t re-read books (unless you count the books that the kids’ like, in which case I re-read those again and again for them). I always think there’s too many new books out there to devote time to something I’ve already read, but I had run out of Audible credits the other week and didn’t have anything to listen to (and didn’t fancy listening again to one of my growing pile of audiobooks, I’ve had an Audible account for a frighteningly long time now, 2o09 I think!), so I raided Girl Lacer’s audiobooks again and started listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Since then my Audible credits have been topped up and I have two good audiobooks waiting for me, plus a third I bought the other day whilst it was on special offer, but I haven’t listened to any of them because once I started The Philosopher’s Stone, I surprised myself (a little bit anyway), I didn’t want to stop. Now of course the Harry Potter series is one of those aforementioned books my kids’ get me to read over and over again, Girl Lacer is a true fan and is old enough to read them herself now comfortably (something she does with a regular occurrence, I’ve just asked her how many times she reckoned she’d read each book in the series and she said at least three times each, can well believe that) and now it’s Boy Lacer’s turn to discover them afresh. Not that it’s that fresh for poor Boy Lacer, whereas we had a rule when Girl Lacer was reading the books for the first time, that she wasn’t aloud to watch the particular movie until she’d read the book, of course Boy Lacer has seen at least glimpses of all the movies, but not that much seems to have sunk in, so every night when we read the books to him, we’re met with cries of “Don’t stop! It’s exciting!”, he’s lucky to have a Potter fan for a sister because Girl Lacer then goes on to read more to him after they’ve gone to bed. It’s interesting seeing the difference between reading the books to Girl Lacer and Boy Lacer for the first time, Boy Lacer is obsessed with knowing what the meanings of any long words are, so he regularly stops us asking us to explain, Girl Lacer never did that but as JK Rowling doesn’t exactly dumb down her language there must have presumably been words that Girl Lacer didn’t understand back when she was 7 but she must have let them skim over her.

But back to me ‘re-reading’ The Philosopher’s Stone, what surprised me a little was how listening to it for myself was such an unbridled pleasure, it’s been a long time since I first read the book for myself (in 2001, on a plane back from New York) and what’s great this time is reading it, after knowing how the series ends, how much of what happens in later books is set up or hinted in the first book, I am even more in awe of Rowling’s abilities at plotting and world creation. And of course, back in 2001 I wasn’t a mother, there are some bits of those books which I ‘get’ far more now that I am. To me the Harry Potter world is a world that you can sink into, as comforting as a hot bath, where the characters feel like old friends, I will be raiding Girl Lacer’s audiobook collection again, she doesn’t have all of them yet, the later books are very expensive and they’re not on Audible (if they were I’d have sacrificed my credits to get them all a long time ago) but maybe with me listening to them to, Girl Lacer will complete her collection just a little bit quicker.

***** (out of 5 – of course)

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