26 January 2015

How Harry Potter changed my life.

HI! 

Prepare yourselves for the nerdiest post OF ALL TIME. Although, reading the title, you should have already prepared yourself for the onslaught. You've been given two heads up so don't be surprised by the nerd-fest that is about to happen!

I've always loved reading. It started off as a competition with my older sister (not that she knew it was a competition of course. It was a stealth competition!) who is some sort of brainy prodigy type that could read from the womb. I remember sneaking into her room when she was 10 years old to see what she was reading and knowing then that I was just playing catch-up with her. I mean, what kind of 10 year old gets an autobiography about the last Tsar of Russia from the library for light reading?! After that I settled myself into reading what I wanted, which was on occasion books I'd seen her read and enjoy, but was mostly Sweet Valley High (no shame, amazing books!). When I would go shopping with my Mum, which was always a long-winded affair that involved trying on clothes that she thought were 'just lovely', but that I thought made me look RIDICULOUS, as a treat I could go to the bookshop. I love bookshops. I love reading the backs of all the books and deliberating over what special book I would spend my hard-earned pocket-money on. It nearly always ended up a Point Break/Horror book (so good) or a Sweet Valley High (or University, if I was feeling sassy) because I don't like to branch out. Or, I didn't. This fateful day my Mother actively banned me from buying either and begged me to pick something else. Never have I been so glad for her interference, which is probably the only time I've ever said that. After stropping for about 10 minutes, I finally began the search for the book that would change everything. I couldn't tell you why I picked it up, my copy doesn't even have the distinguished looking Dumbledore on it. It's one of the first prints though, which makes it even more special to me. After reading the first page (in the middle of the bookshop, obviously. Along with the entire first chapter) I was hooked. 
I know the writing isn't necessarily groundbreaking, and there has been a decent amount of criticism surrounding J.K. Rowling's adoration of adjectives, but who doesn't enjoy a good description?! Regardless of all that, and regardless of the fact that anyone who read these books in Secondary School was mercilessly teased, I was, and am, unashamed in my love of Harry and his world.  After reading books all based in some version of reality, albeit a very OTT version, reading something magical was awe-inspiring. And I don't mean it was just about magic, obviously it is, but the way her words drew me in, made me ignore everything for a precious few hours, was nothing short of magical. I didn't have the easiest time in my own head or in school growing up, and these books gave me a place to escape. They gave me characters to grow to think of as larger-than-life, characters I wanted to be best friends with and a girl who could kick more ass than any of them. When I was younger, Harry was my favourite because he was the main guy to love, but as I got older, every re-reading has made me love Hermione more and more. This was a book series that I grew up with, and to be given a character like Hermione was a gift. She was a reminder that I could be brave and strong and important and I loved that. In a time when I was convinced I didn't matter and that nobody would notice I was gone, having her there was always a comfort and a source of strength. 

More than all that, more than loving the story, I loved what it taught me; that I should stand by my convictions, even when others don't, to value family and friends above all, and that if I ever own a House Elf, I should be really kind to it because they can do all sorts of awesome shit. 

Loving Harry Potter didn't just give me an escape though; it gave me a dream. I'd always loved imaging my own fantastical world, but seeing a magical world written down and glorious tales spun in word gave me an outlet that I'd never thought of. And from then on I wrote. I wrote fairytales about the life I wanted, the life I dreamt I had and the people I wanted to know, and that dream kept me going.

My copies of Harry Potter are beyond well-loved, they are adored. There is something amazing about having a phenomena like these books to join a generation. We can be defined by something fantastic and otherworldly, which is more than others can say. I can't wait to be able to pass along the copies of something that defined my life to my children and tell them how much it means to me. 
Alright, I'll leave the rambling for there! If you have any books that helped make you who you are today, or even just books you really fricking loved, I'd love to hear what they were. Drop me a comment below, or hit me up on any of my social media that you can find at the side! I hope you're all well and I'll chat to you on Wednesday (ohhhhh setting deadlines! Who even am I?!).

Be nice and be kind, much love.
Becca xo.
                                                                                                                                                                         

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