Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, # 1)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, # 1) - J.K. Rowling Despite being one of my long-time favourite series, I can't find it in me to write a really serious review of the first book. I didn't even take notes, apart from the occasional highlight on my Kobo. I also haven't read the first four in nearly seven years, and honestly could not be bothered to be more critical than absolutely necessary for my own enjoyment of the book.

Philosopher's Stone single-handedly (pagedly? Paperedly? Postscriptly?) spear-headed my bumbling path into reading anything longer than a Highlights article or animal reference book. The only novel I had read before wasn't like this. It wasn't fantasy. It reminded me of my daily life, and that was comforting. It could not, however, whisk me away from my comfortable life at home and throw me into something I admittedly went into with a grudge. I had felt obligated to read the first three books, as my mother had gotten me the box-set as a way to keep me amused over the summer. My memory is not what it used to be, but I can distinctly remember curling up in our old, overstuffed chair on a lovely day in June, sometime around noon. There were dust-motes floating around me. For a while, those were more interesting. Sometime during the first chapter, I got so absorbed that I simply couldn't move until mum calling us for dinner snapped me out of it.

Basically, I lived and breathed those three books for that summer, and once I had finished reading them I had some trouble adjusting to not having a new book to read. The Scholastic book fair that came to my school stocking Goblet of Fire was the highlight of my entire year.

So yes. These books have been with me for a long time. I cannot say that I had a difficult childhood, but I can't deny that it was troubled somewhat for me personally. I had to learn to start dealing with social anxiety disorder and depression long before being diagnosed with them, and when times got rough, my treasured hardbacks were always there for me. One way or another, it says a lot that I consider the releases of the books to be pretty major life events for me. I cared for these characters as much as I cared for my friends, and luckily for me they loved the books as much as I did.

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Still though. If there's one thing I definitely enjoyed about the series as a whole, is that you can clearly see Rowling's writing improving with each book. Even when I was young, I sorely enjoyed that, and would often point it out in discussions. Because of that, I've long been under the impression that Philosopher's Stone was a lot lower quality than I thought it was. I was pleasantly surprised while rereading it. I hadn't expected it to be absolutely breath-taking, but for a children's book it is quite well done, almost reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones at times. Although I couldn't get that new book feeling with it, I daresay this is the first time I've enjoyed reading it so much since that fateful afternoon. Let me be overly dramatic for just this one review, pretty please?

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