Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Neglected Blog

No, I haven't quit reading or listening to Harry Potter. Every time through the books I either find something I hadn't noticed or had forgotten or appreciate the details all over again. And that makes it worth rereading and thinking about. But aside from reading Harry Potter, I have been doing a lot of other things. I'm now a proud grandmother. Terry and I are traveling more and enjoying his retirement. I've started going to yoga with Laura which has made my arthirtis less painful. And I have actually been reading things that have nothing to do with Harry Potter. Gasp - how can that be?

So, I've moved into a new phase with Harry Potter. I'm spending less time talking to other people about the details of the book, even though I still enjoy that aspect. This last year I've enjoyed Pottermore, just because it's a way to stay connected to Harry Potter. The best thing is the new content that Rowling has included, especially the backstory about Professor McGonagall. She is one of my favorite characters but I hadn't thought about how much we didn't know about her life. By the end of the books, we knew quite a lot about Harry, Ron and Hermione, and Draco, for that matter. We found out about Lily and James, Sirius and his brother, the house elves, Dobby and Kreacher. We even learned more about Dumbledore who, until the last book, seemed to have no past at all, other than the mention of his brother who got into trouble with goats. So many of the teachers were like the teachers we all had in school. It's the only place they existed and we were surprised to find out they had a life outside of school. I was lucky enough to have four of my elementary school teachers live in my neighborhood, so I knew they didn't live at the school. I even took to visiting my third grade teacher and got to spend time in her home getting to know her and her cats.

Those things are all good and we are finally into the second book. But I can't get the hang of dueling so I haven't done it at all. Brewing potions is sort of OK. I'm just not good at that sort of stuff on the computer. And the controls on people trying to have a conversation or connect with anyone they don't already know is so tight that it's not worth the effort. Besides, when I first started on Pottermore, nearly every comment I made ended up in moderation - so I quit commenting.

But just like my start of reading the Harry Potter books, those of us on Pottermore have found ways to connect. Only instead of message boards, we've met on facebook. Now, facebook has it's own issues, but it's been a fun place to talk to some people I already knew and meet a lot of people I never could have met on Pottermore, even though we are all on it.

Those kind of friendships that started because of a book are a delight. And that makes the tight security on Pottermore, the dueling I can't do or the potions that sometimes give me problems or the pages about the story that are hard to do (flinging garden gnomes was more of a pain to me than the poor little critters who kept landing in the mud or smacking into the tree or the wall), all worth the effort.

I've always said that when Rowling wrote the books she probably had no idea of the effect she was having on kids and adults returning to reading, but especially the ways that we have all connected with each other.

That's the magic, and it's still working.


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