Reading Harry Potter In My Childhood

Oh, BookTube, you are full of such young people…

I was watching a BookTuber today who had their 30th birthday. I thought yay, someone more my own age…

Actually, I’m twelve and a half years older than them. (Sarah-Jane at The Book Life, I’m enjoying her videos a lot.) That’s quite significant.

She was talking about not reading Harry Potter in her childhood.

Harry Potter didn’t exist in my childhood.

I then started to think about when I first discovered Harry Potter. I wasn’t there at the beginning, and to be honest, I hadn’t (re)discovered my love of children’s literature at that stage in my life, but I didn’t care what age range a book was aimed at if it sounded good.

For whatever reason, I picked up the first two paperbacks. They were definitely a Big Thing already at that point. Azkeban was out in hardback, but not paperback so I can narrow the date to between July 1999 and April 2000, and as I couldn’t wait for Azkeban to come out in paperback, I’m guessing it was sometime in the second half of 1999.

I was 24.

The final (main) Potter was published July 2007, just before my 32nd birthday. For someone twelve years younger than me, the seven books would have been published from when they were 10-20, so would be part of their childhood.

For a thirty year old, Harry Potter was part of their childhood.

I feel very old all of a sudden!

I’ve only ever read the entire series once, and after Azkeban that was on the day of release for all the other books. One of my reading goals is to re-read the Harry Potter series because I think I missed out on much of it from the gaps between reading, and is probably why I wouldn’t put them on a favourite book list.

With my TBR pile being so big, and there being other books I want to re-read, I can’t see me reading them again for several years. I probably ought to read them to my girls but I’m hopeless at reading aloud and we have a huge read-aloud TBR pile too (mostly seem to read non-fiction at the moment as my youngest loves history!)

Harry Potter is only part of my girls’ childhoods in terms of films. I have managed to produce non-readers (for now – I think the eldest is more like her dad and prefers film although will read sometimes, but I have hopes that the youngest will discover the right series and fall down the rabbit hole…) Tablets and YouTube (why read when you can watch people playing Minecraft, building Lego, or making slime? Nope, I don’t get it either…) have a lot to answer for in this household!

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