Re-reading Harry Potter as a Young Adult

harry potter stoneLike many others, I grew up with Harry Potter. It was read out loud to me as a child and I finished the series on my own, but it’s been several years (4 or 5 I believe) since I’ve read the entire series again and I’ve been craving some of the magicalness that is Harry Potter. So a few days ago, I picked up Sorcerer’s Stone again and flew through it. However, I don’t think I got quite the same experience as I did the other times I’ve read it.

Perhaps I’ve read it too many times and I just know the story too well? No, that’s not it.

It’s too short compared to the others. No, I don’t think that’s it either.

The thing that’s different this time is that I’m now much older and starting to reach my adult(ish) years. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books and it drives me mad when people call them children’s books, but (at least the first few) are targeted towards children. When Harry’s story starts he’s eleven years old and the story is told so someone who that is around Harry’s age can understand. The protagonist is young so the voice telling the story is also young.

I still loved getting back into the world of magic, but now that I know the entire story I start noticing little things that relate much farther along in the story. It’s so cool to see how much planning J. K. Rowling put in to her books and how many little tidbits she put in for fans like us to find. Over the next few weeks I plan on re-reading the entire series and I’ll post an update once I finish (or maybe half way?) to revisit my thoughts.

I’ve already finished Chamber of Secrets but my thoughts on that one are still the same. It’s definitely my least favorite, both the book and the movie. I’m not entirely sure why, but the second installment always disappoints me even thought it has some of the most important developments with the diary, the basilisk fang and the sword of Gryffindor.

However, now we’re onto Prisoner of Azkaban! This one is one of my favorites, right behind Goblet of Fire. Even throughout the first few books, I can already see the writing “grow up” as Harry grows up and I think that’s also what makes Harry Potter just as magical.

Let me now if you’ve re-read the series after reading them as a child! What did you think of them then vs now? What would you change about your reading experience? Favorite parts then vs now? What do you think of the voice of the books growing as the protagonist grows?

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15 thoughts on “Re-reading Harry Potter as a Young Adult

  1. I need to reread this series, from start to finish! I agree with you about the first book having a younger voice. It doesn’t make me dislike the book, I just like the later books more. My favorite is the Goblet of Fire. I’ve reread that one more times than I can remember!

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    1. We’re on the same book! The first book definitely was emotional and they’re so innocent. I found it so funny how one of the biggest issues was Harry, Hermione, and Neville losing 150 points in one go. Compared to the later books, that’s nothing!

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  2. I’m also reading the Harry Potter series but I feel like my experience is a little different because I’m reading them for the first time, and I’m nearly 19. It was a little hard for me to get into the story at first because, like you said, he starts off as an 11 year old boy. It took me a month to get through Prisoner of Azkaban, and that stands as my least favorite so far. I’m liking Goblet of Fire though. A part of me feels like if I would have read these when I was younger I would be able to experience the magic the way it was suppose to be experienced as a child, rather than reading it as an adult. But eh, better than never I suppose.

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  3. I’ve only recently just started to re-visit Hogwarts again and it is casting me back to brilliant memories of the younger me! Like you, I grew up with Harry but when I turn back to re-watch the movies or re-read the books I feel truly welcomed back. Re-introducing myself back into the wizarding world is a huge de-stress for me and I always compare it to wearing a comfortable pair of slippers you have owned for years but can never throw out.
    Even though we know the plot and what happens, they are all each still fun and refreshing to read and so far on my way through them again I am nearly finished the Goblet of Fire. I’d say my favourite book would be a hefty tie between the Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. My favourite movie would be the Prisoner of Azkaban πŸ™‚

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  4. I’ve been planning to getting around to re reading the HP books. I’ve only ever read them once but I’m sort of scared that I’m not going to be as drawn in and amazed as I was when I was 13-14, like there going to have lost there spark of amazingness now that I’m older. I’m definitely still planning on reading them though

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