I enjoyed reading before Harry Potter, but I didn’t LOVE it.
I remember my mom and dad reading books to my sister and I when we were young. Love You Forever, The Monster at the End of the Book, and any other Golden Book we owned. I always enjoyed hearing the character voices and love from my parents when they shared stories with us. But it still wasn’t LOVE.
I remember devouring R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series when I was in 3rd grade. I gasped at the end of every cliffhanging chapter and jumped at the scary parts. But it still wasn’t LOVE.
I remember growing up and choosing more complex novels. A Time for Andrew, Time Windows, and anything by Christopher Pike. I finished one novel and quickly moved on to the next. Checking out books that looked half way decent and could hold my attention for at least the majority of the story. But it still wasn’t LOVE.
Then I met Harry and his friends and something clicked. Suddenly Harry’s life wasn’t just a story, it was a world. A world I would visit and get lost in. A world where Harry’s triumphs made me feel accomplished. Where Harry’s losses brought me to tears. Harry Potter opened my eyes. I was in LOVE!!
I suddenly had a new perspective on reading. I became a part of the world I was reading, not just a visitor who stopped in for a tour. I shared all the emotions the characters experienced. I picked books that made me think while reading. Books that, even days after finishing, stayed with me and haunted my daily thoughts. When one book ended, I yearned for the next one to fill the void.
I may have thought I LOVED reading before Harry, but I had no idea what it meant to be IN LOVE with reading.