I often re-read my favourite books, sometimes three or four times, but nothing compares to my alarming number of Harry Potter re-reads. I read them over and over again, year after year. I once read them start to finish three times in a row and I’ve read my favourite one, Prisoner of Azkaban, over thirty times (a lot of those where within the space of a year). Needless to say, I am a Harry Potter fanatic and glad to be so.
There are lots of reasons to love Harry Potter and I find more very time I read them so I thought I would talk about a few of my favourite things about each of the books.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone … I love the sheer feeling of wonder that this book brings. You get to experience the Wizarding World for the first time with Harry; it doesn’t matter how many times you read it, it still feels like the first time. I particularly love reading about Diagon Alley about all the interesting shops and people. I also adore the Christmas period at Hogwarts, it’s so magical and enchanting, something I would love to experience first hand. Finally, I think the obstacles guarding the Philosopher’s Stone are incredibly interesting, especially Snape’s potion riddle and McGonagall’s giant chess board.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets … For a while, I’d only read this one once because I’d convinced myself that I didn’t like it. When I finally read it again, I realised that it was the spiders I didn’t like. I love the suspense and mystery in this book; after the first reading, you know who opened the Chamber of Secrets but the tense atmosphere at Hogwarts always feels really real. This book also stars Gilderory Lockhart as that year’s Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, it is hilarious. He is such a fool and I love the scornful way the other professors treat him and he has no idea! Lockhart acts as serious comedic relief in this book and I enjoy it every time.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban … This is my absolute favourite book in the entire series, I love so many things about it. I love the Quidditch, the Marauder’s Map, Hogsmede visits, the eerie feel of the Dementors. I think Lupin is a fantastic character and he is by far my favourite DADA professor. I also love the Sirius Black thing, how he goes from mass murderer to protective godfather in the space of an evening. This book is absolutely phenomenal and I could probably write an entire blog post about all the things I love about it. Maybe I should.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire … The real stars of this installment are the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament. These events are incredible to read about. I love Quidditch commentary and I get so excited whenever I read that part of the book. The Triwizard Tasks are excellent, they are so original and brilliant challenges. Harry is very slow to prepare properly for all the tasks and I’m always nervous as to whether he is going to manage it in time (which is weird because I already know he manages). I also like that this is the book where things start to get dark and we see a real-life, current day Voldemort for the first time. The scene in the graveyard is so deliciously creepy and really confirms things about Voldemort and his Death Eaters. It is a fab book.
Harry Potter and the Oder of the Phoenix … This book is a serious chunker. It takes ten whole chapters before you even get to Hogwarts, ten chapters in which you get to meet a lot of older witches and wizards which is fascinating. When I was younger I wasn’t too interested in the grown ups, but thanks to re-reads and growing up I now find the adults way more interesting then the kids. We also get to hate Professor Umbridge in this book. What a foul and loathsome toad of a woman. Her antics are hugely entertaining and it is immensely satisfying to watch her get carried off by centaurs. This book is also really sad but I try not to dwell on that.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince … I think this one is probably my second favourite of the series. It’s nice to watch the trio growing up and finding out who they are, see them struggling with relationships and falling out with each other. I also like the interesting plot developments in this book, you glean more from Harry’s lessons with Dumbledore every time you read it. I love connecting seemingly inconsequential things to important events that happen later on and this book is great for that.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows … Plot-wise, this book is definitely the richest. Some things are obviously resolved but others are done with much more subtly and only really become apparent on a re-read. As this book was released last, it is the one that I have read the least. I love the camping especially and how they deal with each other when they are the only they have for company, their dynamic changes a lot throughout this book. One thing I really did like about this book is the Wizarding Wireless and the show Potterwatch, it was nice to see everybody banding together.
So those are some of my favourite things about each of the Harry Potter books and why I love to re-read them. Which book is your favourite?