Jane’s Take: Harry Potter Series

My nephew, along with millions of other kids, is counting the minutes ’til midnight when the final Harry Potter book hits the shelves. I confess my son has never read a word of Harry Potter. He was living in Pokemon world when the first Potter books were released and just never got hooked.

But the excitement over Harry Potter got me thinking about reading, and how much it changed my life.

Growing up in a town of 4,800 people was a pretty small world. I remember walking to the public library on hot summer days and sitting in the cool of the big stone building, deciding which books I would check out for the next week. One summer I read the entire Nancy Drew series. Another summer I was enthralled by a series of books on famous people like George Washington Carver, Abigail Adams and President Lincoln.

Those books brought a whole big world of ideas and possibilities to my middle-school mind. They showed me that people from all walks of life and circumstances had achieved great things. In short, they inspired me.

So as we cover the release of the final Harry Potter book, I’ll be thinking of how much fun it was as a kid to get to know the characters in a book, follow the story and get so engrossed that I couldn’t put the book down.

Today, my reading is mostly non-fiction: newspapers, magazine, the Internet. But reading still gives me the same gift it did those many years ago. It broadens my world, forces me to think about different points of view and opens up all kinds of possibilities. Here’s to Harry Potter.


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