Like many, many other fans I was incredibly sad to finish reading the Harry Potter series in 2007. For several years I had cheered for Harry playing against Slytherin, wished that I had my own pet owl, and teared up when Ron and Hermione finally acknowledged their crushes on each other.
Sure, there were still more movies that had yet to come out, but something about having the chance to snuggle up on my couch with a blanket and my new Harry Potter book was a feeling I knew I would miss.
Fortunately, that feeling never exactly came true. Myself and other Harry Potter fans got a special "Halloween treat" today—even more insight into the wizarding world today with the release of J.K. Rowling's back-story on the malicious and bow-bedecked character, Dolores Umbridge, among a few other new tales.
And for someone like me who's read every book at least five times (and had an HP-themed birthday party, beach towel, and board game set), it's nice that a set of characters I've known for so long can still come back with new life, many years later.
In fact, it's something that I've had the chance to grow up with. The seventh and final book came out when I was in high school, I dressed up and traveled with new college friends to see the first part of the Deathly Hallows movie in theaters at midnight, and when I studied abroad in London I spent plenty of time posing for pictures in front of the "real" Platform 9 3/4. And still, I'm looking forward to more HP surprises in store like the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie trilogy that was announced last year.
And while reading the new tales on my desktop screen isn't quite the same as curling up on my parent's sofa, it's a comforting feeling to know that the books we read as kids have the ability to leave such a mark on us down the road. As a ten-year-old I identified with Hermione so much—she owned a cat (me too!), she loved school (same here!) and she had teeth that were in dire need of braces (just like me!). And I still remember those thoughts I had so long ago every time I get to see or read a new Harry Potter installation. It's those tiny details about a book that can make reading so, well, magical.
Of course, the great thing about books is that you can always go back and crack open your favorite ones again (and share them with your kids too!). Luckily, I can say I've read several books that have left an impression on me years later. Here are a few:
What were the books you loved to read growing up? Share your favorites in the comments!
Photo of Platform 9 3/4 courtesy of Shutterstock.