Just curious because I know several people have grown up with Harry Potter like i have- being about the same age as him when they read all the books. It's been mentioned on other threads- but this is fairly different and so deserving of its own thread.
I read the first three Harry Potter books when I was in the 5th grade- when I was 11 years old. I read the 4th Harry Potter book when it came out- the day after I turned 12. I read Order of the Phoenix 2.5 weeks before I turned 15. I read Half Blood prince when I was 17, and Deathly Hallows soon after I turned 19.
It;s like book for book he has been very close in age to me- and so the things he was doing and going through (the mundane at least) were similar.
Not to mention almost every book I've read since the 6th grade has been either OSC (that's when I first read EG) and reading and rereading Harry Potter books.
This only compounds the feeling of childhood ending, seeing as how I'm going several states away next month to start college full-time. Where he left off- we don't know where the future is going for him, nor do I for myself. And to be fair- I have had my own sufferings in adolescence- threats of violence, isolation, depression that Harry had to go through at one degree or another- another way I could relate to him.
Anyways- I just wanted to know who else has grown up with him. And what your feelings are now that it is finally over.
Posts: 980 | Registered: Aug 2005
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I've grown up with them, only two years ahead of you. So when I started, I did feel like they were a little to oriented towards the younger crowd. However, when I got to book 4, the maturity level of the books had at least caught up to me (and in some parts surpassed me). When I finished the final book, I felt overwhelming grief. It happens to me a lot when I finish long books or series of books, and I know it has been discussed before.
I read every book since the second the day or two after it came out. And also, although I never consciously planned to, I ended up reading all the books leading up to the outcoming book.
It worked out especially well this time: I re-read the Order of the Phoenix, and finished it an hour before I went to see the movie on opening night. I then proceeded to re-read the Half Blood Prince, and finished it the night before the release of the Deathly Hallows. And I completed the Deathly Hallows within 48 hours.
So I have been in constant Harry Potter mode for nearly a month, and on-an-off Harry Potter mode for nearly ten years.
The same happened to me with the Dark Tower series by Stephan King. I picked up the first book about a month before the 7th came out (sometime in the summer of 2004, I think), and was therefore able to read the entire series constantly. I finished the 7th in January of 2005. I read no other books during that time. I think the first book came out in 1982, so I was lucky compared to those poor saps ( ) who started the first book 20+ years ago.
You were lucky to have the books relate so closely with your age. If you want to immediately hook onto another long, long book series, I would recommend picking up Gunslinger, the first of the Dark Tower series. That should keep you engaged for a couple months at the least.
Posts: 1710 | Registered: Jun 2004
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I started reading them when the first book came out which was when I was 12 or 13.
I remember not being allowed to bring the book with us to my grandparents' house because my aunt was crazy against the book.
I also remember my mom bringing home book 4 (I think) the day before it came out. She works in a library and was able to get our reserved copy when she left for the evening. At that time they weren't so crazy about locking down the books.
It's weird to think that the series is over as it's been 10 years since the first one came out. But now we have them all and can reread them whenever we feel like it.
Posts: 2867 | Registered: May 2005
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I think I started reading them after the second movie came out, or was it when the fifth book came out? I don't remember, but I've been following them for maybe half a decade, so since my late teens. I haven't followed it for as long as a lot of people have, but I still feel like xtow says, that it sort of capped off, maybe not my childhood, but my teen years/early youth certainly.
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004
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I'm 32 and I just started the series. I didn't grow up with him. I am the same age as Drew Berrymore. When I tell my wife I had a crush on her in ET she says eww. I remind her I was the same age.
I still have a crush on her.
Also, you might want to put a mild spoiler alert in the title or edit "Where he left off- we don't know where the future is going for him, nor do I for myself." This let me know he lived. Not a big deal for me, but it might be for someone else.
Good luck in college. What do you plan to study?
Posts: 1766 | Registered: Feb 2006
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I started reading the Harry Potter books when I was thirteen, I think. Before that, my mother kept telling me that they had been well-reviewed and I should read them, but I got all persnickety and I didn't like the cover art of the first one, so I didn't read them for ages. After a while my best friend at the time basically shoved her copy into my hands on the school bus and said it was the best book ever and I had to read it.
Then there was much excitement because I loved it, and I had to run out immediately and buy the second book -- which at the time was a substantial expense for me, buying a brand new hardback. And then I discovered there was already a third one, and I went right out and bought that one TOO, and irritated my sisters thoroughly by making astonished noises as I discovered new revelations.
So I was thirteen when Harry was, which was good because the third book is my favorite, and the fourth one came out when I was fourteen, and that was all good, but after that I started losing him. I liked it when I was Fred and George's age; I think now I'm the same age as Percy, of all people.
Now that it's all over, I feel actually quite bereft. I have always really enjoyed the release parties, and the experience of reading the books as soon as they came out, and guessing about what was to come. So I miss it. I didn't want the whole phenomenon to end. I considered reading the book like one chapter a day, to make it last, but then I realized I don't have the willpower and plus my whole family would have read it before me and they might let something slip and also if I hadn't read it they'd have all the good conversations about it without me. So I was done by five in the morning on the 21st. Alas.
Posts: 910 | Registered: May 2000
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I read 1-3 the summer I turned 12 and while GoF had just come out I didn't get to read it for another 6 months. (still aged 12)
I was 15, like Harry, when OotP came out and 17 for HBP. Now with DH I'm 19.
We grew up with Harry. From now on kids can just read them all in one go. I think I got a lot more out of it being close to the same age as him and having to grow up a little in the time between books. It seemed to relate more with my life.
Posts: 96 | Registered: Sep 2006
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I was 8 when I read the Sorcerer's Stone -- I think that was the year it was released in the US. Literally everyone in my grade was reading it, and you were a major social outcast if you didn't know what Quidditch was. One of my clearest memories from third grade is reading the very first chapter of Sorcerer's Stone -- where Dumbledore and Hagrid leave Harry at the Dursleys -- and feeling totally enchanted by it.
When GoF came out, I was 10 (I think?). I had ordered it from Amazon, and every day when my mom picked me up from camp, I said "Did it come yet did it come yet??" One day, she said no, but then we got to the car, it was lying in the backseat. I remember jumping up and down, I was so ridiculously excited. I remember crying at the end. Like crazy. The books were so important to me then -- I could lose myself in them for hours, and the magic seemed so real. My friend and I used to play "Hogwarts" where we would make wands for ourselves out of bushes, make Hogwarts schedules, and label various doors in my house "Dumbledore's office", "Transfiguration," etc. It was an entire world that we knew backwards and forwards and made the ordinary world seem so much better.
By the time OotP came out I was 13, the summer before eighth grade. This was my science fiction phase, I was obsessed with OSC, and Harry Potter wasn't cool anymore. Most of my friends still read the new book, but for me, I just didn't read it. I had the book because my aunt had bought it for me, and I remember reading the first chapter, then stopping. For me, it was a part of elementary school, and not something I still cared about. All my friends at camp were talking about it, though, and I remember feeling slightly weird at not having read the new HP book, like I was leaving something behind.
The deaths of Sirius and Dumbledore were not well concealed, by the way. My friends' conversations would go like this:
Hey what about that part with Sirius, where -- ?
Oh yeah. Sorry. (glancing at me)
Finally I was like, Ok guys, I KNOW Sirius dies! Don't all stop talking on my account!
So I didn't read OotP until the beginning of tenth grade, after HBP came out (I read that one too). By that time, I was much older (mentally) and finally going back to HP was such a welcome relief, right in the middle of the horror that was tenth grade. It didn't hold the same magic for me as it did when I was nine. It didn't make me emotional, either. It was just a wonderful way to escape.
Now that I've finished DH, it holds a much different meaning for me. I felt myself enchanted by DH, just like I had by the Sorcerer's Stone, but for much different reasons. I was heartbroken when Snape was murdered and then had his true story revealed. I was so touched when I learned the whole story of Dumbledore, how he had been an arrogant teenager who was against Muggles, but then was transformed when he thought he had accidentily killed his sister, into the wise, selfless Dumbledore we know. And in the chapter when Harry thought he was going to die, I literally had tears pouring down my face. No exaggeration. All the stories felt so true and wonderful to me, in ways that had nothing to do with the magic itself.
I feel like I really have grown up with Harry Potter, because in the beginning, when I was eight, Sorcorers Stone and Chamber of Secrets were all that I wanted in a book -- full of magic, excitement, adventure, etc. But by the time I got to HBP and DH, I was old enough to appreciate the deeper stories, and the stories got deeper accordingly.
My niece and nephew, who are 9 and 8 years old, are reading Harry Potter -- they've just started Prisoner of Azkaban (my sister is reading it to them). They like it, but they're not wolfing it down like I did, and they're not eagerly awaiting the next book -- they've got all the books already written for them. The magic's still there for them, but the rest of it isn't -- the feeling of being part of something huge, the feeling that you're encountering something amazing when a new book comes out.
All the other fantasy books that I've read, either in my childhood or more recently, are starting to get fuzzy -- I can't remember some character's name or some plot point, and it's up to the younger kids to explain it to me. But I know I'll never forget the HP names or events, having learned them so young and having grown up with them. It's become part of our culture now, like the Christmas story or Disney movies, which you will always remember, even if it's been a while.
Posts: 930 | Registered: Dec 2006
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I read the first when I was 11 or so years old, in 1998, and I've been reading them since. I'm now 21 years old- just a little younger than Lily and James Potter when they were (rather prematurely!) removed from this world.
So yeah, I grew up with Harry Potter, and Harry Potter's parents. :s
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003
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I think I read the first ones when I was 7 or 8, then I was hooked. I became a little Harry Potter crazed for a while (sheets, pillows, blankets, clothes) but then when I had to wait for the new ones too come out I cooled down a little and started read some other really long series to keep me busy. I wish I could say I was around the age of Harry when I read them, but I've always been too young. My birthday is only one day away from his, July 30th instead of the 31st, but I guess I can say I'm growing up around Harry, but not with him.
Posts: 81 | Registered: Feb 2007
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*nod* I read 1 and 2 back-to-back in the summer of '98. I had just turned 12 so I was a little older than Harry. I distinctly remember relating to the books in a school-related way having transitioned to middle school at 10; Multiple classes with different teachers and that sort of thing. I read each successive book as they were released and re-read them between releases.
I went through them all one more time at the start of this summer and luckily timed it right so that I had just read 5, saw the movie and finished 6 just before the finale. I got through 7 within about 15 hours, give or take. I'm 21. It has been one heck of a journey.
I'm in the category of those who were overwhelmed when finishing Deathly Hallows. Every day since I've had a reflex to pick up the book and read passages here and there. I'm finding myself distracted and feeling like I'm forgetting to do something or that I've misplaced something. Ha. I'll get over it soon enough.
I didnít grow up with the books (Iím 33). I hadnít even really heard about Harry Potter until after the 4th book was out. Theyíre fun reads. Itís been fun finding out what J.K. Rowling has had hidden up her sleeve.
But honestly, the only way they relate to my life has been the usefulness of Hermione as a quick way to pigeonhole those smart, organized, overachieving girls who do everything right in English class. I swear thereís one in every class Iíve ever taken. The one who not only takes copious notes and does exhaustive side research but has all the readings completed before the semester even starts and who has her final paper done, perfectly, having gone above and beyond the rubric in every conceivable point, weeks before the semesterís over.
Posts: 5957 | Registered: Oct 2001
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