20 years later, new gen­er­a­tion of Harry Pot­ter fans

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

K’lyssa Moore wasn’t that much older than the el­e­men­tary school stu­dents she now teaches when she first fell in love with Harry Pot­ter soon after the books first started com­ing out.

The 28-year-old reads at least part of the first book to her classes, and isn’t at all sur­prised when they fall un­der the spell of the boy wizard, just like she did, and are end­lessly cu­ri­ous about what hap­pens next, just like she was. But the sim­i­lar­ity ends there, since they have some­thing she didn’t — all seven books at their dis­posal.

As the 20th an­niver­sary of the ini­tial pub­lish­ing of the first Harry Pot­ter book is cel­e­brated this week, an­other gen­er­a­tion is be­ing in­tro­duced to Harry, Hog­warts and all the rest of the mag­i­cal world cre­ated by au­thor J.K. Rowl­ing.

For some of their first-gen­er­a­tion- fan par­ents and other adults of­ten do­ing the in­tro­duc­ing, there’s a lit­tle bit of wist­ful­ness that their kids won’t get to ex­pe­ri­ence the mid­night book re­lease par­ties and other hoopla that sur­rounded the Harry Pot­ter pub­lish­ing phe­nom­e­non. For oth­ers, though, there’s the slight­est bit of (cheer­ful) envy that their kids won’t have to wait to find out what hap­pens next. Moore is firmly in the first camp. “Part of it, the fun of be­ing a fan when the books were com­ing out, you were liv­ing it as Harry and all the char­ac­ters were liv­ing it,” the Lub­bock, Texas, res­i­dent said. “The wait be­tween books was kind of like the sum­mers they had in-be­tween school when Harry was dis­con­nected from the (mag­i­cal) world. You do miss out on get­ting to make up your own the­o­ries and get­ting to guess what you think is go­ing to hap­pen be­cause you can pick up the book and find out right away.”

Chloe Galkin is pretty sure she could prob­a­bly live with that. The 41-year-old from Maple­wood, New Jersey, has seen her 8-year-old son Theo tear through the en­tire se­ries. “I think I would have loved to have them all, just the way he does,” she said. “We’ ll fin­ish one, he can’t wait to start the next one. I think that’s al­most bet­ter in a way that you can read them con­tin­u­ously.”

The first book in the Harry Pot­ter se­ries was pub­lished in Bri­tain on June 26, 1997. It’s since sold more than 450 mil­lion copies glob­ally, in 79 lan­guages. It took 10 years for all the books to come out, with mul­ti­year gaps be­tween of­fer­ings.

And re­mem­ber, the dis­cus­sions and events and fan the­o­ries were there be­cause peo­ple needed to find ways to pass the time, pointed out Erin Pyne, 40, of Or­lando, Florida. She should know — her im­mer­sion in all things Harry Pot­ter led her to work­ing with Univer­sal Stu­dios on its mas­sively pop­u­lar Harry Pot­ter themed park at­trac­tion.

“This Harry Pot­ter gen­er­a­tion,” which in­cludes her 6-year-old son, Rowan, “is so lucky, be­cause they don’t have to wait,” she said. “We had to wait and wait and wait.”

Emma Joanisse can’t imag­ine that. The 10-year-old read the se­ries start­ing with one of the nu­mer­ous copies of the first book owned by her step­mother, Josee Le­blanc.

“I’m glad that I didn’t have to wait be­cause I could just read them all and not have to stop,” said Joanisse, of Mon­treal, through Le­blanc’s trans­la­tion. She ad­mit­ted the idea of mid­night book re­lease par­ties and other events had a cer­tain ap­peal, though. “It sounded like fun, be­ing all to­gether,” she said.

En­vi­ous or not, shar­ing the Harry Pot­ter love with a new gen­er­a­tion has been a joy and a tes­ta­ment to the stay­ing power of the books, said Clay­ton Lord, 36, who has read the first four with his hus­band and their 6-year-old daugh­ter, Cici. Prior to start­ing that ef­fort last year, he hadn’t reread the first books in the se­ries in many years.

“There are things that you read when you’re younger and then you get back to them and you re­al­ize they’re not all you thought they were,” said Lord, of Edge­wa­ter, Mary­land. When it comes to Harry Pot­ter, even after many years, “they’re very very well-crafted, the writ­ing is re­ally beau­ti­ful and con­trolled ... I think that they hold up in­cred­i­bly well.”

This gen­er­a­tion is so lucky, be­cause they don’t have to wait. We had to wait and wait and wait.” Erin Pyne, 40, of Or­lando, Florida

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.