I apologize if this makes you hate me forever, but I haven’t read Harry Potter. As with swimming, skydiving, and movies starring the Wayans Brothers, I’m very much a virgin when it comes to Rowling’s classic series.
Before you start readying your wands, know that this isn’t necessarily my fault. By the time the books became a cultural phenomenon in North America I was already in high school, and when you’re a 17-year-old boy you really don’t want to spend your time telling your classmates how much you love a book about an 11-year-old wizard.
(Yes, you read correctly. I can’t swim. Deal with it.)
By the time the movies hit I’d considered giving the series a go, but by then fandom had reached the point of lunacy and I just couldn’t handle it. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but getting involved with a fan base that seemed actually, clinically insane was kind of terrifying.
Now that the series is over and Deathly Hallows is almost ten years old (can you believe that?), I feel like the waters have cooled enough to wade into the pool that is Potter fandom. And if you’re a Harry Potter virgin like me, I’d love for us to pop our cherries together.
[…cue awkward pause…]
Okay I think I’m done with the “virgin” angle I’ve been taking?
Over the next year I’m going to read the complete 7 -book series and post about the journey along the way. If you want to join me in a read-along of the books, I would love that. However, note that this is a read-along for Potter newbies (or something close to a newbie). If you’ve read the series, you’re more than welcome to come along with us but please avoid any and all spoilers.
I’ve got my complete boxed set ready to go courtesy of the amazing Kazu Kibuishi (of Amulet fame), who redesigned the books for Scholastic a few years ago. They’re without doubt my favourite book covers of all time. They’re honestly like 60% of the reason I even decided to read Potter in the first place.
In terms of how I’m going to spread the books out, the tentative reading schedule will look something like this:
February: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Feb 7—Chapters 1-6
- Feb 14—Chapters 7-12
- Feb 21—Chapters 13-17
March: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Mar 6—Chapters 1-6
- Mar 13—Chapters 7-12
- Mar 20—Chapters 13-18
April: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Apr 10—Chapters 1-8
- Apr 17—Chapters 9-16
- Apr 24—Chapters 17-22
May/June: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- May 15—Chapters 1-7
- May 22—Chapters 8-13
- May 29—Chapters 14-19
- May 5—Chapters 20-25
- Jun 12—Chapters 26-31
- Jun 19—Chapters 32-37
July/August: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Jul 10—Chapters 1-7
- Jul 17—Chapters 8-14
- Jul 24—Chapters 14-20
- July 31—Chapters 21-26
- Aug 8—Chapters 27-33
- Aug 15—Chapters 34-38
September/October: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Sept 11—Chapters 1-5
- Sept 18—Chapters 6-10
- Sept 25—Chapters 11-15
- Oct 2—Chapters 16-20
- Oct 9—Chapters 21-25
- Oct 16—Chapters 26-30
November/December: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Nov 13—Chapters 1-7
- Nov 20—Chapters 8-13
- Nov 27—Chapters 14-19
- Dec 4—Chapters 20-25
- Dec 11—Chapters 26-31
- Dec 18—Chapters 32-Epilogue
Holy F@#$ing Shit, Amirite?
I was serious when I called this a Year Long Read-Along. I intend to spread this experience out through the entire year. Breaking the latter books into six chunks a piece might seem a little excessive to some, but I’m a bit inspired by Laura’s decision to read more intently this year. I’d like to apply that kind deep-dive attitude to Potter, if I can.
I’m really, really excited about this. I hope a few Potter newbs out there find this post and decide to read-along with me. If there are bloggers who want to join in, the more the merrier. Or, if you’re already a hardcore Potterhead then I hope my journey will bring you back to those few glorious reads all those years ago.
If you want to read along with me, please let me know in the comments. If you know anyone who might want to join, please forward this along. If you simply have words of encouragement, those are welcome too 🙂