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July 7, 2014

Harry Potter Made Me Love to Read Again --- Guest Post by Katie Boyer, YA Librarian


This month, is all about Harry Potter, but Teenreads didn't want to miss out on the fun! Here, YA librarian Katie Boyer tells us what she loves about the series, and how it taught her to read for pleasure, again. Read below, and if you want even more about the Boy Who Lived, make sure to check out our 31 Days of Harry Potter feature on Kidsreads, which will be updated every day this July!

Growing up, I was always an avid reader.  I read so much that I used to get in trouble in 6th grade for reading while the teacher was lecturing.  In high school I took advanced English classes, and read many assigned books.  I loved some of those books, hated many of them, and got to a point that I was no longer picking my own books and only reading what a teacher told me to read.  Once I was done with high school I was completely out of the habit of reading for fun, and hadn’t picked up a book of my own in years.

While I was actually a young adult, I was still my mom’s “baby”, and when she saw some reports about a super popular new fantasy series starring a young wizard she thought it sounded like something I’d like.  So, my mom bought me my first Harry Potter book.  She actually bought me the second book in the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, so I ended up reading the series slightly out of order.  I read through the book and really enjoyed the characters and the magical world that Rowling had created.  When I read my first Harry Potter book, only three of the series had been published.  I read through THE SORCERER'S STONE and THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (still one of my favorite Harry Potter books) quickly.  I think it was actually THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN that really made me love the series.  The characters and world had been developed and the story was starting to mature, as was Harry.  The story was more complex and stuff was really starting to get ready to hit the fan.

When I fell in love with the Harry Potter books, I fell back in love with reading.   Once I read through all the published books, and anxiously awaited the publication of HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, I visited the library and started reading more books.  I went through a phase of reading books that were related to movies or TV shows I knew, biographies of famous people and other YA and children’s literature that interested me.  I re-read ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and eventually finished the entire The Chronicles of Narnia series, I learned about Audrey Hepburn and the “real” story of Elle Woods (Legally Blonde). 

I am sure I’d have found my way back to books without Harry Potter, but this series will always be dear to me because it reunited me with an old friend I’d lost, and introduced me to so many more that I ended up loving.

Katie Boyer is the Head of Teen Services at the Benton Harbor Public Library.  She's pretty much a big kid herself and loves YA books, video & board games and all things pop culture.