J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

by J. K. Rowling, 345 pages

Finished on 13th of December, 2023
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Everyone knows these stories and I’m twenty-five years late to the party. But because my daughters are into it right now, I finally picked it up and have to admit: Yes, it’s so much fun to read! A real feel-good vacation for the mind. I’ll keep going.

🎨 Impressions

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the first Harry Potter movie in the cinema when it was published, maybe even the second one, but I lost interest in the series afterwards. Although I’m a fan of other fantasy movies such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Game of Thrones, it didn’t grab me in the same way as those – pretty sure it’s because the books are mainly aimed at children and I was 17 when the first movie came out. During the time my priorities were somewhere else.

Fast forward more than 20 years and I’ve got four daughters, two of them old enough to read the books themselves now. Both have recently finished all seven thick books and were allowed to watch the movie after completing each book. They love it and talk about it a lot, especially Daughter #2, who has infected most of her class to read them as well. Even the boys are into it.

The time has come for me to read the books, too. And since it’s currently December and there’s this feel-good, Christmas-y aura around the Harry Potter universe, I felt drawn to it even more.

And I am convinced now. This first book is a lot of fun to read. I especially liked how little it made me think – it’s like a vacation for the brain. Everything is explained because the audience is kids, of course, but it’s still managed to make want to continue reading to learn what happens. My memories from seeing the movie had faded away so it’s been exciting again to see what Snape and Quirrell and You-Know-Who had been up to. Also, I noticed a bunch of stuff which hadn’t made it into the movie, so parts were completely new to me.

It is a lovely book which I devoured in a few days. I immediately bought the second book and will probably read them all through to the end now, just like my daughters.

📔 Highlights & Notes

Chapter 12 – The Mirror of Erised

However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.

Chapter 16 – Through the Trapdoor

‘I don’t think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the one who told me to stand up to people!’ ‘Yes, but not to us,’ said Ron in exasperation.

Chapter 17 – The Man with Two Faces

‘To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.

‘Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’

He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign … to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection for ever.

How do you feel after reading this?

This helps me assess the quality of my writing and improve it.

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