Last night I decided to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I can’t tell you (because I don’t remember) how many times I’ve read this book. I think I first read it in 5th grade when a school librarian introduced it to my class. I rushed to check it out, devoured it within a week, and then had to agonizingly wait another year or two for the second one to come out.
Returning to this book is like curling up in a lovingly worn blanket. I know the story almost by heart, could tell you every plot line and funny dialogue throughout the chapters, but diving back into this story is such a comfort.
The reason I’m telling you this is because I feel like this is what a brilliant book does. It sucks you in every time. Its characters pull at your heartstrings, its plot brings action alive. Reading it for the 100th time is just as much fun as reading it for the first time.
Now, I’m not saying that J.K. Rowling is the greatest writer alive. I’m not saying that Harry Potter is the best series in the world. But there is no denying the sense of magic when we open the book and go back to Harry’s world. It’s almost as if his world truly exists, we just can’t see it with our Muggle eyes.
This is the kind of inspiration I strive for when I write. Sure, I write about things that interest me, but I keep my audience in mind. Teaching has taught me that there are kids out there who flat out refuse to read. They have such a negative stigma attached to reading that they don’t want to even try anymore. Even when I was in high school myself, my goal was to capture the attention and the hearts of those non-readers. I wanted to introduce them to the magic of reading plain, printed words that can transport you anywhere in the world. I still wish for this. I want my students to realize that reading isn’t so bad. That it can be just as much fun as playing a video game or watching a movie.
So with feelings of nostalgia and comfort, I wish you happy writing!