I am almost embarrassingly obsessed with Harry Potter. I’ve never been a proper geek like this about anything before. Star Wars kind of passed me by, I’m definitely not a Trekkie, I hate computer games far too much for all that world of warcraft stuff. but as soon as I stopped refusing to read Harry Potter on the basis that ‘I don’t really like fantasy novels’, I was totally hooked. I always think of HP as a perfect cross between Enid Blyton-style boarding school stories (I loved Mallory Towers and Saint Claires) and a classic mythology. Because the world of Potter is grounded in the real world, and exists in completely feasible parallel to it, I can enjoy it. But also: the quality of the writing is such that to be honest, I would read a shopping list written by JK Rowling, and probably think it was ace.
There are lines that could be Shakespeare: “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest pleasure”, for example. There are laugh-out-loud funny bits, there are really very touching bits, and the narrative all hangs on Rowling’s strong sense of social justice.
For me, this constitutes pretty much the perfect book. I’ve read the books over and over, and never got bored. I went to the Harry Potter experience and loved every minute of it. And now the kids are hooked: we have the audio books of the first 3 books on loop in the car, they’ve watched the first three films again and again, and Polly is itching to read the next book (the slightly more scary number 4.)
This though, is one of my favourite quotes. It’s true. Our choices, not our abilities define us.
Which is great news for those of us with less than tip-top-notch abilities, frankly.