Spoiling childhood memories?

hogwartssealFor the last two weeks I have been craving re-reading Harry Potter (and and all of them) but have avoided picking up the book.  I have even avoided watching the movies, which might sate the craving.  No doubt this is the cause of my current mini reading slump.  

I’m not 100% sure why I am avoiding the books.  The first three are favourites of mine and read so many times as a child that the books are in pieces on my bookself.  I stopped counting the number of times I have read them when I got to 13 for the first one and 17 for the third.  It has been over ten years since I have read any of the first four books whereas other favourite authors and books get a re-read about every 1-2 years, so it’s not like I don’t re-read books, so I’m overdue for a re-read.

Yet, I think I’m avoiding them because I don’t want to ruin my childhood memories of the books.  

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce was (still is) a favourite of mine as a child and when I re-read it as an adult I noticed many of the parts or details of the books I thought I remembered were not really there in the detail I thought they were.  In the years since I had read these books (and likely during reading) I had built them up and expanded on what was present on the page.  Not overtly so or breaking with the canon, but they books seemed so bear bones after the re-read.  I still love them but found myself longing for more details and words.  I don’t want to see this happen with my beloved Harry Potter.

Then there is the issue that I have become very hard on books recently as an attempt to think more critically on the books I read and having my eyes opened to problems in books that exist and are perpetuated in book after book.  I was not aware of many of these issues as I read the first three Harry Potter books the first or tenth time and I don’t want to run the risk of Harry Potter books falling into the same traps.  I have also developed pet peeves in more recent years.  At the same time now that I am older and have more schooling and ‘worldly experience’ I might actually understand and appreciate certain parts of the books more then I did when I was very young.    

Right before things got really dark and after a certain favourite character of mine was killed I stopped reading the books as they came out.  There were also some personal issues that also contributed to me putting down the series and not picking it back up until I was 22.  Yet now that I finally know the ending of the series I can go back and discover the connections between the books, something I love to do for my other favourite books and series and I have heard JK Rowling is amazing at this.   But I’m still worried that by going back and re-reading the first four books I will somehow ruin my cherished childhood memories of the magical world of Harry Potter.

Realistically as many many people have read the books and re-read the books I know that they stand up over time and upon re-reading as an adult or I would have heard more on any issues that books have, yet I have still been avoiding it.  I think I will eventually re-read the Harry Potter books and soon, but for now I will continue to avoid them a little bit longer.


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