With the recent release of Pokemon Go, old and new fans alike are resurfacing all over the world, ready to venture outside to search for their beloved monsters. Everywhere I look on social media and news outlets, there’s not only one but many people who are becoming increasingly obsessed with this fictional game – and for a good reason. While it did nothing for me when I was a kid, and it does nothing for me now, I can definitely understand the nostalgia that comes along with something that reminds you of something you grew up with.
I may not have been a Pokemon fan growing up, but I was definitely classified as a nerd in a fandom of my very own. Right smack dab in the middle of my childhood, a book series came out that changed my life forever. I was already known as a quiet-ish, country music loving book nerd, but this series took it to an entirely different level. Once my grade seven teacher introduced me to Harry Potter, my world was taken over by a magical land where good always defeated evil and an amazing bond between readers and their characters were forever formed. Harry Potter to me is what Star Trek is to Trekkies. It became something I latched onto in order to create some amazing memories. Even to this day I recall talking about the stories with my grandmother (who loved it just as equally as I did), going to midnight book releases and being able to interact with fellow potterphiles.
Potterphile (n): One obsessed with the all consuming demon of the modern world Harry Potter – Urban Dictionary
Fast-forward twenty years (YES, it’s been THAT long) and the magical world of Harry Potter is still thriving. My generation and beyond are still enthralled with everything Harry Potter and I highly doubt it’ll die down any time soon. I mean, they have a Studio Tour in London, The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Florida and now California, as well as a new movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and now a play (and 8th book-ish)! The wonderful world I was able to immerse myself in as a pre-teen is still something I immerse myself in today. While finding Harry Potter fans my age seems few and far between, I still manage to find those who love it just as much as I do still at this stage of their lives.
It’s a great comfort knowing that I am not alone. While we may ultimately be strangers, I feel a sense of calm when I find somebody to share my love with. No matter our ages, we all find a common ground with the characters we have become accustomed to love unconditionally. The original fan base may be growing older, but it’s our responsibility to keep the love of this wonderful series alive and thriving.
I can’t tell you how many times I felt the need to escape. Books were my refuge when I was feeling along, sad or frustrated with life. And while 20 years has gone by, it’s still something I do to this very day. As I started re-reading (for the umpteenth time) HP, I was able to go back to when I was young and excited to read but also appreciate the complex writing and insane amount of detail that J.K. Rowling actually put into her books. I am amazed at the clever wits and meaningful quotes that everyone can really benefit from reading.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light – Albus Dumbledore
I can safely say that my obsession isn’t as hardcore as some, but let’s be real here, who actually cares? Our tiny world has been ravaged as of late with bombings, terrorist attacks, the unnecessary killings of innocent lives among other things. How is someone else’s passion and love for something (albeit fictional) harming you? With all the hate and discrimination in the world, what’s so wrong with people of all ages, races and nationalities bonding over something they all love? There isn’t.
So before all you people go judging the revival of Pokemon, or those long term Trekkies, or fellow Potterheads such as myself, think back to what you used to love growing up. Whether it be Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, or whatever you either secretly, or not-so-secretly love, we’re all guilty. Harry Potter will always have my heart and even though I’ve reached full adulthood (sadly), I will never ever forget the friends I have made – fictional and real. Harry Potter has my heart.
Finally, I say thank you to J.K. Rowling, for creating a world that I could fall in love with and am still in love with today. The last twenty of my thirty years on earth have been some of the best of my life, and it’s all thanks to you. I look forward to any and all future publications from your rare and beautiful mind.