Literal Literacy Obsession

My love for literature has been a part of me since I was young, and it all started with “Harry Potter.”


by Anna Cucar, Photo Editor

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be,” Albus Dumbledore said in the “Harry Potter” series. From my childhood to adolescence, the “Harry Potter” series is something that has grown with me. From the magical soundtrack to the empowering characters, each movie and book has become my second home — a home that can be taken with me anywhere.

My “Harry Potter” obsession started when I was in kindergarten. From playing the character Hermione Granger on the blacktop to making wands out of sticks, I have always loved the magical world that Hogwarts provides. It wasn’t until I was nine years old that I realized how great of an impact “Harry Potter” had on me. When I was in the third grade, my parents divorced. While this was a life-altering experience for a nine-year-old, I found beauty in the distraction of “Harry Potter.” From then, I read all of the books consistently in order, making sure I soaked up every bit of magic that this series had to offer. Delving deeper into the world of “Harry Potter,” one quote became my favorite reminder through hardship: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” Dumbledore said. Having a constant reminder that there will always be light even in the darkest of times uplifted me. From then, I knew that the “Harry Potter” world was something I could always count on.

In grade school, I had always felt atypical in comparison to my peers. I liked reading for pleasure while most of my friends didn’t. It was hard for me to imagine a childhood without reading, and I was confused as to how reading could be considered “too nerdy.” Reading was the one thing that could divert me from outside troubles. For hours on end, I could get lost in “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire,” imagining myself at Hogwarts instead of the situation I was in. However, I did not let outside comments debase my love for literature. Reading is still my primary form of escapism. I yearn to read every day, all because of the “Harry Potter” books.

After I completed the books, I began to watch the movies. Though I had loved her in the books, I grew particularly fond of Hermione Granger in the movies. Through her wit, intelligence and creativity, she made me feel represented. In my favorite movies, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Hermione’s movie character is a symbol for all women and girls, counteracting a common perception that we can’t be both smart and pretty. Society tells us we are either one or the other. With Hermione being confident in her personality and attributes, I felt empowered to be myself, even as a young, nerdy pre-teen.
Both the “Harry Potter” movies and books have had an influential impact on my life. A simple series drastically changed my view of myself and others and has shaped me into the person I am today. The “Harry Potter” series started my literal literacy obsession, and that magic will last for a lifetime.