Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (reread)

TitleHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author: JK Rowling
Genre: children’s/YA fiction (fantasy)
ISBN: 07807306991
Length: 309 pages
Published: 1997
Source: personal collection
Resolutions/Challenges: the Harry Potter Reading Marathon 2011 hosted by Shannon at Giraffe Days

Reason for Reading: I’ve been really wanting to reread some of the Harry Potter books for the last few months. I don’t know what caused this sudden interest in wanting to read them again, perhaps it’s the second part of the seventh movie coming out soon on a subconscious level. Nevertheless, Shannon began this read-a-long at just the right time–it gave me the perfect excuse to read them 🙂

Summary (from Goodreads):

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley—a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry—and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable. For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.

My Thoughts: First of all, I cannot believe that THIS BOOK WAS PUBLISHED 14 YEARS AGO!! I didn’t read it the first time until sometime in 2001, but anyways…

Secondly, I found that this time around, I was a little bored with the book. I’ve seen the movie hundreds of times (I tend to watch it whenever it’s on TV because I don’t own the DVDs *gasp!*), so the little differences between the book and movie seemed miniscule and I was a little bored. And since Harry is so new to the wizarding world, the plot to this book is rather simple: Something of great importance is hidden at Hogwarts and a bad guy is trying to get it. There’s not a whole lot of details and things that come in later (much longer) books. So the simpleness and redundancy of having seen the story portrayed so many times made me a bit bored. I wouldn’t say I liked it less–I was glad to read something that I already knew after having finished four books last week :O

Here are the Discussion Questions from Shannon’s review post of HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I’m working on the assumption that most of you are re-reading these books, rather than coming at them for the first time, and that you’ve read the entire series. If this is the first time you’ve read the book, please let us hear your answers for this reading alone.

1. How many times have you read this particular book? Did you like it more or less on this read?

2. Did anything surprise you on this re-read, something you never noticed before perhaps or a detail that struck you as more important, knowing what’s coming later?

3. What is your favourite scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone?

And my answers:

1) I know I have read this book twice already for sure, but I might have read it thrice. So it’s at least my third time, maybe fourth, reading it. As I stated above, I didn’t really like it less even though I was a little bored.

2) This time around I noticed that Erised, as in the Mirror of Erised, is Desire backwards. I admit, I’d never noticed this before 😦 And I feel a little stupid for never having put that together. But, to be fair, the last time I read it was in 2007 and before that it was 2001. So it’s been awhile.
Also, I never realized that the movie skipped the fact that Harry went home with the Dursleys for a whole month (August) after his trip to Diagon Alley with Hagrid on his birthday. In the movie, Harry’s birthday is July 31st and he’s in the hut on the rock. Then Hagrid takes him to Diagon Alley and he goes straight to the Hogwarts Express. As I never thought anything odd about this (for lack of caring, I guess), I never noticed he went to Privet Drive for all of August.

3) As far as the book goes, my favorite passage is when Harry first goes to Diagon Alley. Those descriptions of things entirely unknown to us in the Muggle world are just so amazing!
As for the movie, I love watching Quidditch. While I realize that’s up to your creative imagination, I definitely like how the movie portrayed it. It’s much cooler than what I originally imagined 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (reread)

  1. First of all – wow, has it really been 14 years??!! I can’t believe it either!

    I think that’s why I avoid watching the movie of this book – the one time I saw it I was bored because it stuck too close to the book, so it felt redundant to me. I like it that the first book is so simple and all, it’s a great introduction into the series and was written for children – but I love that the writing became more sophisticated and the plots more complex the older Harry got.

    Oh I never noticed Erised was “desire” backwards!! I’m too used to seeing unusual nouns in Fantasy books I guess, that I just assume it’s made up 😉

    I agree: Quidditch came more alive to me when I saw it in the films – I never got the same sense of height from the books, the grand scale of it all. Same with Hogwarts itself – I love how it was portrayed in the movies, even when they changed it to a new set!

    • Kristie says:

      I didn’t mean anything bad by saying that the book was simple (and I’m not saying that you’re saying I said it 😛 ). I think that if it had been like Order of the Phoenix, for example, my 14-year-old self wouldn’t have been able to comprehend it and I might not have read the rest of them. I also liked that the stories got more “sophisticated” as Harry got older. The horcrux thing still sort of confuses me haha

      I think I, too, am used to seeing unusual words in stories I read. So Erised didn’t seem too odd 🙂

      • Oh yes horcruxes! I don’t get what they are yet either! I think on a re-read it’ll be more clear; maybe I just read too fast the first time around!

        What do you think of this Pottermore business? To be honest, this kind of thing just confuses me. I’m really not a big interactive-internet person (hell I can barely keep up with my emails and I don’t even know how to fix the things about my blog that I don’t like!), so I doubt I’ll sign up for it. It seemed a bit like overkill too… I’m just happy with the books – maybe that makes me boring!?!

  2. Lucybird says:

    Has it really been 14 years? I suppose it came out 1997 (here at least) so it has been 14 years. I think I actually first read it 14 years ago too, I can’t believe it has been part of my life that long!

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