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The year is 1999, I am 20 years old. It is summer and it is hot, hot, hot. I am working at the bookstore located below the apartment that I live in. I spend my hours at work manning the information desk. All day long I keep getting the same question over and over and over again and my response is the same each time they ask “How do you spell Azkaban?”
The question of course is “Will you be getting in copies of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?”
By the end of the day my curiosity is piqued… “Who is this Harry Potter fellow? Where is Azkaban? And who is this JK Rowling person that wrote his biography?” I head home and jump on the computer to do a little research. This was the summer that the Harry Potter books blew up and that Harry Potter and JK Rowling became household names. I had no idea how much the books would impact my life.
The following summer, August 2000. I am 21 years old and on vacation with my parents and sister. We are on a ferry headed to Orcas Island. I have my nose buried in a book, but not just any book… Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’ve waited all month to crack the spine, waiting for my first day of vacation to start reading this special treat. I am 21 years old. My mom asks me what I’m reading.
“It’s a series of books called Harry Potter,” I say “They are really good. They are about a boy named Harry Potter who goes to a school of witchcraft and wizardry called Hogwarts.”
“Hmmm, that’s interesting,” my mother muses. “That child behind you is reading the same book.”
I turn and look. It’s true. A child of 7 or 8 is sitting in the seat directly behind me, with their nose buried in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I’m sure there are other children and adults on the ferry who are reading the books as well. JK Rowling has taken the world by storm.
It is Spring of 2007, I am 27 years old. I am sitting in the office of the VP of Marketing for Raincoast Books, The Canadian Publisher of Harry Potter. He has just offered me the job of Children’s Book Publicist… 4 months before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released.
“Holy s**t!” I think to myself. “I’m going to be working on the publicity plans for Harry Potter!”
I accept the job and it is amazing. I get to sit in on “top secret” meetings where they discuss how many books they are going to print for the Canadian market, where they examine customer embargoes and where we get to hear about the incredible details that bookstores across Canada have planned for their midnight launch parties!
On July 20th, 2007 I arrive at Van Dusen Gardens at 10:00 pm, dressed as a witch and I help Kidsbooks man the gate, ushering wizards and witches of all ages into the garden where together they will get to pick up the 7th and final book in the Harry Potter series at the stroke of midnight.
I watch the booksellers pull out their box cutters at the stroke of midnight, cut open the boxes and see the book for the first time in “real life”. I see the joy on the customers faces as they feel the book in their hands for the first time, I see the anticipation in their eyes as they dream about how JK Rowling has wrapped up the series, and I see many of them pull out their flashlights to start reading the book, right there in the garden!
Harry Potter changed the world.
Some people might thing that this is a grandiose thing to say, but I believe it to be true. Studies show that the Harry Potter books increased literacy levels amongst boys and girls and I think that is an amazing, life changing, thing!
I know that I’m not the only Harry Potter loving gal out there, it’s always so fun to meet other Harry Potter fans and to hear how the magical world that JK Rowling created has impacted their lives. I recently met Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings at SNAP. I knew that I was going to find a kindred spirit in her when I heard that she was organizing a book swap at the conference.
Marissa told me that she was arranging a Harry Potter blog hop and asked if Hello Creative Family wanted to be a part of it… Ummmm, Yes please!
From July 20th to July 31st, Marissa is sharing posts from all of our Harry Potter loving blogging friends, so head on over to the Rae Gun Ramblings Harry Potter Page and take a peek at what everyone has been creating.
For Hello Creative Family’s contribution I thought it would be fun to ask Crystal M to make a free Harry Potter printable for you all to download!
Crystal and I had a great time sharing our favorite Harry Potter quotes with each other. Crystal ended up deciding on “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
It’s perfect, don’t you think? You can download it here. Please remember that this printable is for personal use only and is copyright of Wild Daughters.
Marissa has also arranged an awesome Harry Potter giveaway!
- The September Bookish Box from Appraising Pages (includes a shirt by Appraising Pages Shop and 3-5 feminine home, beauty, and fashion items)
- I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good Necklace from Bookish Sphere
- Marauders Map Stacking Mugs from A Bird in the Hand Crafts
- 25$ Shop Credit (for in stock items) from Tiny Book Town (super cute bookish jewelry pictured Narnia book necklace and Mystery and Adventure necklace)
- Deathly Hallows Necklace, Personalized Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, and Golden Snitch Ornament (any house colors) from Pieces by Polly
- 40$ Shop Credit from Rae Gun (pictured above House Elf Apron, Hogwart’s House Tie Necklace, Make Love Not Horcruxes Bag but anything in the shop is available)
- 20$ Amazon.com gift card!
- The August Owl Crate from Owl Crate (this will include an upbeat mystery novel, as well as a bunch of items paying homage to literature’s most-loved detectives)
Enter below! Tell us… What is your favorite Harry Potter memory?
Want even more Harry Potter Fun? Check out the Harry Potter photo challenge!