Friday, May 4, 2012

Kernel's Library: The Magic Book that Started it All

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling Book 0001: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (UK) / Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (USA)

First Publication:
- 30 June 1997 with initial 500 copies (Bloomsbury)

- Six months after its publication the book is number twelve on the best selling book list of all time
- It became the third best-selling non-religious, non-political work of fiction of all time
- It's movie rendition in 2001 became the highest grossing film ever in the UK

- Nestlé Smarties Book Prize
- British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year
- British Book Award for Children’s Book Award
- ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 1999
- Short-listed for 1997 Carnegie Award
- Short-listed for the Guardian Children's Award

I never heard of Harry Potter until my final year in high school and what was worse is that I was never a book-reader. When I saw someone reading books at that time it just made me think that they were show-offs, brandishing their heavy and expensive-looking books. As far as I am concerned, they were just reading these books to make people think that they were highly sophisticated or educated.

All these were changed on an instant as I laid my eyes on one of the copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I must admit that I judged the book by its cover, but the thing is it was really great after all. I started reading the book slower than the rest of the reading blokes at school for it was my first time then. I wanted to read every detail so that I can understand the story as much as I can.

It was hard for me, at first, to understand the opening story being the first that I ventured to read. Only when I got to the fantastical part that I applied speed to my reading so as to reach the ending. I was hooked and I can't put the book down: when I was doing chores, I was holding it; when I was studying, it was propped open beside my school books; when I was sleeping, or rather when I stopped sleeping and read overnight.

I was awed by the magical scenes in the book as they were fresh in the genre. Many things made me wonder: What if there is really a Platform 9 3/4? What would Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans taste like? Would Peeves pester or would simply go away when he sees me? Worse, would You-Know-Who spare me for being part of the good Muggle community. Or would Dumbledore say hello to a Muggle like me if we ever crossed paths?

It took me two to three days to finish. And I was never ashamed of it. It was the first book that I ever read, not even my school book have I read completely. And after that moment I knew what I was going to do: read more books, books and more books and become one of the hated highly sophisticated or educated book-brandishing-showing-off book-reader.

And now that I am here in Cebu, I kind of relived the very first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Back then I was content with trade paperback editions and now after some time I was hoping to complete the series in hard bound copies. I already bought The first of the series together with Prisoner of Azkaban -- since Chamber of Secrets is not available in hardbound edition -- and I was hoping I could by the rest.

Grade: A+