What ‘Harry Potter’ Means to Me

On the anniversary of the publication of the first book, Matt shares the importance of ‘Harry Potter’ in his life, even despite the recent controversy.

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Hello, my name is Matt, I am dyslexic and I would not be here without Harry Potter. Now that I have your attention, all of you are probably screaming and asking how you can do a story about HP when she “who-should-not-be-named-2” has recently been added to the list of canceled casualties.

When I was much younger, during my elementary years, I had trouble reading, hated it, and would resent it. My mom was recommended a book by one of her friends called “Harry Potter” and was told/convinced (you decide) to read it to me. I remember my dad coming into my room and reading chapters of the book. I became so hooked that my parents physically took the book away from me at 3 am, because I was reading ahead (I was about 9). I remember driving down to see a Philadelphia Phillies game (a U.S. Baseball team) and having my dad drive me to a bookstore to wait for the release of Half-Blood Prince and fighting with him about whether or not I could start reading it. I did the same for book 7, and finished the book in 24 hrs.





I will admit, I was a total Potterhead,  I was Harry for Halloween, had a Harry Potter birthday party, became a proud Slytherin, designed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 10 years before Universal (Disney or Universal – offer me a job!), went to London and did the HP studio tour, and have the book in multiple languages. However, the past couple of weeks have been difficult, when “she-who-not-be named” posts her beliefs and thoughts on twitter. My desire to make the world more just is coming into conflict with my love for HP. But, like most, I will need to spend some time learning how to separate the work from the author. Regardless of external factors, the effect Harry Potter had on me is going nowhere.


Orlando Observer
featured image via bustle