Monday, October 15, 2012

Harry Potter Questions to Ponder

Good news! I picked up my computer from our fix-it guy in Salt Lake this weekend. He upgraded me to a 500 GB hard drive (only 150 before) and a faster CPU for only $114!!! I'm so happy to have my computer back. I kissed it the moment it leapt into my arms. *Now that I have my computer back, I'll work on commenting back to all of you who've left comments in the past week or so.*

It's October and that means it is time for my fifth annual Harry Potter re-read. I'm currently reading the fifth book. I think I will finish the entire series in my fastest time yet - only two weeks! Which is good because I have tons of other things to read.

As always when I read the Harry Potter series, the rest of the world disappears and all I can think about is Hogwarts, hippogriffs, and horcruxes.

I know most of you are also huge Harry Potter fans, so I thought I'd put up a few questions about reading the series:

1. When did you first read Harry Potter?

I worked at Barnes & Noble the summer of 2000. I'd never heard of Harry Potter, but as soon as I started working there, everyone who came into the store was talking about it. I had to see what the fuss was about. B&N has a great program where employees can borrow hard cover books. That's how I read the first three books. The fourth book was published in July of 2000. I worked at the very first B&N midnight release party. It was a madhouse, but loads of fun.

2. Which is your favorite book? Least favorite? How do they rank?

My ranking of Harry Potter from most favorite to least favorite:

1. Prisoner of Azkaban (as a whole, the third book is still the one that captures me the most)
2. Deathly Hallows (especially from the start of Snape's memories until the end)
3. Order of the Phoenix (this has changed over time. I didn't like it at first because Harry is so moody, but now I understand his moodiness. Plus I love Fred & George in this book. I think it's a crucial turning point to the series)
4. Goblet of Fire (the graveyard scene is always terrifying)
5. Half-Blood Prince (a good book, but somewhat of a place holder for the last one - although obviously big things happen in it)
6. Sorcerer's Stone/Philosopher's Stone (still think it's stupid that they changed the title for the US. This is a cute book, but the most juvenile of the series and the least well written)
7. Chamber of Secrets (for whatever reason, this book has always irritated me)

3. How many times have you read the series? Or if you haven't re-read the whole series, which book have you read the most and how many times was that?

After this re-read, I will have read the entire series 6 times. I've read Prisoner of Azkaban the most - probably 8-10 times.

4. How did you pronounce Hermione before the phonetic description in Goblet of Fire or the movies?

I pronounced it Her-mee-on, with the stress on the first syllable.

5. Did you think Snape was good or bad before reading Deathly Hallows?

I always thought he was ultimately a good guy. I'm not sure why. Maybe because he was such a jerk on the outside that he couldn't possibly be any meaner on the inside - although that doesn't make any sense.

6. Apart from the trio, who is/are your favorite character(s)?

Snape and Lupin. Snape is by far the most complex character in the series. Now that we know more about him from Deathly Hallows, I love looking back at the prior books and trying to guess his real thoughts. I love Lupin because he's a really good guy. As a werewolf, he's had a very difficult life. But he's kind, thoughtful, and mature. I love Sirius, but he can be very rash at times - not setting the best example for Harry. Lupin feels more like a father than Sirius.

7. In the movies, which actor do you think is the best looking?

Well, in Deathly Hallows, Neville (Matthew Lewis) totally blew everyone else away. Otherwise, I've always thought Draco (Tom Felton) was very good looking. He was an adorable little boy and grew into a handsome guy (ironically, I don't think Tom is really handsome on his own - but when he styles like Draco he's super cute). Oh, and Oliver Wood. I drooled over him in the first movie.


  1. 1. I first read Harry Potter in the Summer of 2001. I started off not wanting to read them, but a child I used to babysit that always struggled with reading for enjoyment gave the first 4 to me as a gift.

    2. My favorite book is also Prisoner of Azkaban. I think we finally get more into the heart of the story with that book. My least favorite was probably The Sorcerer's Stone.

    3. I've re-read the series before each new book came out and each new movie so it varies. I've also listened to the audio version 3 times. The narrator is amazing!

    4. Her Mon Nee.

    5. After the 1st book I always thought he was good, until the end of the 6th book then I doubted myself, but ultimately I hoped he was still good.

    6. Luna is my favorite "side" character. She is so quirky and fun.

    7. Oliver Wood! He was such a cutie!

  2. So fun to read your thoughts on HP. :) I haven't read the series in a while, maybe I'll have to do that.

  3. 1. I started reading it the day after I saw the first movie. So, November 17, 2001. At the time, only four of the books were out and I read all four in a week, which was unheard of for me.

    2. First off, DH is my favorite book and Azkaban is my favorite story. But, here's how I rank the books:
    7, 3, 6, 4, 5, 2, 1

    3. I've read 1-4 5 times, 5 4 times, 6 3 times, and 7 2 times. I've also listened to the whole series on audio books. Whenever I read them, I have to read the entire series.

    4. I'm pretty sure I pronounced it Her-me-one. But, I'm not positive.

    5. I knew he was on Dumbledore's orders, but I also knew he wasn't "good." I've always considered him a gray villain because he was compelled to do good. He wouldn't have chosen it if the circumstances that happened hadn't happened.

    6. Snape, Ginny, Luna, and Lupin.

    7. Now? Matthew Lewis (Neville). In the beginning, Sean Biggerstaff (Wood).

  4. I love Snape! He is such an interesting character..and Prisoner of Azkaban is by far my favorite!

  5. 1. I first read Harry Potter after the first movie came out. So jealous you worked at a Midnight release party - I was never allowed to go to one.

    2. WOW, my Favourite is Prisoner of Azkaban too, my least favourite has also always been Chamber of Secrets, for some reason it never captivated me as much as the others.

    3. I've read them all about 10 times so far.

    4. I pronounced it 'Her-my-oh-nee' (the correct way) I knew it as I had a girl in my class called Hermione so it wasn't new to me. :D

    5. I was always torn with Snape, I think I wanted him to be good but always had my doubts.

    6. I adore Sirius, Lupin was always great with Harry, Dobby will always hold a place in my heart. And Hagrid - so kind, so clumsy!

    7. I always fancied Daniel Radcliffe *blushes*. Tom Felton held a charm, and I always had a soft spot for the Phelps twins. Those cheeky smiles. ;D

    Great post. Harry Potter 4 Ever!!!. xx

  6. 1. I first read The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2000 when I was 9. I then proceeded to read to read the other 3 by the end of the year.

    2. My favourite is definitely Prisoner of Azkaban. There's something very special about that book. It was also the first HP book I ever read. My second favourite is probably Goblet of Fire. My least favourite is Deathly Hallows.

    3. I've read the first four (which are my favourite) AT LEAST 10 times. The rest, I've read 2 - 3 times.

    4. I pronounced it Her-Mee-Own

    5. I knew he was good, but I didn't want him to be!

    6. Such a hard question because I love so many side characters, but I think Sirius really stands out for me.

    7. I agree that Tom Felton is quite good looking as Draco, but out of costume a little less so. Matthew Lewis all the way! And completely agree with Wood!

  7. Aww, I would do the list but I didn't even make it reading past book one! I know, I know. I need to remedy that fast :)

  8. I was never a fan of Chamber of Secrets either. I don't know why, I think it was cuz Harry was such an asshole.

    My favorite is a tie between Azkaban and Goblet! Who DOESN'T love Sirius Black! :)

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  9. 1. I first read Harry Potter when I was in fourth grade, but I didn't become officially obsessed with it until fifth grade when a friend of mine was bragging about how fast he was reading the books.. so naturally I had to finish them before him.

    2. My favorite was The Goblet of Fire... or Order of Phoenix and then my least favorite would probably be The Chamber of Secrets.

    3. I've read them about five times all together.

    4. I pronounced it Her-mee-on. It was a major shocker when i realized that I had been wrong the whole time.

    5. Ahh, Snape. I had mixed feelings about his character. I would always think he was a good guy, but then something would happen and it would change my views. But that last book kind of broke my heart. It made me wish that we'd been able to see more of the good Snape.

    6.Hagrid or Neville! I loved how awkward they were and how at the most unexpected times they'd do the most amazing things.

    7. It first started with Oliver Woods... I was seriously obsessed for a little while and I still kind of am. Then for a few movies there wasn't anyone that really caught my eye, but then BAM! Neville in the last movie was pretty attractive. (:

    Great post!

  10. 1. From what I can recall I read the first HP book after I saw the first film. It was actually my mother who recommended the series to me which I wasn't so keen on a first. But of course . . . my opinion has now changed. :)

    2. Goblet of Fire, Prisoner of Azkaban, Chamber of Secrets, Philosopher's Stone, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows.

    3. I've lost count with how many times I've read the HP series but the most read book would have to be between Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire. They were always my favourites because they were much darker books.

    4. I pronounced it as Her-my-nee.

    5. I always thought something bad must have happened to him to be always so cold towards everyone especially Harry. But Snape was always looking out for Harry, even if it seemed like he wasn't, so I always knew something good was in him from the beginning.

    6. LUNA AND NEVILLE FOR SURE! I couldn't help but LOVE them to bits!

    7. Neville (Matthew Lewis) was the best looking at the end of the book, more so than Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) himself which surprised me and so many others too. But out of everyone I always thought Ron (Rupert Grint) was a good looking guy . . . I crushed on him way before I did with Harry/Daniel haha.

  11. 1. I first heard about it while I was in high school, but I never actually read any of them until after the 3rd movie! I decided I had to read them because I heard they were really good and I wanted more explanation.

    2. My favorite was Goblet of Fire. It was really awesome with the trials and dragons.

    3. I actually haven't reread any of them. Maybe I should, but I have so many books I need to read that I haven't reread ANY books! Maybe I will listen to them all on audio instead.

    4. I'm glad I am not the only one that had troubles with this name. I pronounced it close to yours - Her-mi-on

    5. I changed my mind a couple of times but I mostly thought good because to me he was the one that was obviously the one she wanted you to believe would be bad.

    6. I liked Luna because she was odd and spacey. I also liked Sirius because of how much he was there for Harry after he was back in the picture. And of course Hargrid!

    7. Neville definitely went through a huge change! I think my jaw actually dropped I was so surprised by him. Daniel Radcliffe will always be my HP crush though. I even had a friend who looked like him (even had a scar) and we would torment him all the time about it!

    Super fun post!
    Vyki @ On The Shelf

  12. Ohhh, I am SO jealous that you have the time to reread the series every year! If only I weren't such a SLOW reader. I've actually only read the books about 3 times each, if you can believe it! I don't know though, my slow reading speed combined with my good memory has allowed me to always have an excellent recollection of the series, so that's good anyways. I was just thinking it was about time that I try listening to it on audio (also surprising that I have never done so before!)! Not sure yet if I'll do Jim Dale or Stephen Fry's version though. Anyways, fun questions - I pretty much agree. I also pronounced Hermione that way and always assumed Snape was a good guy! And CoS may indeed be my least favourite one, too, though that's not saying too much because I still LOVED it, obviously.

    1. Aylee, you should listen to the first book narrated by Jim Dale and the second by Stephen Fry and so on. They are both BRILLIANT narrators and each bring something different to the story. I love the audio books even more than the print if that's possible.

  13. 1. First read HP in 2008, mere months after the release of the last book. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get to experience theorizing and eagerly waiting in line, dressed up, at midnight for Deathly Hallows.
    2. Deathly Hallows- simply amazing.
    Prisoner of Azkaban- The Marauders' story was enthralling. It was very adventurous.
    Half-Blood Prince- It was the calm before the storm, I guess. I loved finding out about Voldemort's past and it was a nice break for the students. THey could be almost be normal teenagers for most of the year.
    Philosopher's Stone- I love the beginning. Everything seemed new and exciting and magical.
    Goblet of Fire- Everyone was so very teeny. I always looked at it as their awkward years.
    Order of Pheonix- Harry was a very angry, angsty teen. This was when I realized that the stakes were sky high and that Voldemort was eeeviilll.
    Chamber of Secrets- It was such a dark, scary book, especially since the trio were only 12.

    3. I've read the whole series twice.

    4. I watched the movies before I read the books so I already knew how they were pronounced.

    5. I didn't have enough time to stew over Snape's intentions when I read Deathly Hallows. I was just too excited to get my hands on DH and I didn't really think about it that much. I was convinced that he was eviil. Which made the Prince's Tale all the more amazing.

    6. I love Snape. And Luna. They are seriously one of the most interesting and amazing people in the series.

    7. Matt Lewis certainly grew up nicely...

  14. 1. I first read Harry Potter when the 5th book released. My older brother told me I had to read it because it was so awesome.

    2. Order of the Phoenix & Half Blood Prince are tied for my favorites. I loved how the bad guys were winning. The Deathly Hallows was my least favorite. So boring until the battle at the end. I thought the epilogue was completely stupid.

    3. I've read books 1-6 no less than 5 times. Book 7 I've only read twice. I would reread them again but my copies are in storage.

    4. Hermy-one

    5. I thought Snape was a good guy. There were too many clues for him to be rotten.

    6. I really liked Snape and Professor McGonnigal.

    7. I do have a female crush on the girl who plays Hermione. The

  15. Oh my goodness, you're going on your fifth read?! I am reading the whole series for the first time right now. I read the first book back when it first came out and I never had the desire to pick it up again.

    After many years of people raving and having my mom be a fanatic with the movies, I decided to pick up the series again and see for myself. I'm glad I did. I just started reading The Deathly Hallows today and I am loving it so far. It makes me sad to think that this is the last book of the series. *sigh*

    1. 1. I read the first book back when it came out. I didn't pick up the series again until this year.

      2. So far my favorite book is The Order of the Phoenix (but I think the Deathly Hallows might become my first because I am loving it so far). My least favorite will have to be The Chamber of Secrets.

      3. I've only re-read the first book. I am still working on reading this series for the first time.

      4. I think I tried to pronounce it all Spanish like "Err-mo-neh"...

      5. Gosh, I thought he was bad when watching the first three movies.

      6. Hagrid!!!

      7. Umm...I guess Daniel Radcliffe.

  16. This is soooo incredibly scary becuase we totally have SO MUCH IN COMMON! List of books exaclty in that order and I LOVE Snape! Neville and Draco are good looking!

  17. 1. I first read Harry Potter in 2005 when a friend of mine convinced me that the books were not just for kids and I simply HAD to read them. This not only began my love of Harry Potter, but also my love for the YA genre which I had never really explored.

    2. The way I would rank the series is very similar to yours.
    The Order of The Phoenix It was such a pivotal part of the series.
    The Deathly Hallows Even though I still tear up when I think of all those characters she so callously murdered :p
    The Goblet of Fire
    The Half-Blood Prince I remember being so angry when Dumbledore died!!
    The Prizoner of Azkaban
    The Philosopher's Stone
    The Chamber of Secrets I've never much cared for this one and sometimes will skip it on re-reads.

    3.I reread the series on audio every summer, alternating between Jim Dale's and Stephen Fry's narrations. Next year I'll read the series with my son who will be 11.

    4.I had heard the name Hermione before so knew how to pronounce it.

    5.I kept going back and forth on whether Snape was bad or good, I kind of suspected that kind of twist but killing Dumbledore threw me.

    6. Bellatrix, she was fabulously maniacal, I heart her. Also Fred & George, Luna Lovegood, Dobby, Sirius, Fawkes, & McGonagall were my favorites.

    7. Sirius in my head, not in the movie, although I really like Gary Oldman as an actor and my friend had a HUGE crush on him after he played Dracula.

  18. I have this huge smile on my face right now! I always start re-reading the series in fall too! But, I don't read it nearly as fast as you. It's a process that takes a few months. I'm usually done by December though.

    I'm always pleased when people rank the Order of the Phoenix at the top. I think it's such an under-appreciated book in the series. It gets so much flack! But, it's probably my favorite. I didn't like it when I first read for the same reason you mentioned. Harry was so moody! And compared to the previous books he just seemed so out of character. But, then I re-read it and my whole opinion changed! Yea, his moodiness was justified, but I like how everything changes in that book. It grows up (just like it's readers). We get to know more about the wizarding society and their politics and their fears, and it's amazing!

    I've read the Harry Potter series as many times as you! And I even read Prisoner of Azkaban the most (because until OotP, it was my favorite book ever). I've read it so many times that the pages have started separating from the spine. As sign of a well loved book? Although, I think there are a lot of book lovers that would have a fit if they saw a book in such poor condition. I should probably get around to replacing it...

    - Jackie

  19. It has been ages since I've reread any of the books, never mind the whole series. Actually I think I have only read Deathly Hallows once. Shame on my I know. I want to SO badly though. They really are such wonderful books!! I loved your questions and answers. They were great.

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  20. I had bookmarked this post WAY back when you first wrote it,planning to come back soon & reply but I'm only just finding my bookmark again now o.O Anyways here goes (better late than never):

    I started reading the books around 2005 (very late) I'd been in University before that and hardly ever had time to read for fun. I remember hearing all about them before that but it took me that long to dig in.

    I've read the entire Harry Potter series 7 times. I always read the whole thing from book 1 - 7 when I re-read. Once was in audiobook format with the bf and the read I read the actual books. I used to re-read them 1-2 a year but since I got to the magical number 7 I seem to have taken a break...

    As far as how I would rank the books, you could almost call my top 3 a 3-way tie but here's the order I tend to maintain regardless:

    1. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - just so many feels, so many questions answered, so much evolution for Harry ♥ *sigh*
    2. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince - this was the boom I'd been waiting for from the beginning: Harry getting some one on one training with Dumbledore!
    3. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban - Often times I feel like this one is my absolute favorite because it's so perfect. Like I said closer to a 3-way tie with 7, 6 & 3
    4. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix - I love how darker this one is and how Harry is so angry (rightfully so imo) and everything we learn about the prophecy, Dumbledore & *sob* Sirius
    5. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - for awhile, I let the film version of this one convince me I didn't like it as much but I really do like the book version of events...that ending is so killer!
    6. Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone - I do love how the story begins and learning about the magical world but they are just SO young in this one...
    7. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets - this has ALWAYS been my least favorite. I like the beginning but I tend to get frustrated with the middle part until they get things figured out. The ending is brilliant though and such a big clue on things to come!

    As for Snape, I went back and forth with him and I remember prior to reading HBP I was staring to think he was good...and that ending THREW me and then I couldn't be sure and I HAD to start DH that very second.

    Apart from the trio my favorite characters are Dumbledore, Ginny, Sirius & Lupin!

    In the movies, I think the first actor to play young Tom Riddle in CoS is PERFECT and honestly quite good looking. I also think Dan & Rupert are very crush-worthy but Gary Oldman has to be my top pick here.

    Awesome discussion, I could totally participate in something like this every week haha


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