I was 11 years old when I received Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for Christmas, and had no idea what magic was about to enter my life. Since then, Harry Potter has been a constant in my life. I grew up along with Harry. When my mom and I went to England in 2003, we arrived days after The Order of the Phoenix was released, and the first thing we did after checking into our hotel was find a bookstore. When the film came out, I wrote an article for the Monterey Herald about it. Harry has been there for me through breakups, chronic illness, and severe depressions. When my depression slams me to the floor, I reread the books. I’ve made and cemented friendships on the basis of shared Harry Potter love. The books are a source of wonder after all these years, not just for the magic contained within, but for everything they’ve given me in life – hope, comfort, friendship, safety. They have their own bookcase, containing not just my American editions, but almost all of the British editions, plus a smattering of other foreign editions and books about the series. On my 25th birthday, I started a tattoo to commemorate all the series means to me. Covering the vast majority of my back, it features Fawkes, with symbols of the stag, the Dealthy Hallows, and the lightning bolt in his feathers, and “Expecto Patronum” on scrollwork where he rises from the flames. It represents to me everything that is good and true about Harry Potter – the message of love, friendship, good over evil, plus, you know, magic and fantastic beasties! Much like help at Hogwarts, Harry Potter will always be there for me when I need it – and it’ll be there for anyone who needs it.
Bookshop Santa Cruz