The Intense Story of Why I Read Harry Potter // stories from a childhood book nerd

To be completely honest, there were only two reasons why I started reading Harry Potter: to end an argument and to get revenge. *shakes fist dramatically*

I alluded to this story during the previous post in my “stories from a childhood book nerd” series, My Funniest Bookish Moments, but I refused to elaborate on the subject back then. So let me explain all of that right now!


The Argument: 

When I was 9 years old, my school teacher was obsessed with Harry Potter. He had movie posters, collectible figurines, and the entire set of books in our classroom. It all looked and sounded awesome, but there was only one problem… I didn’t know what Harry Potter was. 

I was the only one in my class who didn’t have any HP experience. I had never seen the movies, and I had never read the books. In fact, a few years earlier, I had sworn to never read Harry Potter because the books were so large! But despite these differences between me and literally everyone else, the only thing I ever missed out on was the occasional joke. (For time reference, the movie franchise still had three or four movies left.)

However, the day finally arrived when I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt so left out whenever someone would mention Harry Potter, that I decided to watch the movies once and for all. 

Of course, I enjoyed them. I saw the first three movies, for no particular reason, and by then, I felt generally in the loop. Finally, I was one of the cool kids. I had plans to watch the rest of them, eventually, but something happened which kind of changed my mind. 

My best friend was also in my class, and she was a major HP fan. She had read all of the books, and it practically ran in her blood. One day, out of nowhere, I was having a discussion with her about the movies, and I mentioned Voldemort. 

She was a little confused by my pronunciation of his name. “You know you’re not supposed to pronounce the ‘t’, right?” 

“What do you mean? It’s Voldemort. That’s how they say it in the movies!”

“No, it’s actually supposed to be pronounced ‘Voldemore’. The ‘t’ is silent. Like in ballet?” 

And I, being an extremely stubborn child, proceeded to argue against her for the next 15 minutes (even though she clearly had more experience than I did). 

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The Revenge: 

Several months later, in a completely different scenario, a contest was about to begin. 

Okay, it wasn’t really a contest, per say. My school had this reading system called the “Advanced Reader Point System”, or AR points for short, which basically required each student to acquire a minimum amount of points by reading books. Each book had a set amount of points, but if one book was bigger than the other, the bigger one would probably have more points. 

Being the Reader Girl in our class, I had set my personal expectations very high and expected to beat everyone else’s AR points. Like, of course I would beat everyone by a landslide, right? 

Well, wrong. At the end of our first semester, I found out that my personal enemy (let’s call her Lydia, okay?) beat my record of 20 points with her own 21 points. She beat me by one point. One whole point! And was I furious? YES, of course I was!
If we’ve learned anything from this series, it’s that I never missed an opportunity to be dramatic, haha 😂 

Man, was I upsetii. I decided that I would beat her personal record by reading the whole Harry Potter series, which was something a lot of my classmates had not done. I would shock them all, I promised.  

Thus, my revenge plan was set into place. 

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The Results:
(Did I win??)

Over the next several months, I slowly and secretly began to accumulate AR points behind my classmates’ backs. (Just for reference, most regular Middle Grade chapter books are worth about 6-10 AR points, but the Harry Potter books are anywhere between 12-44 points!)

Halfway through the semester, everything was going well. I was minding my own business, as usual when… something was not right in the classroom. The atmosphere was… different somehow, and I turned around to see what exactly was giving me this strange feeling. 

And there, at the front of the classroom, I saw my classmates huddled around something posted on the wall. Being the small bean that I was and always have been, I had to shove my way through the crowd in order to see was was up. And low and behold, our teacher had posted the half-semester AR points for the entire world to see! 

Lydia had about 9 points, while I… I had 50. 

Everyone stared at me in shock. “How’d you do it?” they asked desperately. “I’ve never seen that many points!” 

But I never answered them. I just smiled and kept on reading. 

I fell in love with the books along the way. I wasn’t just reading them to get my revenge. But by the end of the year, while everyone had 15 points or so, I had 120 points in total. I finished Deathly Hallows just in time, and I was feeling like the most accomplished reader in the world. 

Did I win the original bet? No – Voldemort is actually with a silent t, but the books never talked about that at all. But did I get my revenge? Heck yes. 

And by the end of it all, it wasn’t about winning anymore. It was about leaving a 120 point legacy. 

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So, what’s your story? Why did you read Harry Potter?
Do you have any strange childhood stories?

Chat with me about it!


You can also be my friend on Goodreads!

Happy reading, everyone! 😀

Starry Sky Books-13

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41 thoughts on “The Intense Story of Why I Read Harry Potter // stories from a childhood book nerd

  1. THIS WAS AMAZING AND I LOVED IT SO MUCH. This is hands down one of the best posts on the Internet.✨I love that you first read it to get the points, but then developed a love for it!! That’s so awesome. I wouldn’t say I was reading it for competition at first like you, but the fact that my older sister was reading Harry Potter was probably the biggest factor in me reading it for the first time back in the day..anything to be as cool as her, haha. Awesome post!!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, thank you so much, Olivia! 💖 I read Harry Potter not knowing it was going to be my favorite series ever, but I’m so glad it happened the way it did! My younger sister often feels left out when she doesn’t understand my love for some series (like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson), but I think she’s not motivated enough to read as much as me! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is hilarious, and I love your revenge story! 😂 I think that’s a great reason to start reading Harry Potter. We also had that type of reading competition in my elementary school and I’d also get super competitive about it (basically the only thing I’ll get competitive about). Also, I actually didn’t know that the t in Voldemort is supposed to be silent until a few years ago??? Not sure how that one slipped by me. I’m still training myself not to say the t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you! I agree, I only get competitive when it comes to books! 😂 I think it’s awesome that your school had a reading competition, as well! More schools should have something like that.

      And yeah, I was reading the comments on this post, and it turns out that a lot of people didn’t know that the t in Voldemort was silent until recently? I don’t think it was ever in the books, though! I know JKR said it in an interview once, but that’s the only evidence! Still, even though I know the t is silent, I pronounce it with the t anyway!

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  3. I love this. I have my own revenge story. A ‘friend’ told me that I didn’t have the willpower to become a vegetarian like her. I was eating a ham sandwich at the time. I threw it in the bin (thus making me hungry for the rest of the day) and I stopped eating meat. For 16 years!!! Screw you, Zoe, I proved my point!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lolols this is so cute! It reminds me of 5th grade when I myself was dead-set on placing first for the math puzzles my teacher set out for us to do for fun (succeeded, yaya) because I was fuming whenever I didn’t achieve my goals. I feel like we competitive people can be petty af sometimes, but it’s so worth it in the long run. 😂

    But hold on, IS Voldemort supposed to be pronounced with a “t” or not?! Now I’m having an existential crisis…this is the same thing with the Fantastic Beasts movies pronouncing Grindelwald as “Grindelvald,” which annoyed the heck out of me then too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you! It’s worth it to be competitive sometimes, and I agree, it always feels good to win! 😂

      YES, Voldemort is supposed to be pronounced without the “t”, but no one ever says it that way! And I remember when I found out that Grindelwald was supposed to be “Grindelvald”, and I was shocked. Because, how are we supposed to know these things? There should be a pronunciation list in the books or something!

      Like

  5. Funny story! Though I’m surprised your teacher is allowed to post AR points for everyone to see?

    And I’ve always found it weird that Voldemort IS pronounced with a silent “t.” But absolutely no one says it that way. So I guess both are correct now? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Krysta! I believe my teacher posted the AR points so we could be competitve, and so that we could see where we were in the point system. I don’t think we had any accounts to log into, so we wouldn’t know how many points we had unless we were keeping track or he posted it for us! 🙂

      I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pronounce Voldemort without the “t”, so I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore! 😂

      Like

      1. Interesting! Thanks for clarifying!

        Maybe everyone pronounces Voldemort without the “t” just to annoy him? Like it’s bad enough they’re saying his name in the first place, but they also refuse to pronounce it correctly? But he can’t say anything because he doesn’t actually want them saying his name in the first place.

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  6. This was such an amazing post, Xandra! I was top AR reader for my grade once, though I am not sure what I read to get me that title, and I still have the medal hanging from one of my dresser things because why not. I remember one of my friends complaining that his little brother was getting too many AR points because his mom was reading him Harry Potter and he was taking the quizzes, so I think it is super funny to know that someone else used them to get ahead as well haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Arin! 😊 That’s awesome that you were the top AR reader, but even better that you got a medal for it! I never got anything but bragging rights! 😂 I kind of think that getting points because someone read them to you is cheating, but… that’s pretty much the same thing as audiobooks, so I guess it’s not that bad!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, this was such a fun post to read, Xandra!! This definitely sounds like something I would do too, as a competitive person and that Smart Asian Bookish person lmao. I think I started getting into the Harry Potter you did–feeling left out and wondering what all the fuss was about, not really because I was that interested in it 😎 I loved this post!

    (Also, I still can’t pronounce Voldemort without the t 🙈)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, May! 💕 I’ve honestly been competitive my whole life, but only when it comes to books! It sounds like we both gave into the Harry Potter hype, but I’m glad I found out about it the way I did, because I ending up loving the series so much! And I never pronounce Voldemort without the t either, so I think it’s just time to give up saying it “correctly”! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This post was so good Xandra!! I would definitely do this as well, & it’s so cool that you have such a fun memory attacked to the HP series! Ugh I would be so annoyed if someone beat me at a READING game, I would definitely read all the 1000-page novels just to win first place 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay, now I am triggered by the fact that we didn’t have AR in my school. My competitive ass is going crazy.
    Congrats on those 120 points tho! That’s a freaking legacy! And the whole revenge story was so fun!
    I first discovered Harry Potter because my godparent’s kids were reading it. So one day when I was over at their house I read the first few pages and I REALLY didn’t like it. Some time later my father (who is a teacher) ordered me a box full of books. I read all of them besides Harry Potter, cuz I knew I would not like it.
    But my dad convinced me to give it a second chance. And that’s how I became obsessed, I read the first book 3 times in 2 weeks, and made my mom order the entire series. Yeah…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think we only had AR in our school until we were 12 years old, and then we had to read assigned books. 😂

      Thank you, it was a fun anecdote to write about! I understand not liking the first chapter, because it’s really different from the rest of the series and it’s not very exciting. But I’m so glad you like the series now! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ohmygod this is actually my favourite thing ever!!! You know this is kind of funny because I only started the HP series after I watched the fourth movie. At this point, Deathly Hallows (the book) hadn’t been released yet. I was so excited for it to come out, but then a friend found a Wikipedia page of characters who died & proceeded to spoil THE ENTIRE BOOK FOR ME. So I refused to read the last book out of spite for almost a decade 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 💕 I’m glad I’m not the only one who started reading the books after watching some movies! But oh no, that’s terrible! I would hate to have a friend spoil a series for me! And I actually know someone who never finished Deathly Hallows because she didn’t want the series to end for her! 😂

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  11. wow, okay, but now i’ve just spent five minutes repeating the word “voldemort” in all the different pronunciations i could and it’s like the leviosa-leviosar thing, hahah. in portuguese, we’d totally pronounce with a -t, so i’d probably lose that argument too, lol.
    i LOVE the revenge story, though! props to you – it sounds like something hermione would be really proud of, hahah.
    as a kid, i’d proclaimed myself a harry potter hater, just because everyone else around me loved it, and i couldn’t be just like everyone-else, you know? i’ve always been that annoying “i-need-to-be-original” kid. but after a while, i finally binge-watched the movies and thought they were fascinating! it took me a couple years after that to finally pick up the books and i have yet to read the 6th and 7th one, but i definitely am attached to this characters and story nonetheless. i guess it’s just one of those things i had to eventually accept that they were good & hyped for a reason!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry I caused you to question Voldemort for so long, haha! But thank you, I’m glad you liked this post! 💕

      Your story about Harry Potter reminds me of how I treated Percy Jackson – I basically refused to read PJO because some people said it was the next Harry Potter, and I disagreed. 😂 I hope you read and enjoy the last books soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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