Reading Harry Potter for the first time

Have you (finally) been convinced to start reading Harry Potter for the first time? No shame here! Just a warm welcome to the magical world of Harry Potter. If you are an adult, I would suggest you read along with this amazing podcast: Potterless. If you are a child or don’t like podcasts, then below are some tips for reading HP for the first time.

Reading Harry Potter for the first time

You probably have at least a vague idea of who or what Harry Potter is. But what are the books actually about? They are about an 11-year-old-boy with glasses and a lightning bolt scar on his forehead. His name is Harry Potter and in the beginning of the first book, he finds out he is a wizard with magical powers and that he must go to a special school to learn how to do magic.

Particular vocabulary

Besides some sometimes peculiar names, you will also read a number of words that you probably have never heard of before. Like a muggle, quaffle or riddikulus. But don’t worry, they are all explained as they come up along the way and (especially in the first book) repeated often so you know what everything means. Are you stuck anyway? Then take a look at this handy glossary.

You may know a few things already – but that’s OK

If you’ve not read the books, that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen a Harry Potter film on the television. Or maybe a friend or family-member has told you all about how they’re a Gryffindor, and you’re like, ‘What?’ So you might know bits and bobs about the adventure already – but don’t worry. It’ll all make sense once you start at the beginning. Just maybe ask your friends to be nice and not spoil anything for you!

Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just a book – so you can always snap it shut if things get too much!

And the books will magically start getting bigger and bigger

As you read more Harry Potter books, you’ll learn that there’s just so much in the wizarding world that the books start getting fatter! But trust us, once you’ve read the first one and got hooked in, you’ll be even hungrier for more pages.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Don’t feel bad if you’re not the fastest reader in the world. There are seven Harry Potter books, and that’s a lot of magic to get through! Take your time, because you don’t want to speed through it too fast and miss something – there are loads of important mentions in the books that will become important in later books. We’ll give you a heads up on one: in the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone for our US readers), a character called ‘Sirius Black’ is mentioned. Keep an eye on that name in particular…

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to read a Harry Potter book (except, maybe, upside down!) so give them a go, and you can always visit if you want to learn more about the wizarding world as you go along. (source)

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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