“Dear Mr. Potter: Letters of Love, Loss, and Magic,” a book featuring letters and pictures from Harry Potter fans around the world focusing on how the Harry Potter series has impacted and inspired its fans, will be released Summer 2011 with all proceeds benefiting the Harry Potter Alliance.
Dear Mr. Potter is a blog-based charity project that focuses on J.K. Rowling’s life-changing Harry Potter series, and how it has impacted, inspired, and affected its fans. For nine months, Dear Mr. Potter has collected the sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching, always incredible stories of the Harry Potter series’ biggest fans through letters and photographs, among other mediums. Each submission tells a different a Potter fan’s unique story and journey.
For those of you who don’t know, Dear Mr. Potter is a non-profit book to benefit the Harry Potter Alliance. The book contains hundreds of letters and pictures from Harry Potter fans from around the world, telling how the series has impacted and inspired them. New York Times-bestselling author John Green, Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance, Paul DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters, and Andrew Sims of MuggleNet are just a few of the recognizable names whose letters you’ll be able to see in the book. It’ll be available for pre-order in a few days.
This fills me with excitement! It’s a rather postsecret-esque cover/idea isn’t it? Harry Potter and post/letters ! My favourites. Just the other day I found @dearmrpotter on Twitter and I was intrigued. You can visit the website here.
As an English (and Philosophy) undergraduate, I know I may be widely frowned upon for reading and enjoying the Harry Potter books. I will admit that in recent years I have grown a little distant from Harry, but his story will always hold a special place in my heart and if I have my own children, I will happily pass on my battered books as they near that all important 11th birthday.
I won’t say that J.K Rowling opened reading up to me, I’ve been a bookworm as long as I remember. I’m not sure exactly when I discovered Harry Potter, I started with the 2nd book, The Chamber of Secrets, I was at the Shantallow Library and I remember that I had heard something about it, so I borrowed it. That book came out in 1998 – oh I have just Wikipedia’d it – I remember my cousin Edel buying the Prisoner of Azkaban when it came out – in 1999 – and I anxiously waited for her to finish it so I could read it. ( I must not have had any money in 1999) This means I was 9 when I started reading Harry Potter- between 1998-1999. Aw.
I had a go at writing a letter:
Dear Mr Potter,
I guess I am a little late with my letter submission, but I think you still deserve a wee line or two. I have just discovered that I discovered you when I was 9 years old. The name Harry Potter rang a bell with me and I checked out Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. A quiet and shy child, books were my friends and I loved nothing more than to escape into them.
I soon went back to read the first installment, and was fascinated with the idea of a boy finding out he is not who he thinks he is and escaping to an exciting world of magic, friends, danger and fame. I remember my cousin and I used to have deep conversations about the goings -on at Hogwarts, and the third book The Prisoner of Azkaban floored me. The plot was so intricate with the time travel at the end, and the fear of Sirius Black and the shock and excitement and possibility for Harry that he had a guardian in the world he belonged to.
I know that everyone has said this, but my 11 year old self longed for that letter. My heart hurt with wanting to hold that parchment and look at Dumbledore’s signature and board the Hogwarts Express to my new life. Part of me knew the truth, but part of me hoped. I felt sorry for the kids that wrote to J.K Rowling begging her to tell Dumbledore that he had overlooked them, but I understood it too. 11 is a lonely time, and then it turned to even just wanting a white owl that would keep me company, and swoop into the night, returning with fat letters from friends.
Not living in America, there were no midnight book launches or dressing up for me. My Daddy pre-ordered each book for me, and they usually came on sunny July Saturdays, and I skipped out to the Amazon man who smiled as he handed over a brown package, each bigger than the last. I tried not to gobble the book up in one go, closing it firmly when there were only a few chapters left, but I think 2 days was my maximum.
I probably shouldn’t have worried. The dissecting and discussion and frustrations that came after reading were often as fun as the reading itself. I knew this was about somewhere…my friend @AlfieMcDuffs went to Chicago for the summer in 2005. The summer we were 15 and the summer the penultimate book came out. I came across this today – a list – I knew I had it here somewhere, and it made me LOL.
Stuff about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to email Aisling (In America) about.
1. Why did Dumbledore trust Snape all these years? I was sure there was some shocking reason why Snape was good-hearted underneath and was thoroughly looking forward to having that explained. Now all that years of “I trust Severus Snape” mystery was for nothing. I’m disappointed Dumbledore couldn’t see through the filthy, hook-nosed, greasy haired stuck up evil death eater. Dumbledore was supposed to be perfect, infallible, but he acted weird the whole book, then ass-hole kills him. I sure miss Dumbledore, though.
2. There was way too much snogging. It was uncalled for, and had nothing to do with the plot. Plus, I’m way jealous of Tonks. I heart Lupin! Hairy palms and all!
3. Dumbledore, God rest him, didn’t actually get around to telling the proper story of his blackened hand, just the bare bones of it. (no pun intended)
There is more but these are the funniest. The book came out two days before this. I was emailing Aisling, but I’m glad I wrote it all down ! Hours of enjoyment discussing the fine details of the book and quoting the funniest parts. This leads me on to the twin thing. Around this time Aisling gave all her female friends boy’s names and vice versa? Firstly I was Alfred or Albert or something. She was George. Then we realised Fred would be good for me, like Fred and George, the identical twin brothers of Ron Weasley. So I became Fred and to this day Aisling is saved in my contacts as George. After that time a lot of freaky twin things happened to us! Even when she went back to America, or went to Belfast when I was in Derry etc. Also Fred and George are HILARIOUS, as are we 🙂
Image from here
“You’re a prefect? Oh Ronnie! That’s everyone in the family!” [Molly Weasley]
“What are Fred and I? Next door neighbours?”
So just a thank you, Harry for keeping me company when I was growing up, for giving me hope that good will overcome bad, and for showing that you can be a hero and make a big difference even if you are reluctant and confused and don’t know what’s happening half the time!
I probably could go on forever about the Harry Potter books. I don’t want to sound overly obsessive! They were a big part of my life and my geekiness comes out every now and then. I’m glad I am a part of it, I have the greatest respect for J.K Rowling, I think she is a genius for creating a whole world like that. And I actually love her writing.
Thanks for bearing with me – I think I’m going to preorder that Dear Mr Potter book…
Oh, Happy Easter Everyone!