Harry and Me

On my very first day in publishing in April 1998 (yes, I was twelve), my new boss handed me an advance readers copy of a book that Scholastic was publishing in the fall that everybody really liked. At first I thought, “A boy wizard? Hmm, fantasy really isn’t my thing.” But I went home that night and started reading it. And that was when I feel in love with a boy named Harry Potter (actually I’m more of a Ron girl).

I worked at Scholastic during the first five books of the Harry Potter series. It was a truly magical time to be in publishing, especially at Scholastic. I never worked on the series myself (that was my boss Kris), but I was able to witness things that I never thought I would experience working in books, especially children’s books. I got to meet JK Rowling (aka Jo) a few times back when no one knew who she was (hard to believe there was a time!). I was always struck by how nice and humble she was. And how she’d smile when some nutjob would start going on and on about Azkaban and how she almost missed meal service on her flight because she was SO into the book (full disclosure: I was said nutjob).

I always think back fondly at the beginning of the Harry phenomenon. And I followed the books with even more interest after I left Scholastic. And with the last movie coming out, I’ve been feeling extra nostalgic. When I finished reading Deathly Hallows, I was too happy and overjoyed with the book to really be sad. I remember closing the book thinking, “Well done!” Seriously, I thought that ending was pure perfection. However, I find myself getting very emotional thinking about the end of the movie franchise. Entertainment Weekly’s recent cover of an 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe made me smile and then think, “Goodness, Harry is all grown up.” Which is odd, since I haven’t aged at all…

My birthday is tomorrow (so much for not aging!). And I originally planned on spending it with my friends at Hogwarts, but then Paul McCartney decided to play Yankee Stadium so how could I not go to that (yes, I could do both in one day, but there’s only so much excitement one can handle in 24 hours). So I have my tickets for next week so I can see it on the ginormous Imax screen at Lincoln Center. And as much as I know I’ll probably cry at the end, I know that Hogwarts is just a turn of the page away.

XO, Elizabeth

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8 Responses to “Harry and Me”

  1. Courtney says:

    Happy almost birthday to a fellow nutjob and a dear, dear friend!

  2. Rhonda says:

    Happy Birthday fellow Ron admirer (is there such a word?) I felt the same way about the books, although I am sad to see them and the movies end.

  3. Amy says:

    Your post made me cry! I’m such an emotional wreck about the anything HP these days. How lucky you are to have been able to watch it from the very beginning.

    I’m a Ron girl too- great minds think alike ;)

  4. Bonnie says:

    Happy birthday and thank your for sharing your HP experiences! We are a Harry Potter family and are all heading to the movie tomorrow afternoon to say goodbye.

  5. Mikaela says:

    Hey, Elizabeth :) Happy Early Birthday! I hope it’s fantastic and I hope you have a fun time celebrating it with your friends and family!

    P.S I’m going to miss the Harry Potter movies. I mean, it’s sad they won’t continue but then again all good things eventually must come to an end. (I’ve always loved Ron, it’s the goofy guys that warm my heart <3 )

  6. Tara Zumba says:

    The new Harry Potter movie was absolutely amazing! My daughter and I both loved it! :)

  7. Connie Onnie says:

    I hope your birthday was AMAZING!!! Thank you for sharing I love Harry (and Ron) too!

  8. Judi C says:

    How did I not see this post before today?

    I am also a huge HP fan and can’t really remember any other series catching my interest the way HP did. One of my wishes was to be able to meet JK Rowling and thank her for giving us all such a wonderful world to escape to!

    And yes, I’m also a nutjob here as well. Just ask anyone who chuckles at my license plate (HGWRTS). :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts …. and wow — I can’t even imagine what being at Scholastic at that time would have been like. My boss’s daughter worked there, I believe, and said it was unlike anything she’d ever experienced before or ever will after! Cherish those memories!

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