17 Years of Harry Potter- When did YOU first read about the Boy Wizard?

Sorcerer's Stone First Page

In honor of the 17th Anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK, all of the people working to publish Harry Potter and the Art of Spying are sharing their stories about the first time they read a Harry Potter book. If you’re a member of the Harry Potter fan family, share your story in the comments! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Art of Spying Authors

Lynn Boughey:

One Easter weekend (I think in 2003) when visiting the in-laws in Billings, Montana I found that I had nothing to read.  My wife had a copy of Sorcerer’s Stone, which she had just read, and suggested that I read it.  Desperate for something to read, I took it with me to the bedroom we were using and didn’t come out for about 5 hours.  I found the story fun and interesting, though not yet fascinating. When asked what I thought by my wife after I finished it, I—the college professor and lawyer and long-time student of Shakespeare and reader of primarily classics —opined, “Not bad, but it’s still ‘fluff.’”  But I was soon hooked!  As soon as I could do, I purchased the next three and read them quickly in succession.  So, by the evening of June 20, 2003, when Order of the Phoenix came out, there I was at midnight surrounded by kids half my age standing in line like all the others to get the newest book. I stayed up half the night reading and did little else that weekend until I had completed my favorite book of the series.  My twin girls were only a month old at the time so I read many portions of the book to them in the evenings when they needed to get back to sleep.  Perhaps that is why they are such great Potter fans now, at age eleven.


Stop back later today for Peter Earnest’s first memory of Harry Potter!

Amy Quale, Editor and Publisher for Wise Ink Creative Publishing


I first read the book in ninth grade while traveling for my sister’s hockey tournament. I finished it part way through the weekend and we made a special trip to a bookstore to pick up the Chamber of Secrets!
Kellie Hultgren, KMH Editing
I first found Harry Potter while attending a summer program in Boston. It was a hot, humid day, and I was dawdling in the bookstore because they had air conditioning and my dorm housing did not. Before they kicked customers out at closing, I picked up the UK paperback edition of _Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone._ The black-and-white photo of a steam locomotive on the cover seemed nothing like the fantasy novel I’d heard reviewers rave about. I went back to my sweltering room, turned up the window fan, and sat down to read–and the next few hours vanished!
Kelsey Roebuck, Social Media Coordinator for Harry Potter and the Art of Spying
I was only 7 when I first read a Harry Potter book in the summer after first grade. Mom had taken my sister and me to our local Sam’s Club for our favorite mini quiche and there was a giant pallet piled high with copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Mom, ever the enabler for my already voracious appetite for books, gave into my silent, wide-eyed plea for one of those books. We read the first two books aloud, with my little sister squirming the whole time. By the third book, I was on my own and reading a Harry Potter book late into the evening to finish it. I am so grateful that I got to grow up with Harry Potter!



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