Today marks the end of the era of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling has somehow managed to create a world which has become deeply entrenched in the lives of almost every American whether or not they read the series.
To this day I am still trying to determine what exactly in this series has captured the hearts of so many and from such a varied audience as well. There is the general premise of it of course - who on earth wouldn't want to be able to wave a wand and fix the problem set in front of them, or be able to fly or disappear? There is also the depth of character that is found throughout the entire series. Constantly there are little unnecessary details - like the Weasleys nightly routine found in book four or Hagrid finally having his own special mug at The Three Broomsticks. These little things make the characters so real to us that we feel it personally when one of them wins at quidditch or gets turned down to the Yule Ball.
This vibrancy of character and depth of knowledge lend themselves marvelously to readers attachment. And if that weren't enough Rowling slips in turns of phrase which simply make you chuckle quietly to yourself. When reading about the mountain troll in Sorcerers Stone the sentence describing Harry as both "incredibly brave and incredibly stupid" remains with readers and comes back over and over during his continuous escapades.
I love this series. I have grown up with it. I waited in line for the books to come out starting with Goblet of Fire (my parents wouldn't let me stay up that late for the others) and devoured them as soon as I could get my hands on them. My siblings don't even remember a world without muggles and now finally my computer accepts the fact that "muggles" is indeed a word.
If you haven't read it yet, for whatever reason, please give it a try. For those of who for whom it's been years since you last picked it up reread it again - it's well worth it. It is magical and while at times dark, the light will shine through.