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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rediscovering Harry Potter


I spend roughly 2 hours a day in my car.  Days that I'm off of work it's less, some days it's much more.

Sometimes we listen to music as I take Peanut to my parents.
Sometimes we chat about what we spot out the window as we drive by.
It's when I'm driving by myself that I get bored or tired or unfocused.

After hearing so much about the Harry Potter audio books by Jim Dale, I decided to pick one up.
I've read all the books but I haven't read them in years and years.

We watch the movies a lot.
I mean, at least once a week there is a Harry Potter movie on.  At least.


*Let's take a quick detour and talk about the Chocolate Frog that my friend Courtney brought all the way back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for B & I!  I should have taken a picture of me holding it, so that you could see the box was the size of my hand.  You have no idea how excited I was to get this.  When she brought it to me, I sent a picture to B.  He responded by saying not to open it until we're together because they only really have one good jump anyway.
Thank you Courtney and Allen for bringing us this!!

I'm not sure what I expected from the audio books. 
 It's hard to think of one person narrating books that you know so well.  
Especially when you have such firmly established ideas of a characters sound and style.  

30 minutes into the first book and I was enjoying the morning traffic.
I stopped thinking of Jim Dale as the narrator and started listening to all characters as they spoke.


I got so hooked that I started going to the library to get the next set of CDs before I finished the previous ones to guarantee I wouldn't have any lag time in between.
I listened to all 7 books almost non-stop.
Occasionally poor Peanut would remind me that we could listen to music and then we would.
These books sometimes had 23 different CDs to listen to and it just didn't seem enough.
106 hours.
106 hours and I wanted it to be more.


I discovered quite a few things in this listening experiment:

*Jim Dale is genius.  His talent knows no bounds.

*I had forgotten so much of the books.  After years of just watching the movies I was suddenly peeking back into this amazing magical world. So much of the story doesn't make it into the movies.  I had forgotten so much of the original story that much of the audio books felt new to me.

*An hour in the car is nothing with Jim Dale to keep you company.

*I'm obsessed all over again.  I try to wrap my mind around how a person can create such stories and it's nothing short of amazing.  I want to completely immerse myself in this world.

*I'm also terribly sad that it's all over.  Again.  
I want more of the magic, more of the story, more of all of it.

I'm thinking that perhaps next year I'll re-read the books.

Are you a Harry Potter fan?
Have you read the books, listened to them or seen the movies?


  1. Ooh how exciting! After the first film came out I held off watching the rest - I didn't like how the film characters were changing all the ways I had imagined them as I read.

    Anyway, I watched them for the first time while I was ill over Christmas - I had that same re-awakening and excitement! I found myself wanting to talk to everyone about them like they were my friends because I'd spent so much time with them!

    I'll have to try the audiobook - I think we get Stephen Fry!

    1. I'd like to get ahold of the Stephen Fry ones and listen to them too.

  2. In answer to your last question: yes, yes and YES!!! We are HUGE fans! My daughters and I would go to the midnight opening of each book---they literally grew up with Harry Potter. I had SUCH joy 2 years ago to read aloud/listen to the entire series with my son....(my precious surprise)! We are actually listening to them again now. AND, if you are this big a fan, you'll have to plan a trip to Universal someday---we went last summer and it was the most amazing place for these HP nerds!! I just commented the other day as we were listening that I had forgotten such detail in the books---they are truly brilliant! This whole post made me smile!!

    1. B & I have been dying to go there! Supposedly they are building one out here too but it won't be open for years and years.

  3. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks and I can honestly say that the Harry Potter series as read by Jim Dale is the best stuff out there. The. Best.

    1. I tried listening to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but I got 2 chapters in and decided I didn't like the narrator. Jim Dale has ruined me.

  4. I have not read them and that's weird because I READ EVERYTHING...

    I think I'm waiting for a long vacation where I don't have to put them down and I can just read and read....

    Hope you are well.



  5. Totally a fan. Cried when the books ended. The movies are OK. The books---amazing! I am now wanting to hear the audio books. :)

    1. I was really irritated with the final movie, I wanted it to be more accurate and there was just so much left out. But then again, I could have watched 6 hour movies of each book so I don't want anything left out or changed.

  6. that chocolate frog is awesome! I really really really REALLY want to visit Harry Potter world. I've had my sights set on butter beer for so long. I can't wait until Piglet is old enough for me to throw him a Harry Potter birthday. Oh it's happening!
    I loved the books, liked the movies a lot, and I bet I'd enjoy the audio books, especially on long road trips. Maybe I'll check them out the next time we're slated to drive to Oregon.

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  8. Oh my gosh, we HAVE to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter if/when we take a vacation to Orlando. WE JUST HAVE TO.


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