What Sirius Readers thought of ‘Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone’

As I may have mentioned (once or twice or a thousand times), I’m attempting to fall in love with Harry Potter at last, by reading it along with a bunch of HP-enthusiasts on Twitter, i.e. the Sirius Readers. And you know what? So far, it’s working. I actually had a really great time reading Philosopher’s Stone—and only partly because I love anything I can live-tweet.

We started on a Sunday morning, when I was nursing a serious hangover (errrr, a sirius hangover?), so my memories of the first few pages are a little…nauseating. But in between deep breaths into a paper bag, I did find myself chuckling out loud. I hadn’t remembered that whole first chapter with the Dursleys in the ’80s even existing, but it’s pretty entertaining.

A few chapters in, I remembered we’re all supposed to be pronouncing Voldemort without the T this time round, but I hit a bit of a road block on how that actually works. Is it VOL-de-mor, or Vol-de-MOR?

 

Not everyone was on board anyway:

It was fun seeing which versions of the book everyone was reading from. I’d never really compared ours to the American editions, which have the now-iconic lightning bolt; to you guys, ours must look rather staid. But I actually adore the original Bloomsbury covers; even though I was never a Harry Potter fan growing up, I just love how this set looks.

It’s a funny experience reading with people who know the books so much better. The other Sirius Readers made a lot of knowing references to events later on in the series, and most of the time I couldn’t remember what they were talking about. I did get this one though!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post wondering why I don’t love Harry Potter when everyone else does. While reading, I came up with one theory: I noticed how much the other readers seemed to wish themselves into the wizarding world, which I just don’t. (And not because I don’t have an imagination; I spent most of my childhood believing I was inside a book.)

Perhaps it’s because I was already lucky enough to go to a Hogwarts-esque boarding school, and so prefer the real-life version. (But that wouldn’t explain why I loved Malory Towers so much!) Perhaps it’s because living in a magical world seems far more terrifying than exciting to me. Whatever the reason, I had a go at imagining myself into the world, but all I could conjure up was this depressing realisation:

(You should have seen me play lacrosse. Not a pretty sight. That’s the closest to playing sports with broomsticks I ever want to get.)

Of course, it didn’t take long before I found myself giggling at the euphemistic talk of wands.

Now, I know sorting yourself into Hogwarts houses is a sacred Potterhead tradition, so I might get kicked out of Sirius Readers for dissing it, but I’m reeeally not sure how I feel about the houses. I mean, segregating a bunch of students that you deem “bad” and making them live in a dungeon together doesn’t seem like the best way to raise well-balanced adults.

And another complaint:

And of course, there are the plot holes. Like this rather extreme solution:

And this pretty valid point:

And the quest to get to the stone, while exciting, makes zero sense. These are powerful witches and wizards who want to defend the stone at all costs. So why didn’t they just put up the magic fire, and then not give clues about how to get through it? That might have been cleverer.

The ending did nothing for me, but apparently it will make more sense later in the series, so I’ll reserve judgement for now.

However, despite the iffy areas, I did rather fall for the book this time around. I even got a little bit emotional when reading in the middle of the night.

 

I think it’s because J.K. Rowling can’t go too wrong in my eyes when she writes as charmingly as this:

So all in all, I had a great time reading Philosopher’s Stone with the Sirius Readers, and I’m excited to get stuck in to Round 2! Anyone is welcome; just use the #SiriusReaders hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation. I also Snapchat my reading progress on eggplantvlog, so send me your snap names if you’re doing the same!

For now, I’ll leave you with my favourite #SiriusReaders tweet—and see you at the end of Chamber of Secrets!