Do you have a “comfort book,” or a piece of literature you love reading over and over again?
Call it cliché, but for me, it’s Harry Potter. I’ve often cozied up with my dog-eared, well-worn copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, now 17 years old as of writing. It’s gotten so that rereading it is pointless, because I’ve practically got the whole thing memorized.
I guess there’s an aspect of nostalgia – escapism, if you will – to my enjoyment. I read my first Harry Potter book when I was eight years old. At that age, I was completely engrossed by books.
I wasn’t reading to cram for exams. Nor was I reading to appear cultured. I was reading because I genuinely enjoyed it.
With nostalgia comes the craving for our past identities and the positive memories associated with it – in my case, a happy childhood spent reading books.
You would think that repeated consumption can wean us off our obsessions. But if anything, as creatures of habit, we’ve only grown to love them more.
Perhaps this is best explained by the mere exposure theory: we tend to develop preferences for books, songs, movies, or even people that we’re constantly exposed to.
And for hardcore fans, picking up on details they previously missed is a goldmine. For instance, The Ringer’s Binge Mode podcast goes deep into the series, recapping chapters and examining themes from the Potter universe.
The reason could also be a lot simpler than that. After a long day, we just want to relax with no-brainer entertainment.
It’s been over a decade after the last book was released. I can guarantee that saying that you still read Harry Potter will be met with scoffs that it’s “childish and over-hyped.” And that maybe you should read more.
I agree with that last statement, which is why I try to constantly expand my reading list. But inevitably, Harry Potter somehow makes its way to that list once in a while.
And there’s nothing wrong with reliving the magic when life feels a little mundane. – Rappler.com