I first started reading Harry Potter the fall after Goblet of Fire (the book) was released. As I've said before, I originally refused to read the books, but my friends and two of my aunts were what convinced me otherwise. My friends because there was no escape from their harping. My two aunts becaues they like recommending books to me, rather enthusiastically, when I see them each Thanksgiving. I figured one way or another, I'd be annoyed into reading Harry Potter.
The irony was that it was over Thanksgiving at my one aunt's house that I finished Goblet of Fire, thus catching up in the series completely. I particularly remember sitting in the corner of the family room, conversations going on all around me, my nose stuck in the book. I was toward the end of the novel. Harry was in the graveyard. I had just gotten to the end of this action-packed chapter--had just read the line "Lord Voldemort had risen again"--when my mom told me it was time to go to bed.
It's a mark of how invested I was in these stories I swore I would hate that I barely slept that night. I woke up at first light the next morning (something I don't do) and I resumed my corner in the family room to find out what would happen to Harry.
Goblet of Fire has long been in competition as my favorite Potter book. Perhaps it holds a place in my heart because it was the most recently released when I first fell in love with the series. It's certainly the book I re-read the most while I waited for Order of the Phoenix to come out. Likely, it's also the excitement, plot twists, and thrills. Maybe it's the memory of finishing it over that Thanksgiving. Whatever it is, it was the first Potter book I personally owned. I've read it so often that the binding on my hardcover copy is starting to shred and the cardboard shows through in the corners.
This week, I started it again.