Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling
Academic | Fantasy
First of all how awesome is it that Rowling decided to actually indulge us Potterheads and write and publish (albeit short) versions of a couple textbooks mentioned in the Harry Potter series? Not only is it cool to have copies of these books just like other Hogwarts students but it’s fascinating to learn so much more about the wizarding world. It just goes to show how much thought and creativity Rowling really put into her books. Magical creatures merely mentioned some time in some book in a section you can’t quite remember specifically are expounded upon in her, I mean Newt Scamander’s, book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The sport of Quidditch is not merely a fun part of the books but it becomes fully actualized and explained in Rowling’s, sorry I mean Kennilworthy Whisp’s, book Quidditch Through the Ages. To top it all off JK Rowling donates the proceeds of these books to Comic Relief (“UK-based charity that strives to create a just world free from poverty”) and Lumos (a charity founded by JK Rowling to “end the institutionalization of children”).
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I breezed through Fantastic Beasts, which is something I cannot say about any other schoolbook I’ve read in my academic career (except perhaps the abnormal psychology section in my AP Psychology textbook). I loved the academic formality of footnotes, the fun doodles and illustrations of creatures, and the hilarity of student graffiti (aka Harry’s handwritten notes in the margins). I found it wholly amusing, highly imaginative, and overwhelmingly intriguing. Perhaps you have to be a massive fan like myself to enjoy it – Perhaps anything less and you’ll be bored by page two. Regardless, I am here to confess my opinions and my opinions have come to the verdict of “wonderful.” What will my brain do with all of this information on dragons, crups, and kneazles? No idea. But I will say that I found it a quick and enjoyable read and it will be shelved proudly upon my bookshelf next to my other Harry Potter books.
Quidditch Through the Ages
After the buzz of Fantastic Beasts I proceeded to read Quidditch Through the Ages and I must say that despite being neither here nor there in my opinion or level of enthusiasm with most sports I did find myself whirled away with the level of detail, history, and magic of this book. I can see why Harry enjoyed it so much himself! It just blows my mind to see the level of detail Rowling painted in this world of her imagination and creation! She didn’t just vomit up a lucky winner but really put true magic and heart into a book series that was able to create not just a story but a world. This book was a fun and highly interesting read and it’s not hard to see how a fictional sport has become real even in the muggle world (I’ll regret almost every day I didn’t join the team at my University). The diagrams are wonderful and, well, I just don’t quite know what else to say because this is a book that will either be worth your time and money or it simply won’t tickle your fancy and that’s okay. For me it was most certainly worth it.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Well, if I have kids one day you can bet your bonnet that I’ll be reading them bedtime stories from this book. Okay as I’m a 90’s Disney kid they will be thoroughly movie & book educated in The Lion King, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Mulan, and the like. But they will also be raised with a firm foundation in Star Wars, Chronicles of Narnia, and of course Harry Potter. This book is so important in small ways and unimportant (well perhaps mundane is a better word) in large ways but not discovered until the seventh and final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Reading this book/collection of stories was like visiting my childhood but through a fun-house mirror – familiar and yet of another world. It was delightful and I wish I had kids I could read it to. Once again it just goes to show the extent of the wizarding world created by Rowling and how it is not restricted to the pages of the Harry Potter series but flows endlessly and seamlessly on.
The Hogwarts Library book collection feeds my love for JK Rowling’s wizarding world, humors the academic inside of me, tickles my imagination, and expands my awe and respect for a great author (and one of my personal favorites). I explore on Pottermore and I follow Rowling’s tweets excited for each facet of wizarding news and discovery revealed. I look up to Rowling for more reasons than just her wonderful Harry Potter series and I wish so much that I could tell her that.
I recommend this book to those curious to know more or those simply blessed with inquisitive minds. I’d like to add that these books do not add per say to the Harry Potter book series itself but do add to the world they live in.
Purchase here: The Hogwarts Library
Meet J.K. Rowling!
Although she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply Joanne Rowling. Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (née Volant), on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Bristol. As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories, which she would usually then read to her sister.