Reading a Series in Installments

Having stormed through the first four books of the Harry Potter series, it was with great trepidation that I cracked open book number five today, my least favorite of the series. I’m not sure why I classify it as such, but I think it has more to do with my re-reading of it in Late April/May than it does with my first reading of it back in 2003. Of all the Potter books, I think Order of the Phoenix is the most riddled with Rowling cliches and quirks. And being the longest of the books so far, I suppose that’s to be expected. But during today’s reading I was able to get past those things. And I have a theory why.

I think that, because I started reading OOTP about ninety seconds after I’d finished Goblet of Fire, there were certain bits of thematic and character carryover. One of the other things that has bothered me in the past in regards to OOTP is the amount of time Harry spends being a mopey, disgruntled fifteen-year old brat. But when you read this book with the events at the end of Goblet still fresh in your mind, you begin to have a totally new appreciation for Harry’s situation. He’s just seen an innocent kid die and he’s been shunted back off to his abusive aunt and uncle and nobody is telling him anything. Suddenly, I got it.

Now, I know that the parts that annoy me the most are still to come (Dolores Umbridge, Luna Lovegood, and Grawp, chief among them), but I have a feeling that I’ll be enjoying this book a lot more this time out. Especially understanding where it’s headed in terms of leading into the sixth book.

Yes, I know that I’m writing an awful lot about Harry Potter lately. But I’ll take an excess of Potter over the feelings of dread that have been haunting me any day of the week.