Jake

Whoa we're doing a Harry Potter podcast?

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Yes we're doing a Harry Potter podcast!

 

What is it?

​We'll be re-reading and rewatching all of Harry Potter in order, alternating between book and film each episode. So for example: The first episode of the podcast will discuss Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, then the second episode will discuss the first film. We're intending to do these twice monthly, so we'll be reading one book and watching one movie a month.

 

Please read along with us! It's been a long time since any of us read any Harry Potter (especially the early books) and we're looking forward to coming back to the series fresh, with new perspectives as dusty old tired adults (who still love Harry Potter) and we'd love you to join!


Who is hosting it?

  • Sarah Argodale (of the Idle Book Club!)
  • Olly Moss (of Firewatch, the Internet, and occasional guest on Idle Thumbs!)
  • and Jake Rodkin (of Idle Thumbs and this forum post!)

 

Can you contribute?

Please do! Like all Idle Thumbs shows, we want listener mail to play a big part in every episode.

 

If you have thoughts on Harry Potter, any questions, any observations (especially about the first book, for our first episode!), please write us at harrypotter@idlethumbs.net!

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I watched the first movie in theaters, but was pretty tired and I think I almost fell asleep. I've never read the books or watched any of the other movies, but for some odd reason bought the whole eBook collection and have all the movies in iTunes.

This'll be a great excuse to finally read/watch them.

 

Do you guys plan on holding off spoilers for future books/movies until the corresponding podcast episode?

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YES! I just reread the first couple of books and finished the rest of the series about a year ago because I'm a dumb baby that thought the Universal Studios ride would spoil the books for me, but it will be fun to watch the movies for the first time.

 

Any plans to read the side books and the book coming out this summer as well?

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We'll figure out what to do with the ancillary stuff when we get closer to the end, I think. They're more complicated because I'm sure way fewer people have access to them, but it'd be fun to cover all that stuff.

When we wrapped up Twin Peaks Rewatch we did a lot of odds and ends content at the end and those episodes were a great way to close out the run.

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Little disappointed Chris isn't going to be on this for a first-timer's perspective. I'll probably try to watch the movies along with this for as long as I can stand it, just to finally see one of the most successful film franchises of the 21st century.

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This sounds fun! I haven't actually seen any of the movies; does anyone know if they're on Netflix or Amazon?

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I'm excited! Haven't kept up with the regular casts, purely because in the recent year my life changed to such an extent that there's, weirdly, no room for regular podcast listening (no commuting, no regular visual work at the computer, little gaming time that allows for a podcast to run during), but a short run of HP casts (grenades?) deffo has my interest. It's been too long for me to have an original thought about it at this point for the reader mail, but maybe the discussion will spark something into being.

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Great! I won't rewatch or reread along, but I know them all pretty damn well. Can't come up with a single good question or thought regarding the Philosopher's Stone book/film, though...

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Something that I'm curious to know at least is everyone's memory of first reading Harry Potter. I have a strong memory of that first book and I'd love to know if people around my age (so you were in middle school when the first three books came out) feel similarly.

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I am extremely excited about this. I also have extremely strong  memories around reading the first 3-4 books. I was a bit younger (gosh, it must have been around when I was in 2nd grade), but I can recall my mom coming home from the bookstore with these books she had heard some of her friends talking about. My neighbors would come over and we would all read the books together, often times out in my backyard on a picnic blanket eating cheerios (my mom organized stuff like this with my neighbors all the time.) When the 4th came out we discovered Jim Dale's audiobooks (on tape! I did not have a CD player until way later than the rest of the world), and went back and listened to the first 3 all on audiobook. Jim Dale's voice is permanently embedded in my head as the canonical voices of the characters. Also I remember lots of arguments stemming from how to pronounce Hermonie and Dobby.

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...I have no idea how old I was when I started reading the books. I do know that at the time I read a LOT of books, and while I enjoyed Harry Potter, it's never been a Moment in my Life that I took note of.

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I remember by the time the third book came out the frenzy over it was so crazy that I finally acquiesced and read them. I liked them fine until the 5th book. The 5th book we bought right before a road trip. I read all but the last 20 pages by the time we got home and never even bothered to finish it.

 

The big book that exploded my brain at that age was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If there were a huge bookstore event for Mostly Harmless when that came out, I would have dressed up and brought a towel.

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Yeah H2G2 was definitely a mind-opener for me. I think that's when I finally realized how much I loved reading.

 

I still have dreams about flying by trying to "miss the ground".

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The big book that exploded my brain at that age was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If there were a huge bookstore event for Mostly Harmless when that came out, I would have dressed up and brought a towel.

Yeah H2G2 was definitely a mind-opener for me. I think that's when I finally realized how much I loved reading.

 

I reread Hitchhiker's Guide and Dune yearly from sixth grade to the tenth. They were definitely seminal. I also dressed up for the Return of the King release and got thrown out of the theater lobby for staging a mock swordfight with a friend.

 

Harry Potter I read because my mother was an elementary school librarian at the time and wanted a hot take about whether the books were good (and not satanic). I enjoyed them, but they weren't foundational for me in any way. That said, I enjoy retrospective rereads and rewatches, so I'm on board here, especially if there are sections that look forward to later books and movie adaptations.

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Something that I'm curious to know at least is everyone's memory of first reading Harry Potter. I have a strong memory of that first book and I'd love to know if people around my age (so you were in middle school when the first three books came out) feel similarly.

 

That being ages 11-13? (We don't have middle school here!) I was 21 or so when I read the first book but unfortunately I had already seen the film so I didn't have a particularly strong reaction to it. I moved straight onto 2 and 3 (and maybe 4?) before seeing the second film, though, and they were 'stay up all night reading them' jobs because I couldn't put them down.

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Looking forward to this podcast, though I don’t think I’ll have time to catch up with all those books and movies. I’m quite familiar with all the movies post-Azkaban, so perhaps I’ll re-read one or two of the later books in the middle of the series. I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I’ve read and enjoyed them all, and I’ve never been the kind of reader to scorn their popularity.  

 

I think I first read the first two books together around 1999 or 2000, after the second one was released, so I would have been about 14 or 15. There was a sense that they were a cut above what we were used in terms of fiction aimed at kids, especially as ‘Young Adult’ fiction wasn’t nearly as well-established then as it is now. My youngest sister was the first to discover them, and they eventually became a regular presence in our house to the extent that one or two of them would always be taken around on family holidays and passed around for everyone to enjoy. 

 

At some point we owned hardback first editions of pretty much all of them, not to be collected but just because they were bought at the time. It’s depressing to think how much they would be worth if they were pristine and not so dog-eared and dropped in the bath or chewed up by the dog. 

 

I also played quite a lot of one of the early Harry Potter video games on the PC. I remember it being pretty bad, but it was a nice bonding opportunity for littlest sister (who could not play games but who loved Harry Potter) and me (who played too many games). 

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This series is responsible for young adult fiction being what it is today. It'll be interesting to go back and look at the books that lead to the current YA landscape.

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I binge-read the first five books because my younger brothers were reading them, and the sixth was about to come out (and I think I wanted to watch the third film too). It was the same time as I was listening to a lot of Hail to the Thief, so the two are super-linked in that proustian sort of way in my head. After slamming through the sixth on a car trip, I never got around to reading the seventh, lol.

Also, seconding the praise for Wizard People Dear Reader, which has totally superseded the first book/film in my mind.

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Man, I've tried Wizard People, Dear Reader a couple of times and do not find it funny at all. Florid description and getting character names wrong in an off-brand Dr Evil voice seems to be the extent of it. Feels like the same response as I have to MST3K/Rifftrax, which many love but I find as bearable as watching a film with a precocious ten year old loudly showing off to his mates throughout.

Spinning off from Sarah's question, I'd be interested to hear from the hosts how old they were when they first read Philosopher's Stone and how they think it holds up as a novel for: children; young adults; and adults.

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