I once had an interviewer ask me what my favorite book was. I answered, Harry Potter.
They did not seem impressed.
Maybe they thought that Harry Potter was too childish an answer for someone who would be scanning and filing official documents.
But Harry Potter is, to this day, one of my favorite book series ever.
I think a lot of older people find it hard to understand the fandom of Potterheads. So many semi-adults claiming their love for a children's book.
Firstly, it's not a children's book. At least, not only a children's book. It is an everyone book.
Harry Potter transcends the typical Juvenile genre. It deals with right and wrong, good and evil, choices and abilities, love and loss, friendship and family. Harry, Ron, and Hermione deal with adult themes in each book. They are thrust into situations that mature them and force them to think critically and emotionally beyond their years.
Secondly, when you grew up with them, they take on a whole new level of personal.
I remember waiting for the books to hit the shelves. My mom would go out and buy the book for me in the morning before I woke up and she'd bring it to me in bed, where I stayed until I finished reading the whole thing. They were so engrossing that I could not leave my room until I was done reading.
Not many people spend their whole lives growing up and aging right along with their favorite fictional characters. My generation had that very special, very rare experience. Every year that Harry grew up and matured, so did we. It was hard not to compare and put myself into his place. Sure there are kids who read the books now and love them and there are adults who love them. But us? We lived with them. We went to the midnight releases, saw the merchandise hit the stores, the fandom grow, and eventually the movies that did the books justice.
It may be hard for adults who never got to live that experience see Harry Potter as anything more than a children's book. But it's not. And I'm not ashamed to say that the words of J. K. Rowling have shaped me as a person. I'm grateful I got to live through that experience and I know that I'll be a Potterhead until I die.