It was twenty years ago this month that Americans first met Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore and He Who Must Not Be Named. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the six books that followed changed the worlds of children’s literature, fandom, pop culture and publishing in general. Harry Potter became a phenomenon with children suddenly eager to read 700 page books. It became acceptable for adults to enjoy children’s literature and a whole new culture of publishing emerged leading to more and more crossovers. Movies and theme parks appealing to this huge audience were sure to follow.
Harry Potter’s success happened at a time when internet use was exploding and fandom took off as a result. Suddenly, people had the means to interact with others all over the world who loved the books as much as they did. By talking and writing about Harry Potter, by making music and art related to Harry Potter, people were able to interact with the stories in ways they never had before. The careers of people like John and Hank Green, Cassandra Clare, and Darren Criss started in Harry Potter fandom online.
Twenty years later, we are still reading the books. New movies from the Harry Potter universe are still being released. People travel from around the globe to visit Harry Potter worlds. Quidditch is even played competitively on college campuses. The influence of the Boy Who Lived is unquestionable.
If you find yourself wanting to visit or revisit J.K Rowling’s stories, or delve into what has been written about them, you can find our collection of Harry Potter books, DVDs, ebooks, and audiobooks here.