When I was in fifth or sixth grade, Harry Potter fever was running high. I found the first three books in the school library and read them. They were very enjoyable, but that was that. I never went past them. Eventually I lost interest in the genre and went on to comics, crime thrillers and classics. I started to believe the Harry Potter books are way overrated for a children’s story. In retrospect, I see how wrong I was for judging them without having read them all. It was only around 2015 when I finally caved in and bought the entire box set and now I LOVE this book series.
Before HP however, I read two fantasy fiction series that blew me away and made me turn back and get the Potter books. It was in 2011 (11th grade) when I was browsing my local library and found a book called “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini. Seemingly interesting and not wanting to waste more time browsing, I took it home. I was hooked! Such a wonderful adventure! Plus, the first book was written when the author was just nineteen!
Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance are the books in the series and I rapidly consumed them all. Unfortunately, just the first book was available in the library so I had to get the illegal PDFs online which I converted to Java and copied to my Samsung Corby Plus (sorry Paolini). I read these books on bus rides to and fro school and got thoroughly immersed into the story. A year or so later when e-commerce sites had started to make their mark, I pulled up my savings and splurged on the box set and hungrily read through them all again.
Soon, I wanted to read more of fantasy fiction. Hobbit and Lord of the Rings came up in almost every list at the first spot. When I found all three LOTR books at a book sale, I bought them immediately. These are paced slower than HP or IC, but the world created by Tolkien is so vast and vivid that you start to really believe this as a tale that occurred ages ago. LOTR can be a bit complicated and too descriptive for some people. For them, I’ll recommend reading Hobbit first as it is the prequel and simpler, more fun and less descriptive.
I count JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling and George Lucas (Star Wars) to be the greatest artistic minds of all time for having created such amazing universes which feel real and believable.
So if you are new to reading, or already read other genres, I would highly recommend you to start fantasy fiction. Start with HP because it is simple, funny and progresses with the world building very slowly. Plus, you will always find someone around you to discuss HP with, the series being so popular. You can always brag to movie fans that books are always better (yes they are). Fantasy fiction is darn amazing because it takes us to experience the adventure within our own minds.
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