A Very Harry Shelfie Part 2: Additions and Conclusions

Some books are special due to the life circumstances in which they are read, other books are special due to the life affirming circumstances created by reading them; rather than being ‘of a time’, they are books of all time. 20170927_110835To millions, the Harry Potter series are such books. To me, they are both. I didn’t read my first Harry Potter book until I turned 34*. I was a few months out of cancer treatment and scarcely able to refocus my attention enough to enjoy reading fiction. Life and my future were uncertain. I’d always thought I’d get around to reading them but I remember literally thinking, I guess I should start these, just in case I don’t make it. I read The Sorcerer’s Stone in two days while on vacation, but rather than binge the entire series, I pledged, to myself, to read one every summer for the next 7 summers, finishing the year of my 40th birthday. Reading each one became a small reward and private acknowledgement to surviving another year. There were a few setbacks, in reading and life, but my 40th summer has passed, my health is stable and I’m finally finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Of course, who knew 7 years ago there would be a continuation of the series in an 8th book?)

So yes, it’s another Harry Potter focused post. In celebration of the conclusion, because life is short and it helps to surround yourself with possessions which bring joy and meaning, I’ve picked up a few more Harry Potter items since my first shelfie post in March. Unfortunately, Funko Pop Fred is still George-less, as I focused on more portable, practical(?) merchandise to exhibit my HP love.

Starting with the stunning piece of miniature art in this enamel Wizard School pin by Happy Hello Co. I showed off my HP-inspired bookmarks from this etsy shop last time and when this pin debuted, I knew immediately it was needed. Only 1.5 inches round, the crisply detailed enamel and gold plating create a scene filled with dimension, beauty, scale and movement. I adore the polish, the crescent moon and tower spire peeking over the top edge, and especially the perfectly captured owl in flight (did everybody tear up over the loss of darling Hedwig, or just me?). This pin is in stock for $12.39 US and ships in about 2 weeks from Canada. 

J.K. Rowling brought such richness to her novel world and I appreciated the merging of magical facets to the classic boarding school story line. Hogwarts classroom settings are a favorite aspect from the books, making this 6 class sticker set a must. Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes based in Glasgow, Scotland, is the whimsical little shop behind these stickers and the Auror Office notepad in the flat lay photo above. HOYFC specializes in patches, pins, jewelry and stationary sporting geeky, retro and always colorful designs.

The attention to detail in the stickers grabbed me and I’m delighted with them. Each vignette is saturated in color and features objects significant to that course of Hogwarts study. Defense Against the Dark Arts (a story point favorite) depicts animal relics under glass, a mirror, skeletal hand and stag patronus. Potions portrays a bubbling cauldron, half-filled beakers, toadstool specimens, bright vials of liquid and a splattering spill. Astronomy illustrates stars, scrolls, telescopic instruments and glowing armillary with the shadow of Hogwarts spires in the distance.

Herbology, another favorite from the novels, houses terrariums, curling vines, mortar and pestle, spiky and dangerous looking flora and every student’s must for handling mandrakes, pink fuzzy earmuffs. Care of Magical Creatures warms the heart with glowing lantern, peering snowy owl, pumpkins, feathers, colored eggs and curious critters. 20170927_130823If you caught the mention of 6 classes in the set but notice only 5 stickers, that’s because my husband chose Transfiguration and made haste in applying it to his laptop before I could photograph it! It’s shown in the top left corner above, adhered to the back. I can’t blame him, it is cool with its perched raven, slinking cat and glowing globe. (I always wished for more story time in Professor McGonagall’s classes). These were Â£10 and shipped with the notepad for Â£5. Sally, the designer, also offers Hogwarts class notebooks.20171004_104532I prefer non-house specific merchandise but have my character favorites. No collection would be complete without an ode to hero/anti-hero Professor Snape. The pattern above is featured on a book sleeve by Book Beau. Book sleeves are designed to protect your books from damage and wear when transporting them. Working in a library, I’m a constant book borrower and have paid for a few due to clumsiness. I protect them in ziploc bags but these fabric beaus are much more fun.

20171004_105024The doe patronus pattern was actually my substitute choice. I supported Book Beau’s Kickstarter campaign in April with a $22 pledge originally selecting the design in Quirky Wizards (cute cartoonish versions of HP characters/symbols). There was an email at some point during the campaign that the Wizards pattern was no longer available and this Always doe was being offered instead. Disappointed at first, I’m now satisfied with this elegant tribute pattern. Two issues to consider if ordering a book beau: the manufactured versions have some fabric wrinkling which I attempted to iron out, but  returned when sliding the book inside. The indie size is too small to fit most hardback books. Ironically, no Harry Potter novels fit inside except The Cursed Child. (Not sure if that counts, I have mixed feelings on reading that one). The Book Beau on the right is the hand sewn version, also indie sized, which is smoother. If I reorder, it will be in the XL size.

I met Benita at Book Con in NYC this summer and she was cool and smiley. I’m excited she’s put her dream to work and successfully launched her BB website.

When it comes to bookish merchandise, bookmarks are irresistible. The selection and materials are mind-boggling. Marked by Mary has achieved positive fame with her wood-burned designs. I liked the idea of a more permanent showpiece bookmark to commemorate the series conclusion. It arrived smartly packaged with two stick supports wrapped in tissue paper, packed inside a sturdy padded envelope.20171004_105840Regularly $19, on sale for $17.10 with free shipping, Mary’s shop restocks every Tuesday at 6 pm. Other than the Kickstarter, this bookmark took the longest to ship after ordering, about a month. As much as I enjoy its stark graphics and iconic symbols, I’m a little hesitant to use it because I’m afraid the balsa wood could break. Currently sitting in a place of honor on my HP shelf.20171004_105942 (1).jpgMy Hogwarts house watercolor print was ordered several months ago from Lucy in the Sky Creations. Lucy’s etsy shop features literary gifts of unique art. I admire her artistic watercolor renditions of classic characters, authors and quotes. My only complaint being, it was packaged in a thin manila envelope without any cardboard backed protection, therefore, the corner was bent in transit.20171008_174953Recently, articles in the Huffington Post and other publications reported some research questioning the impact Harry Potter has had on encouraging reading. “For instance, research by the National Endowment for the Arts in the US has found no increase in children’s reading levels in correlation to Harry Potter.” I’ve read arguments posing rather than reading more books, children keep reading the same 7 books over and over. 

Trends can be measured, but impact upon individual readers cannot. I know what Harry Potter means to me as a reader and to those I come in contact with daily in the library. As I’m sure I’ll go on to re-read the series in time, it’s a wonderful feeling to think Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.

*A dear friend did read some of The Deathly Hallows to me during a week long stay for treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. I believe it was the story of the three brothers, but my memory is foggy.

Share any collection additions, Hogwarts or otherwise, and your thoughts on HP’s legacy below.

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6 thoughts on “A Very Harry Shelfie Part 2: Additions and Conclusions

  1. I am in love with all your Potter memorabilia (as I watch HP on ABC in marathon fashion). I am touched that these books hold so much meaning for you and that you have the tradition of reading one each summer. Mostly I am happy that you are feeling hale and hearty. I pray you have many many healthy years ahead of you.

    I love all my Potter doo dads as well. I have some jewelry, bookmarks, wands, phonecases and shirts. I love all the geekery that can be bought online now. Enjoy your lovelies!

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    1. Hale and hearty might be overstating it, but I rarely think about being ill any more except during oncology appts. Each scan and test result is a leap of faith that my doc and I made the right decisions, but the likelihood is possible for recurrence. I’m grateful for each negative result I get and just move on with life in between:)
      I’m sad to be (almost) done with the books and wanted to commemorate the series with an appreciation of HP and join the chorus of those the stories touched. What a gift this story is. I keep meaning to request photos of your HP jewelry and I should acquire a proper wand at some point. The merchandising has taken on a life of its own, but it’s all in the vein of geeky celebration, so I hope it continues.<3

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  2. I love this post and I adore those stickers – they are so very World of Tomorrow from Disney World. But I’m grumpy about your watercolour crest – that’s BS, where was the cardboard backing? I bought some prints from an Etsy vendor a couple of years ago and they were sent rolled up in a tube – I would have assumed that’s how everything of that sort got sent, but I guess not? I’m sorry about that. Although if you plan on framing it, that may cover up that little bit in the corner there.

    And I also call BS on that study. As a big time reader, I have never seen anything like the mania that sprung up around, yes, the movies, but the books, too. In fact, on one of our first dates, I accompanied my now-husband to a midnight book launch of I think the fourth book? There was an Ikea across the parking lot that had stayed open for bored parents to go in and browse, and for everyone in line – hundreds of people – to fortify themselves with Swedish meatballs. And I remember there were so many kids in line, all clutching their books, dressed in robes, sitting on the ground just reading…it was seriously the sweetest, dorkiest thing, I loved it so much. Then when the doors opened there was a respectful stampede of kids and adults in robes and scarves, some of them reading their books as they were walking back out through the doors. If that is not demonstrative of weight and impact, then I don’t know what is. 🙂

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    1. Ooh, the stickers do have a futuristic look to them, you’re right, I hadn’t noticed. It was a shame about the crest print because I’d pay for better packaging and shipping if given the option. Though first disappointed with it, I’ve grown to love it and am looking for a frame. Right now, it’s sitting on the music stand of our piano, lol!

      Great book launch story! I never did it, but one of my best friends did (the one who reminds me so much of you and who read to me in the clinic) I remember her specifying that she’d be indisposed during the DH launch weekend, sequestered away until she’d finished. Then, of course, she restarted the series. Truly a marvelous phenomenon and I’d agree about the lasting effects on reading.

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      1. Should have said this before, but your friend sounds completely awesome, and not just because she apparently reminds me of you and I am, of course, awesome (and ever so humble as well!) That’s just the nicest thing she did for you – being read to is a simple little luxury, one I think we all like but don’t get to enjoy very often. Plus you guys just got to spend some simple time together, it’s so nice. When my grandmother was in hospice I’d come in and do her nails – it was just a little thing, but she loved it, and we got to spend time together, too. Wuh oh, getting all sniffly here…

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        1. She is awesome and though I make comparisons, she’s one of a kind. My buddy is the type of rare person who can do so many irritating things, but one can actually never be irritated with her, it’s a gift. As I said, I was foggy thanks to the drugs pumping through my IV, but it was extremely nice. I couldn’t sit up higher than a 30 degree angle due to the radiation rods, so I couldn’t hold a book, she was like, I’ll take care of it, also, it was a super snowy hour drive and she’d never been there before-I’ll always love and appreciate her for it. Actually, for all of those who visited me those days, including my brother-in-law who’s father passed away just 5 days before, but who brought all the nurses cookies from his store. My sis for gifting me a kindle with hundreds of books pre-loaded so I’d have a lightweight device to hold and read. One can never forget the kindnesses bestowed upon them when going through a serious crisis, allows you to view those friends and loved ones who attended so gratefully and truly makes a difference.
          As I’m sure it did for your grandmother. You’ll have those special, selfless moments with her for the rest of your life<3

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