Day one

29 Aug

It’s finally here–day one of Hey, Man! Let’s Read!

For the next year, we have a great opportunity ahead of us.  We are going to challenge ourselves to do something difficult: read fifty-two books in just as many weeks.  It will be more than just reading, though–we’re going to think about what we’re reading, consider what it means to us.  We’re going to learn.

And it’s gonna be hella awesome.


Even though discussion day is not technically until Sunday, I thought it might be fun to talk about the book a little bit throughout the week.  I’ll post some of my thoughts day by day, and I encourage all of you to reply here on the blog, post on our Facebook page, tweet us your thoughts @heymanletsread, or just write us an email (


It’s been years since I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the novel which launched the most popular book series of all time.  Quite honestly, I’m not sure I can recall reading it since I was eleven or twelve.  Considering I’m now 23, that’s a bit of a gap.

As anyone who has read the Harry Potter series in its entirety can tell you, the books grow steadily darker as you read on.  I guess because the later novels are fresher in my mind, I had sort of forgotten something important about the first book: it’s completely charming.

The tone is set right from the start with the opening line:

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

The moment I read that, I was smiling.

Of course, Harry’s childhood is horrendous.  The Dursley’s are cruel–I mean, who makes a kid live in a cupboard under the stairs?  But Harry himself is so likable–he’s precocious and quick-witted–and the tone is light enough that I personally didn’t feel bogged down by the depressing nature of his home life .  It’s a book for children and young adults, after all!  There’s whimsy pouring out of every page, which makes the book hard to resist.

It’s really refreshing to read  Sorcerer’s Stone because it is so much more cheerful and lighthearted than the rest of the series–Harry’s just being introduced to his new world, and so, by extension, are we.  And what a beautiful, wonderful place it seems; no wonder he later feels the need to protect it at all costs.


How far are you in the book, after your first day of reading?  Is this your first time reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or have you read it before?


Also: it’s the end of August, and the beginning of September is only a few days away.  That means that in just a few days, we’ll begin voting for the OCTOBER genre for Hey, Man! Let’s Read.  Get your thinking caps on–voting starts September 1st!


One Response to “Day one”

  1. Kateri September 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I just finished re-reading HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I had forgotten a lot about the first book in the series, since it seems to be one of the ones I didn’t re-read a lot as the series continued. I don’t know how many people on here have already read the book, so if you haven’t, spoiler alert! I had totally forgotten that Hermione and Harry and Ron didn’t start out best friends! I had also forgotten how cute Harry and Hagrid’s first meeting was, and how much foreshadowing there was in the first book. It really made me appreciate Rowling’s talent even more than I already did. It also, of course, made me want to re-read every other book in the series immediately. And buy a wand.

    I’m excited for the rest of the month! I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time in ages and I’ve never read Game of Thrones, though I keep hearing good things about it. Happy reading everyone!

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