This book was one of my favorites from 2011. Absolutely loved it. I'm a super huge Harry Potter fan and a fan of philosophy. So the combination of these two things was absolutely awesome.
The Harry Potter books were my friends when I had none. I read them when I was feeling lonely, depressed, etc. They made me happy. I know that sounds sad, but it's very true. They were a great comfort to me. Harry Potter has a very special place in my heart for that reason. But my love for Harry Potter goes beyond that. I'm also a person who likes to think a lot and contemplate the purpose of people, life, the world, etc. I always felt that Harry Potter was so much more than just a children's series. It delved into so many beautiful themes, but it also covered depressing ones. Like for example, the true meaning of friendship, courage, death, and the corruptness of the government. Themes that will always be relevant in the real world. Some people may not have delved deeper into these themes or might have missed them when reading this series. This book does a good job at helping you take a closer look.
When I went to the midnight release of the last Harry Potter movie it was as if I was saying good bye to a best friend of mine. I felt like a little something in me died that night. I'm not usually emotional, but man it was hard watching the last movie. It didn't hit me until then that it was really over, that there wouldn't be any more Harry Potter movies. That I'm "old" now. That I have been following that series for such a long time. That at this stage in my life, I don't know if I'll ever form the type of friendship that Harry, Hermione, and Ron have.
But it makes me happy to know that type of friendship exists, even if it's just in a fictional world.
Anyway, I went off on a tangent. What made this book awesome was the themes it explored throughout. A few of the essays I wasn't too interested in, but that didn't diminish my love for it. This book really makes you think. Not just about the world of Harry Potter, but about our own world. Like for example, what makes good quality education? Is only a magical education good for these characters? Or do they need to learn something else? Are there pitfalls? This makes you think about own educational system. Is what we learn in our own schools enough? Or do we need more? Do we need more to not only to be successful in this world, but to be able to live a good life? It sort of made me think about IQ and EI. Some people lack in emotional intelligence and suffer in life because of it. They might have a good IQ, but without emotional intelligence life becomes harder. One of my favorite quotes from the book was: "Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny."
A quote which is very relevant to education, not just education from school, but education that you get at home. Those two are extremely important in life.
Another essay that I enjoyed a lot was the exploration of loving by actions and loving by emotions. This might sound a little confusing, but basically what they used to explore this was Snape's love for Lily and his hate for Harry. Despite hating Harry, Snape still did the right thing through the series. I don't mean that he treated everyone well because he didn't. What I mean is, that despite his feelings for Harry he still did all these things to protect Harry and to help him. The biggest example was playing a double agent and ultimately getting killed because of it. So the question was did this count as love? Because we know in his heart, Snape felt no love for Harry. So do his actions count? Do they mean something? Do they hold any value? Yes, they do. A person can love through actions if not through emotions. In fact, this type of love is more powerful in a sense because you are going against your heart, against what you actually feel, to do the right thing. Whereas, when you feel love in your heart, it is much easier to be kind to people, to help them out, etc. Your heart guides your actions for the most part. But imagine, if you have to ignore you heart and do the opposite? It's a constant struggle against yourself. Especially if the emotion in your heart is hate. Really love this essay. Especially because it was something that I have always thought about. Like I said before, I'm not very emotional so I know that a lot of the time, I do things because they are right not because I'm feeling love for someone. So I have always doubted myself because of this. I wasn't sure if this counted or if it was worth anything at all. Sometimes I felt that I had to feel love for it to be good, but this essay made me see that it isn't so. If you wait around until you feel love, then you will never act. And if you never act, then nothing will ever happen. No change will occur. You will never, for example, help a friend, if you are waiting to truly love him first.
Before ending this review, let me share some videos that I think are relevant to this book and to the Harry Potter series.