On Thursday, June 26, 1997, the world was forever changed. On this day, we mere muggles were blessed with the masterpiece that is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. On this date, the book was first published in the U.K. (It was later published in the U.S. in September 1998 under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.) And I can tell you, from the first time I escaped into my favorite world, my life would never be the same.

For this children’s librarian, it’s always a huge humble-brag of mine to tell people I am a self-proclaimed “Harry Potter hipster.” As in, I read the books before they were cool (well, the first book at least). In August 1998, a month before the U.S. publication of Sorcerer’s Stone, I entered fourth grade. It was in this school year that I first recall discovering this book in my school library.

I was always an avid reader, and loved just browsing the shelves for books that “looked good”. I have a distinctive memory of finding this book on my school library’s shelf. I remember being attracted to the jewel tones of the book jacket illustration. Of being intrigued by the boy flying on a broomstick on the cover. Despite the old saying of “never judge a book by its cover” I totally did. I was pulled in. Who was this boy? What is the sorcerer’s stone? I had to know. And my world was never the same. From that fateful day in fourth grade, 10 year old me was changed. Definitely for the better.

Now, here we are 20 magical years later.

I know what some of you are thinking. Isn’t she a little old for Harry […]