“You’re a wizard, Harry.” Has it really been almost twenty years since those magical words first enchanted readers? June 26, 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s the perfect occasion to indulge your Potter nostalgia and reflect on how the Boy Who Lived changed the world. Potter fans across the globe will be celebrating all year, so don’t miss out! I’ve rounded up some of the most exciting events below:
Wizarding World Book Club: Arguably, Harry’s greatest legacy is igniting a love of reading in countless young people. Starting this June, both newcomers and longtime fans alike can explore the series with the Wizarding World Book Club, described by Pottermore as “a free, online club to examine and debate every book in the Harry Potter series…Hermione would most certainly approve.” Get involved on Pottermore or Twitter (@WWBookClub). Participants should plan to read approximately one book per month, with fresh discussion themes introduced weekly to spark debate among readers from around the world.
Independent Bookshop Week (UK and Ireland): “When in doubt, go to the library”…or your local independent bookshop! June 24 to July 1 is Independent Bookshop Week in the UK and Ireland, which means that participating bookshops will be hosting heaps of literary lunches, storytelling events, and bookshop crawls. The week’s events are all part of the larger Books Are My Bag initiative promoting literacy and local business. Since Independent Bookshop Week coincides beautifully with HP’s 20th anniversary, lucky fans can get their hands on limited-edition Potter tote bags, perfect for hauling around Hogwarts, A History, The Monster Book of Monsters, or perhaps Gilderoy Lockhart’s entire collection.
Parties Everywhere: Whether you’re hoping to rival the party antics of the Quidditch World Cup, or planning something low-key with friends, butterbeer, and a movie marathon, there’s an event for everyone this summer. See if there’s a party near you by checking Bloomsbury’s map. Want to throw your own Potter bash? Bloomsbury has also compiled a guide with ideas for games, readings, and decorations to help your planning. The Unofficial HP Cookbook is full of delicious Potter-themed recipes to feed your guests, or you can find culinary inspiration here and here.
Harry Potter Exhibition at the British Library: Potterheads will be flocking to London this fall and winter (20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018, to be precise) to enjoy the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition, which promises to be way more engaging than your average History of Magic class with Professor Binns. The exhibition will delve deep into the history and mythology of the series. Have you ever wanted to know more about the alchemical traditions behind the Philosopher’s Stone? Or about the medieval zoological manuscripts informing J.K. Rowling’s work? According to the Library’s announcement: “From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins, to the origins of the philosopher’s stone, the exhibition will take readers on a journey to the heart of the Harry Potter stories.” You’ll also find drafts by J.K. Rowling and illustrations by Jim Kay, chronicling the development of our beloved series. Catch some tantalizing previews on the Library website, and book your tickets!
Header image via Dallas Epperson on Flickr