Dear Mr. Potter,
Believe it or not, my mom discovered you before I did. She heard about your story from the news and decided to buy me a copy of the Sorcerer’s Stone, thinking I might like it. At first I didn’t want to read it, happy with my millimeter thick, elementary-age reader books, so she began reading it herself. She would tell me little snippets of what the book was about, and I pretended not to care. Little did she know at the time, I snuck into her room while she was away and read the first few chapters. And then I was hooked.
From age eight and on, I have called your stories my number one. Despite teasing—even from my third grade teacher, who found it amusing that an elementary school child lugged around a book the size of a dictionary—and beatdowns from those who couldn’t fathom why I’d want to read a story like this, you have always been my number one. When I list my favorite books, I have to make a separate category for everything else I’ve read, because you are in a class of your own.
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read your books. I have two sets—one hardcover, one paperback—because the bindings of my hardcovers have begun to split down the middle. I’ve devoured all of your adventures, from knocking out a mountain troll and winning Quidditch matches to chasing down Horcruxes and battling Death Eaters. I laughed as you undertook the awkward task of finding a Yule Ball date, and I sobbed when you walked alone into the Forbidden Forest. I whispered the final “Expelliarmus” with you. I grew up with you; you are my childhood.
I thank you for so many things. Thank you for shaping my love of reading. Without you, I am absolutely certain I would not adore books with the passion I have today. I would not be pursuing a career in the book industry (writing, agenting, publishing), desperate to give tomorrow’s children even a piece of what you’ve given me.
Thank you for the lessons you have taught me. Thank you for showing me the power of love, the importance of friends, and the ability to shape your own destiny. You taught me to stand up for what I believe in, even when others insist I’m wrong. Thank you for helping me believe in magic and to know, no matter how dark the world may seem, good can win over evil.
Thank you for shaping my life. You have been a constant figure for over half of my life (twelve years and counting), and looking back, I can’t imagine it without you. Thank you for allowing me to simultaneously escape into your world and learn about my own. I am honored to be a part of the Potter Generation, knowing no one else can have the same reading experience as those of us who grew up with you. I have stayed with you until the very end, and I thank you for doing the same.
Kaitlin, 20, Ravenclaw
*for more letters, visit DearMrPotter.org.