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As someone who works in publishing, it's appropriate that the small choice that changed
It was early fall of my ninth grade year. I came home from school, walked into the kitchen through the garage door, and found Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone sitting alone on the countertop. Turned out my younger brother had bought it earlier that day at the Scholastic Book Fair.
As a voracious reader, I had always devoted every possible spare moment of my day to reading. At the risk of TMI, this included time spent in the bathroom, because simply sitting there and letting my mind wander was a waste of valuable reading time. Since there was some urgency at that moment, the book on the countertop seemed the perfect immediate choice for having something to read in the bathroom.
But I had recently decided as a fourteen-year-old high school student that I should only be reading capital-L Literature, because that was what I thought smart adults read. The book on the countertop was clearly a kids' book, so no way I could read it.
That's when I faced my choice.
Yes, whether or not to read Harry Potter in the bathroom was my life-changing decision.
Deciding that anything was better than nothing, and that I could read it to mock it, I picked up the book. I ended up reading until my legs were numb, totally hooked. It became the pebble that started ripples.
Thanks to Harry Potter, I decided to read whatever I pleased and not worry what people thought. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing outside of school, and researched the business of publishing. Thanks to Harry Potter, I discovered an online message board of people from all over the world who loved analyzing the books but also shared their insights on life, which broadened my own worldview. Thanks to Harry Potter, I expanded my introverted shell, and I invited a new classmate and fellow fan to the movie. She ended up becoming my best friend. Thanks to all these things, I went to college in New York, and thanks to that I moved to NYC, and thanks to that I got the job I have now and am writing this.
It was the smallest choice for the silliest reason, but it led to who I am today. Perhaps I would have still found my way here without Harry Potter, but I can't think of how. For me, that's a comfort. I like to think that any little choice I make without thinking might end up being the one that leads me on my next great adventure.
Harry Potter has changed so many lives, and I'm certainly glad it changed yours. I'm sure all your clients are glad. It didn't just change your life, it changed all of ours too. Make sure to comment for a chance to win that critique! And come on back tomorrow when I'll be hosting Michelle McLean, author of To Trust a Thief.