Back in October, I bought this lovely thing when it came out:
I want to talk about what it was like revisiting the story in a new edition. This was (I think) the 5th time I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone, and it was definitely different than the previous (I think) 4. The book is illustrated by Jim Kay, who also did the illustrations for Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls (which I have yet to read but hear it’s amazing). The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and add a fresh, new level to the story.
It’s interesting how the aesthetics of a book affect the reading experience. I’m used to reading the US editions with art by Mary GrandPré. I own an assortment of other editions from the UK of various books in the series, and when I read those, I kinda feel like a little bit of the magic is missing because they don’t have the GrandPré chapter art, the stars in the corners, or the whimsical fonts.
However, I like the UK editions for the un-Americanized language. This new edition gives you the best of both worlds. With the exception of the Stone (Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s), the text has not been edited to Americanize the language. It’s full of “jumpers,” “colours,” and lots of “revision” during exam season. I’m sure some of the language was still edited a bit, but it seemed much less so than the original Scholastic editions.
But let’s get to the main attraction: the artwork. Beautiful. Whimsical. Detailed. I don’t want to post any more pics of the art, so as not to give it all away (though there are some photos on my Twitter; I’m live-tweeting my reread), so just trust me when I say it’s lovely. Mary GrandPré will always hold a special place in my heart, but I have to say, I am so excited to reread through the books with Jim Kay’s art each year (Jim Kay’s “Chamber” is coming out this October, and each next book will be released every year after).
One of the problems I’ve had with reading the books recently – and I’m sure many people feel the same – is getting the damn movies out of my head while I’m reading. It’s so hard! Especially with the early books, there are so many lines taken directly from the book that are used in the movie that it’s almost impossible not to hear the actors’ voices in your head. This isn’t as big of a problem reading the later books because they started to change a lot more to adapt them to film (plus I disliked the later movies anyway, and therefore watched them fewer times. Fucking David Yates.). But I will say that reading the illustrated edition helped this problem some. Jim Kay provided me with images other than the actors and sets from the films to see in my head, and it was rejuvenating.
It definitely made the entire reading experience a lot more “magical,” and I look forward to be able to share these editions with my future children one day (if I have them…). I’d be more than happy to have their first experience with HP be these editions.
I’m excited to continue my series reread with the Remembrall Readathon, and hopefully finish on July 30, right before the big day. I’m still skeptical about the Cursed Child business, but that’s another post for another day…