Bookends & Beginnings hosts birthday celebration for Harry Potter

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Bookends & Beginnings hosts birthday celebration for Harry Potter

Kids fill out Harry Potter-themed word puzzles at a special event hosted by Bookends & Beginnings on Wednesday evening.

Kids fill out Harry Potter-themed word puzzles at a special event hosted by Bookends & Beginnings on Wednesday evening.

Benjamin Rosenberg/Daily Senior Staffer

Kids fill out Harry Potter-themed word puzzles at a special event hosted by Bookends & Beginnings on Wednesday evening.

Benjamin Rosenberg/Daily Senior Staffer

Benjamin Rosenberg/Daily Senior Staffer

Kids fill out Harry Potter-themed word puzzles at a special event hosted by Bookends & Beginnings on Wednesday evening.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Summer Managing Editor

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Brooke Williams has always celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday — as a child, in college and even into adulthood.

“(My friends and I) would just do it for ourselves at somebody’s house and have snacks and read from the books and watch the movies,” Williams said. “It’s a good excuse, once you’re an adult, to have a reason to get together with friends. I’m 31 and we had one last year. For people my age, it was such a huge part of our adolescence.”

So Williams, the children’s bookseller at Bookends & Beginnings, decided to bring the tradition to her store. Harry Potter fans of all ages gathered Wednesday evening — many dressed in Hogwarts-themed attire — to celebrate their favorite witches and wizards.

Williams floated the idea at a staff meeting earlier this year, and the store advertised the party in its newsletter and on social media. Bookends & Beginnings also promoted the event to customers in person.

Attendees — many of them children — enjoyed snacks, participated in Harry Potter trivia and made Hogwarts-style bookmark ties. Copies of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “A History of Magic,” which J.K. Rowling wrote after referring to them throughout the main series, were also on display.

Nine-year-olds Noah Swift and Ramona Wear, who both answered every trivia question correctly, first met through Harry Potter. Swift asked to join Wear and another friend in acting out scenes from the series during recess at school.

Swift said one of his favorite characters was Severus Snape because he has a good heart despite his rough exterior.

“I like Snape because he’s a good man on the inside, he just acts all mean,” Swift said. “He’s just misunderstood.”

Wear said her favorite character was Ron Weasley because the two have the same initials as well as the same birthday, and 10-year-old Ana Bradley said Ginny Weasley was her favorite because people have told her they look alike.

Williams, who dressed for the occasion in a Ravenclaw sweater, said the Harry Potter series has become generational, with parents who may have read the books when they first came out passing them onto their kids.

“There’s something that resonates in them with every subsequent generation,” Williams said. “The messages inherent in it about friendship and love and growing up are going to continue to resonate. Every time I get to introduce a new kid to Harry Potter, it’s a really exciting moment.”

Email: benjaminrosenberg2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @bxrosenberg

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