(Audio)Book Post: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I first spoke about a possible Harry Potter book reading in my Oh-My-Gosh-I’ve-Discovered-Audio-Books!!! post. Click here if you’ve missed it.

And so I did it – I entered the wizzarding world of Harry Potter and here’s what I have to say:

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J. K. Rowling
Published: November 20, 2015 (Audible, UK)
Language: English
Format: Audio Book, unabridged
Narrator: Stephen Fry

As I have already mentioned in my above mentioned post, I’m one of the few species who grew as old as I am without reading the Harry Potter books. Not because I think they are crap. Five bazillian happy readers and die hard fans from all ages can’t be wrong. I just thought this is not my cup of tea. Not my genre.

But then came audio books. Or better: then I finally discovered audio books. And that discovery changed quite a lot. It makes me want to check out books I wouldn’t have had the desire to read as a real book or e-book. I’m still not sure why that is, but it is like it is. I would seriously like to know if other audio book fans have made the same experience.

And so I found my way to Harry Potter by checking an audio sample and joyfully listening to Stephen Fry’s wonderful narrating. I’m not denying though, that the way he narrates the stories, played a big part in convincing me to finally head over to platform 9 ¾ and hop on the train to Hogwards.

I don’t see any point in telling you here and now, what the Harry Potter books are all about. I don’t think there’s anything that hasn’t been said about them or is not known. Let’s just say, since it’s the first book in the series, we get to know all (many of) the beloved characters, learn about why Harry lives as an orphan with his awful Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley and their even more awful son Dudley, we learn about the greatest evil of all time, Lord Voldemort He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and what he has to do with the death of Harry’s parents, we take the train from platform 9 ¾ for the first time, meet all the new friends (and enemies) in Hogwards, are assigned by the Sorting Hat to our house (I’m a Gryffindor, by the way, what about you?), learn everything about Quidditch and meet Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonnagall and of course Professor Snape! We hear that the only known bank of this wizarding world is the Gringotts Wizarding Bank and that it is run by goblins. There’s beloved half-giant-half-human Hargrid and malicious Draco Malfoy, we enter a world where trolls, ghosts and centaurs are a regular sight and Muggles are not exactly popular. I could go on and on…

I was familiar with the story because I have seen all of the movies. Wouldn’t have been able to tell you exactly what happened off the top of my head but as the story continued I saw the movie scenes playing out before my eyes. Those who know me will also know that I’m a firm believer in reading a book first and then see a movie because normally I lose interest in a book after I’ve seen the movie. So why do I check out the books now, even though I’ve seen the movies? Well… it would have never occurred to me that I would even read them. Blame it on the audio book format and blame it on Stephen Fry’s narrating. It’s just too much fun. Also… it’s been years since I saw the movies, so…

Loved it! These books are VERY well written, the characters so loveable (or hateable … I know that’s not a word LOL), the whole HP universe… Hogwards… all the magical stuff… it’s irresistible! Yes, it’s aimed at the younger readers but who wants to bet how many adults have read them? And loved them? Now, at least after book #1, I see why that is. I’m hooked! You can not NOT love this. Never thought I’d say this but it’s the plain truth.

One last word about Stephen Fry: you can’t narrate this story any better. His voice, his wonderful So-Very-British accent and the way he’s portraying all these characters is PERFECT. Doesn’t get any better.

So if you’re one of those still wondering whether this could be something for you, don’t hesitate, give it a try, be open, embrace the magic, start reading (listening) and get carried away!

I’m a registered member at www.pottermore.com now. Just sayin’😀.

PS: In case you’re wondering: the title of the book in the USA is “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. I wondered why that is and found this on Wikipedia

Scholastic Corporation bought the U.S. rights at the Bologna Book Fair in April 1997 for US$105,000, an unusually high sum for a children’s book. They thought that a child would not want to read a book with the word “philosopher” in the title and, after some discussion, the American edition was published in September 1998 under the title Rowling suggested, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Rowling claimed that she regretted this change and would have fought it if she had been in a stronger position at the time. Philip Nel has pointed out that the change lost the connection with alchemy, and the meaning of some other terms changed in translation, for example from “crumpet” to “muffin“. While Rowling accepted the change from both the British English “mum” and Seamus Finnigan’s Irish variant “mam” to “mom” in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, she vetoed this change in the later books, which was then reversed in later editions of Philosopher’s Stone.

Insert major eye roll here…






October 25

From the Office

This shot was taken out of my workmate’s office window. He wasn’t in the office while I took it, of course. Thought I’d let you know, what a grey and foggy late October day it was today. Which isn’t a complaint. You’ll most likely only hear me complain about too much heat or too much snow. Everything in between I can deal with.

And this (photo below) was put on top of our counter by the devil himself by the same workmate with the above window view.
Those are leftovers from a meeting. “If anybody wants a snack…” he said. Dude! It was way past lunch time where I had eaten my little sandwich and was done with eating until my skinny salad for dinner, so why the bloody hell are you putting this kind of junk, that I seriously have a hard time to resist, in plain eye sight? And every time I walked past it, there was that smell… how can you possibly resist that smell??? Did he want to kill me? Test me? Provocate me? Sigh. No, of course not. He only meant well.
I kept repeating to myself
“this is crap food and you know it”
“you’ve had lunch, you’re NOT hungry”
“you’re NOT going to touch this!”
“this is crap food and you know it”
“deep fried Schnitzel and hamburgers are awful and contain  a billion calories and tons of fat”
“no more than three meals a day and that’s it”
“this is crap food and you know it”
I’m proud to say that I didn’t touch any of it. But then I couldn’t take it anymore… THAT SMELL!!!! … and brought it down to the worker’s lunchroom. Some of the late-shift guys, who have their lunch break at 18:00h, will be happy!

October 24

Velbert Goes To Sleep

So I went into the city around 18:30h today. Some shops are already closed at that time, some others are open until 19:00h. I had forgotten to buy something and it was a great opportunity to add a number of steps to my fitness app, and the shops I needed to go to were still open, so…

Yes it was a rainy early evening, but that’s what Velbert’s city center looks like during this season at close to shop-closing time. Almost empty.

October 23

Another Sunday Walk

No, I didn’t feel fit enough to go swimming this morning. Not at all. And so I skipped. But I felt well enough in the afternoon for a walk and S was down.

This time we went through the so called Langenhorst Forrest. Langenhorst is a quarter of Velbert.

Once again we brought our SLR cameras. The walk took about one hour.


When the geese are leaving, winter is slowly coming…img_7043-14

October 22

Training Day

It needed a heart attack to finally bring me to move my lazy ass, which is the good that comes with the bad. Rehab sports, walking, swimming. This week though, I hadn’t been walking at all. At least there was the rehab sports on Thursday and there would be swimming on Sunday, which has become a regular task now. But I felt it wasn’t enough and so S and I talked about going for a swim on Saturday, too. “You could pick me up at home and we walk to the pool and after that I walk back home”.

Walking to S’s house is about 2 km (about 1.2 miles). That means 4 km walking before 1 hour of swimming. I wasn’t sure if I was able to do that, but I wanted to try. Also… on the way to her house, which takes about 30  minutes, I could continue listening to my audio book😉.

On the way I saw this BEAUTIFUL tree!

I was surprised that I could swim even more than 1 hour! That was pretty cool! I’m seriously making progress.

This is the outside part of the indoor pool. You can swim from the inside to the outside, year round. The water outside is a tad bit warmer.

Back at home I put on my  new fluffy warm and cosy socks. Aren’t they cute? But man am I I ever exhausted!!! Not sure if I’ll be able to get out of bed for the Sunday swimming session at 10am.

October 21

A Vinyl Evening

One of S’s workmates, who also lives in Velbert, had told us about something that takes places every 3rd Friday of the month in the Langenberg quarter of Velbert. Inside of what used to be an Aldi supermarket that was closed more than 10 years ago, certain art and music events are hosted there.

The Vinyl evening is obviously VERY popular among the Velberters, the entry is free, and everyone can bring their own fave vinyl records and have them played there. (Almost) every musical style is welcome (except for Schlager). A small variety of drinks is being served (beer, wine, and the usual non-alcoholic beverages, all at a very reasonable price).

We went there for the first time, but without bringing records. You don’t HAVE to bring them. Gotta say that we thoroughly enjoyed it. The people there are mostly of a certain age… 40+ I’d say… and the style of music that is being played is mostly 60s/70s/80s stuff. Often rock or alternative or also the early electronic/techno music. Depending on what is played, many are also dancing. It’s a great and very casual and relaxed athmoshere and for the most part I totally loved the music.

When we arrived, not many people were there yet. Not much later though the place was packed. The guy in the back is the DJ. Later he was replaced by another guy and this guy here basically never left the dance floor anymore. I’d guess he was in his late 50s/early 60s😉.

On the way to the Ladie’s room:

What’s up next…


Vintage theatre seats…

… and back again to the party folk…

A GREAT time was had by all. We’ll be back!!

October 20

At The Movies… and almost forgot to take a photo

It was on the way home from the movie theater that it dawned on me that I had completely forgotten to take a photo today. At least I remembered it then, but of course there were not many opportunities anymore. And so I took a photo out of the windshield.

As for the movie we saw, it was “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and Shane Walsh from The Walking Dead. Ben plays an autistic guy who’s a math genius, but also has some other abilities… like, being a perfect assassin. I had read a review before that sounded like this would be the dumbest movie of all times. I’ve gotta say though that I liked it and didn’t see anything dumb in it. I liked the story, I liked the amount of action, it was slightly funny at times, I even liked Ben Affleck’s acting. Maybe because playing autistic suits his way of hardly ever showing any emotion in his roles and being stiff at times (looking at you, Batman!). This role was great for him. I also didn’t agree with the person who said that he and Anna Kendrick had zero chemistry. I liked the two together. The ending could point at a possible sequel. Guess that depends on the success of the movie. I wouldn’t mind a sequel, to be honest.