There is something about finding a fandom. A fandom is like a home, for us nerdy folks. A fandom is somewhere you belong, a place that exists where you can share your love for something with others who love it too.
HP fanart by MARTA
For years now, I have ‘belonged’ within the Harry Potter fandom. Harry Potter is a very large part of the reason why my best friend and I ever became friends. It has been something to bond over, something to laugh and cry over. We have read and written fanfiction, ‘awwwww’d and drooled over fanart, and attended the midnight screenings of the last two films.
All of this has cemented our friendship. It has ensured that we always have that special something between us that makes us who we are, that makes us us. Naturally, there are other things now which keep us together. Other pleasures, loves, and hates. Other fandoms, other stories to laugh and cry over. But Harry Potter was the first thing. And we always have it to come back to.
My point has wandered somewhat, but it all comes back to the same thing. I have been contemplating the power of fandoms. The ability of a fandom to share a love of something, to make that thing grow beyond what it originally was. I am talking about fanfiction and fanart, but also about the sharing that exists within a fandom. This has been increasingly emphasised to me through tumblr, where fans blog and reblog the words and images that they love about a particular fandom.
The ability to do this keeps the fandom alive within their minds, and their hearts. The fact is that I never really loved Harry Potter until I was introduced to the Harry Potter fandom. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter fandom made me love them.
Once I completed my studies for university, I definitely jumped into the deep end of the reading pool – reading 10 novels/novellas/short story collections during the last month. My reading list centred almost exclusively on young adult realistic fiction, with the exception of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, the latest in D.D. Marks’s Olesia Anderson spy thrillers, and Tamora Pierce’s collection of short stories.
Many of the novels I read over the past month were fantastic, and really enjoyed reading them. Two in particular stand out for me: When We Were Two by Australian firefighter Robert Newton, and You Against Me by British actress-turned-author Jenny Downham. Though vastly different, these novels stood out for the brilliance of their construction, the approachability of their characters and storylines that kept me interested the who way through. I really cannot recommend these two novels enough.
Featured this month:
- Double Deals (pt. 1) – D.D. Marks
- When We Were Two – Robert Newton
- The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
- The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
- Before I Die – Jenny Downham
- Tortall and Other Lands – Tamora Pierce
- Hate List – Jennifer Brown
- You Against Me – Jenny Downham
- How to Buy a Love of Reading – Tanya Egan Gibson