Just like millions of other HP fans, I too, have read the first book of the famous series a couple of times and every single time I read it, it does affect me either in the same way as the previous reading or even more deeply. I know that many people would say that it is just the beginning of a more exciting story full of adventures, but I reckon that without a good start there'd be no actual story. Most of the fans know all about the plot and so on, so I'm going to focus just on a few things that have drawn my attention. Firstly, the name of the book - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone (or as in the American version - Sorcerer's Stone). In due course, the readers of the book get to know what the so-called stone is, but if we haven't read it yet, the term Philosopher's is going to capture our imagination. I think this word is quite appropriate for the whole book and the whole series of HP books. It tells us not only about fantasy world full of magic and wizardry, but also about different values in life, about love, friendship and a bunch of things common to all people. It does not only give us escape into another world, but it also talks about problems everyone might eventually have. To be different than the others, to be afraid and brave at the same time, to not to be able to accept people the way you find them and criticize them. That’s why the book has a lot to do with philosophy. Secondly, I would like to say that the fist book of Harry Potter is fraught with words of wisdom and makes us consider issues and notions we probably haven't thought of. A nice example is what Dumbludore says to Harry in the closing chapter – ‘After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.’ Considering that mostly young people read the book, they wouldn’t think that way for sure. But on second thoughts, it is rather understandable what the author is trying to tell us.
After living a full of value life we can easily see that death is no more than another step towards eternity. The mirror of Erised which takes place in the book is also a way of making the reader aware of important problems – how to deal with our deepest and most desperate desires. Dumbledore, by whom Rowling often tells the reader important things, summarizes it all: ‘It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live’. Last but not least, I’d like to draw your attention to the unbelievable cleverness of the book and its characters. Each and every one of them has typical features, though none of them is quite perfect. Even the hero has some bad qualities (For example Harry is too hasty and quick-tempered) and at times you feel sorry for the evil itself – Voldemort. Characters like Dumbledore and Snape are so mysterious that you never know them really until you read the last chapter of the series. In the Sorcerer’s stone, they look entirely different from what they really are (a spoiler follows) – Snape is Harry’s ally and Dumbledore does mislead him in some ways. In conclusion, I’d like to ask those people who consider Harry Potter to be just a commercial fantasy book to think again – it’s not. It has made millions of people get back to reading and that fact reveals once again the magic of books, because it produces a great balance between magical and normal, fictional and real.