7 Reasons Every Woman Should Read Harry Potter

by Julia Seales

A lot of traditional fantasy books revolve around dudes. It’s the classic hero’s journey: A guy receives a quest, rejects it, finally accepts, and goes on to fight through a road of trials to find what he’s searching for. Somewhere along the way, he might meet a love interest, but that one female character doesn’t always have a big part to play. As someone who grew up loving the fantasy genre, I didn’t mind these books all the time. After all, the classic hero is still relatable. But often, I couldn’t relate to the female characters. They were so archetypal and two-dimensional, that I struggled to identify with them.

And then I read Harry Potter.

Suddenly, there were a bunch of female characters who seemed so real I felt as if they were my best friends. As a young know-it-all, Hermione Granger was my absolute favorite. And when I found out the author was a woman, I was even more excited — I’d always wanted to be an author, and here was someone I could look up to who was writing some pretty inspiring characters. Even if fantasy isn’t your favorite, Harry Potter is a series every woman should read at least once in their lifetime. Here’s why.

1. You'll Finally Know Why Everyone's So Obsessed

Even if you yourself haven't been swept up in HP mania yet, it's probably still obvious to you that a lot of people are. From dressing up for movie premieres to going to an entire theme park dedicated to the story, fans seem to skew to the "intense" end of the spectrum. If you've never cracked open the series, now's the time to find out exactly why everyone's so obsessed. Plus, even if it's not your cup of tea, reading things outside of your "book comfort zone" is always helpful for becoming a more well-read, educated woman.

2. It Contains Plenty Of Inspiring Female Characters

From Hermione Granger to Professor McGonagall to Molly Weasley, there are a million amazing female characters in the HP books. The series may be named after the male protagonist, but he wouldn't be anywhere without the women in his life — Rowling makes that clear. She includes female characters with many different strengths and weaknesses, and doesn't resort to two-dimensional stereotypes, so if you like reading about hardcore ladies, this is the series for you.

3. The Author Herself Is An Awesome Woman

J.K. Rowling has broken records with her writing, helps tons of charities with her wealth, and uses her words to encourage and inspire everyone around her. The woman behind the series has such an inspiring story, that you'll want to read the series just to see where it all began.

4. You Can Contribute To HP Conversations

People talk about Harry Potter. A LOT. If you're sick of sitting on the sidelines while everyone else goes on and on, now's the time to finally read the series so you can get in the game. And hey, even if you hate it, you can contribute to the conversation — but expect a difficult opponent in HP fans.

5. Pop Culture References Will Make More Sense

Your friends aren't the only ones talking about HP. There are constant references to the series in today's pop culture, from TV to films to other books. For example: Rainbow Rowell's book Fangirl tells the story of a girl who writes fanfiction about a series quite similar to Harry Potter. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

6. There Are Tons Of Quotes In The Story You'll Love

The thing is, Harry Potter is so popular because it's really that good. There are tons of beautiful quotes in the series that will stick with you, and can help you through bad days and good days. For example, this quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: "We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are." Amazing, right?

7. The Franchise Is Still Going Strong

You might think that it's too late to read Harry Potter, because the books have already all been released. The movies are over. Well... that's not exactly the case. In fact, there's another film set in the magical HP world coming out this year (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). There's a play coming to London (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). The fact is, this franchise is still going strong, and with an author who writes empowering female characters, you've got to read this series. At least once.

Images: Warner Bros; Giphy (7)