I grew up thinking that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were some of my best friends, and I have to revisit the Harry Potter books every so often just to hang out with them again. The characters felt real because they were real, to an extent, since author J.K. Rowling infused the series with details from her own life to explore themes of friendship, death, relationships, growing up, and love. These were themes readers identified with, so it’s no surprise that we reread the books again and again… even after all this time.
But Rowling wasn’t always the author of the best-selling book series of all time, not to mention an active philanthropist and charity founder. She faced hardships from clinical depression to financial insecurity, and at one point considered herself a failure. So it’s no shocker that she’s pretty quotable, with the life experience and wisdom that she’s gained throughout her journey to success.
"... failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free ..."
"... given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life ..."
"All these people saying they never got their Hogwarts letter: you got the letter. You went to Hogwarts. We were all there together. Of course it happened inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it wasn't real?"