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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Jackson Varley, a kindergartner at The Open Classroom, dressed as Harry Potter for school on Halloween in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.

In the popular J.K. Rowling series, Harry Potter's birthday is July 31.

We decided to celebrate by sharing readers' most spellbinding memories of the series.

Here are reader responses about what they love about the series. Responses have been edited for clarity.

Many people were introduced to the series by family members:

  • "My entire family fell in love with the series. I was introduced to it when my aunts and uncles discovered it and started discussing it at family gatherings. My claim to fame is that I had figured out that Harry was a horcrux before the seventh book came out."
  • "I saw an article in the Deseret News about the time the first two books were published in the U.S. I was the father of two little boys (and the one who read to them each night) and thought the name — Harry Potter — sounded so plain and yet somehow interesting."
  • "I was introduced through my sisters when I was 12! I refused to read it, and the first one took me a long time. Once I finished it I couldn't stop. I went from book to book. I hated waiting for the next books and became very impatient. I am 29 years old and a pretty big guy. I have always loved sports and never loved reading. I feel that I was never a "nerdy" guy until I cried after Sirius died."
  • "When 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' came out, I had pre-ordered weeks in advance, and when it arrived, I put it aside — I was about to have my sixth baby and wanted a treat to take to the hospital. I read the entire book before I went home with my baby. The cool follow up to this is this: two years later, I gave birth again in the same hospital, and my son was born on July 31, Harry Potter’s birthday!"

    Harry and Hermione Granger tied as readers' favorite character from the series, with Luna Lovegood and Dumbledore following them, then Neville Longbottom and Sirius Black.

Here's how readers responded when asked which Hogwarts house they belong to:

Elise Madsen, Deseret News

Most favorite memories came from the last book, feature romance or peril:

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  • "When Harry finally uses the stone to see his dead parents, uncle and Remus before he must duel Voldemort is my favorite moment. That is such a touching scene in the book. I love this scene because I believe it taps into an eternal truth; that loved ones who have died still exist and help us work through difficult times in life."
  • "My favorite moment is when Harry and Ginny finally kissed. It was such a good moment and I was so happy Harry found true love and stopped chasing Cho!"
  • "My favorite moment was right when I watched the second movie. I still didn't understand everything, and my sister and I would question my dad for hours asking him question after question."
  • "I still love the beginning, when Harry finds out he's a wizard and heads off to Hogwarts."

Last, the vote for favorite Harry Potter book among respondents was a close one — with some unable to pick a favorite:

Elise Madsen, Deseret News