Some Thoughts On Potter

Well, Moi dragged me down to borders last night (all night) for the unveiling of the new Harry Potter book. I haven’t been following them much myself, but I was willing to spend a night in a bookstore if it made her happy. Really, a night in a book store is never a bad thing.

I was impressed by the range of people who attended, reaching from the obvious (little kids dressed as Harry or Hermoine) to goths, nerds, and, yes, even a few adults and the elderly. Honestly, I was a little shocked. While it’s true that my objection to the book is purely personal (I don’t like Rowling’s writing style much), and I have been very interested in fantasy things before, I was a little taken aback by the crowd. How could so many people care so much about some kids’ books?

To be fair, I’ve c aught on to fads before. Pokemon owned me. Looking back, though, I wish I hadn’t let it. Last night, I wished a little bit the same for all those people. honestly, they’re in a book store right next to Hemingway, or Chaucer, or Wolfe, and all they care about is “he-who-cannot-be-named.” Accio good literature, people!

Right?

Well, maybe not. As the night went on, and I caught pieces of conversations here and there, I started to see something bigger happening. Discussion and speculation about the final book raged, and some of it was actually pretty scholarly. Conversations branched into the realm of books, movies, and even politics. Potter, for whatever direct good (or lack thereof) he has had, had managed to get a big group of people, even goth teenagers, to come to a bookstore. At midnight. Since when does that happen?

So, maybe Potter wasn’t all bad. I risk my book snob credentials to say that, but it may just be true. My parents used the Animorphs series to get me to read my first real literature. Wishbone made classics more available to me growing up. Some books can serve as an ends to a mean and be fun too.

That said, a few reading suggestions, now that there’s no more Potter:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia is a good start, at about the same reading level (or a little better). I know lots of people either bemoan or cheer C.S. Lewis’s writings’ Christian undercurrents, but i managed to read the entire series and never care. You can too, and I might even recommend it. After all, Christians aren’t the only ones to think of self-sacrifice and such as noble virtues. Also, bonus points for proving imagination and a wardrobe (or closet, etc.) could provide days of fun.
  • The Golden Compass and the books that follow it aren’t half bad either, and a bit more modern than Lewis. I’ll admit that I wasn’t caught by them, but really it was me, not the book. I wasn’t in such a fantasy mood. Bonus points, too, for a strong female lead. Always a good thing for our growing girls to have magical role models, I suppose. Also, time is short to read the first book before the movie comes out.
  • Finally, and best of all, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yes, I’m sure everyone has seen the movies by now, but they never compare, do they? No. So go forth and tackle it. It’s something to brag about.

As always, don’t forget, these titles and much more can be found – free of charge – at your local library.

Wow, well, enough with the books for one night. Chao!

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2 Responses to “Some Thoughts On Potter”

  1. nicavita Says:

    well, here I am again and hope I continue to make you smile:-)

    I like to read what you have to write.. (by the way, I am not interested in potter at all and CANNOT understand why anyone is… but I understand not all of us are created equal, so I will be fine even if I have no interest in the book or movie or any of the other publicity surrounding the whole #%@&*:-)

    Anyway, the reason I write here is so I can learn and practice, so one day I wil be able to make sense in some ways, perhaps as you do:-)

    Ana one more reason.. I am Italian and when I finish reading your article on potter.. I noticed you want to end with “Ciao” so since you wrote it different, ( Wow, well, enough with the books for one night. Chao!) I wanted you to know the proper spelling (I cannot compare with your in any way on writing in English, so I am happy I noticed something in Italian so I can contribute in some way:-)

    Health-Harmony-Peace and prosperity… always!

  2. Zack Says:

    Ha ha, it’s no surprise I got an Italian spelling wrong. I have enough trouble with English. Thanks for catching it and I’ll remember it in the future.

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