A few years back I started a rotation of book reading. I would read something from Stephen King, something “classic”, something non-fiction, something horror, something sci-fi, maybe a spy novel (think Vince Flynn), and a general fiction novel. I did this to expand my reading genres beyond just Stephen King and other horror novels – that and they started to no longer hold my interest the more and more I read them in a row, which is me treating my favorite genre like a high school girlfriend, they’re great but when you spend too much time with them, you’re ignoring your other friends and becoming an all around boring person.
This is how I forced myself to read all of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowlling. I read them as part of my classic rotation.
*Side note* This rotation I write of isn’t something of a rule. If it was I would be violating it all the time. It is more just of a guide to make sure I’m a well-rounded boy, unlike Jack who works all day.
I swore, when the movies first started coming out, that I would never read anything like this. I thought they were more for kids and adults wanting to be the same. I never did buy into the whole “witchcraft” craze brought on by the church but I still wanted to rebel against the popular Potter movement.
Now I wish I never did. Let this be a lesson to me, just because it is a craze, it doesn’t need to be baulked.
I consumed the whole Harry Potter series much like the proverbial fat kid and cake. I started sometime in October 2012 (by the way, the dates on my self here on Booklikes, are way off) and finished the last day of the year with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I wonder if this is how people felt first reading C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles Narnia?
Harry Potter really spoke to me in a way that I still don’t understand. Maybe the whole witchcraft thing was true in that J. K. Rawlling put a spell over the books to make all who read them intoxicated with the desire to buy them all and read and read and read. Would this be such a bad thing?
Here’s my attempt at understanding. Harry Potter brings us a simplified world. Something closer to a black and white world. Good and evil. We don’t have to try too hard to develop new paradigms about what witches and wizards are like. We don’t have to do the same for and understanding of parents vs kids or teachers vs students or of the world in general. All we have to do is sit back and read, read, read an entertaining story about kids in a wizarding school. We aren’t preached at, we don’t have toothaches from too much sweetness in the story, we gag on an imaginary romance that we compare our current relationships to, we don’t read about guts and death, and we aren’t told that we need to rebel from the fascists.
Harry Potter is a nice break from what the trend in books is. They are a series of books that I can imagine reading to my kids someday. Something that I would like to pass down to the other generations; a repeave from all of the crap that is produced today. Maybe with these books our predecessors can forgive us for what passes for literature today.