Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Confession...and a bit (but only a bit) of a rant

I am indeed a Harry Potter fan. I have all the books (this makes my third First Edition too) and I think the stories are rollicking good yarns. I also have the movies (so far) on DVD.

Contrary to some of the things I've read, adult Harry Potter fans are not a bunch of TV-watchers who can't read anything more demanding than a comic strip. I read extensively, an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, I read almost all the "classics" as I was a precocious reader and had a reading age well above my chronological one.

I think J.K. Rowling's books can be enjoyed by both children and adults because they can be read on different levels - just as you don't have to be an "expert" on art to enjoy the Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo's David.

I think anything that encourages people (especially children) to read more is a good thing. Surely books that entertain and give pleasure to millions should be praised rather than slated. We can get too precious about what constitutes a good book - which is why the Yarn Harlot gets frustrated when her husband tells people she is a best -selling author. They're all admiration until they find out she writes about knitting. Apparently, this isn't "real" writing.

5 comments:

Feather on a Wire said...

I think there is an element of the green eyed goddess out there in the literature world. A bit of 'why didn't I do that?'.
Just like in quilting the best award to win is viewer's choice in books the people vote with their credit cards.
I'm waiting for the paperback. I can read those in bed whilst hardbacks are just too heavy.

joyce said...

I agree that there is a lot of jealousy involved when I hear criticism of the Harry Potter books. As an elementary teacher I spent years trying to get kids to enjoy reading and not think of it as a chore. Harry would have helped. I know Tintin did.

Ali Honey said...

O yes I do so agree. I think I read the comments you refer to Shirley and just like with wine I think their are snobs out there who try to tell us what we should like. How boring! Anything that has kids reading is GREAT!
I remember finding it difficult to find books that would capture boy's imagination when I was teaching. I love to see kids enjoying the books and the movies and I proudly walk into the theatre to see the movies ( and so do heaps of adults! )GO HARRY!

Carol said...

Hi Shirley as you know from reading my blog I totally agree with you as a huge Harry potter fan myself. I was stunned to here a guest on a radio station here say adult Harry Potter fans were uneducated, didn't have a life and probably spent their days in front of daytime telly. What's daytime telly?

We had two different versions of the HP book cover the one you have and the one you see on my blog is the adult version which speaks volumes doesn't it - excuse the pun.

There is also a special edition but I didn't get that one. Mine was £5 from Asda and the special one was £22 or something from Amazon.

Teri said...

Hi Shirley,
Obviously I didn't hear the radio station comments, but, I agree with everyone else. There are so many snobs out there that think you should be bored to the point of drooling, or you don't get anything out of a movie or book. I also have read all of the Harry Potter books several times, and I loved them. I have enjoyed watching the kids grow up in the movies. I have read books all of my life. I'm one of those people that love to read everything..From history books to cereal boxes!! I never really looked at Harry P. as being a children's book. I wss thinking about it today when I heard someone on the radio talk about how their 8 year old read the first book and had nightmares ending up in their parents bed. They are pretty scary for young kids. Voldemort in the movies is really scary looking.
Anyway, how many uneducated people will sit down and read an 800 page book in 2 days?
Love your blog!!