Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Harry Potter

I know it's been a few weeks since my last post. I recently became consumed by Harry Potter. I originally read the first book when it came out and didn't like it very much (I know, people told me I was crazy and had no taste). When I got around to seeing the first movie, I thought it was okay. I ended up seeing all the movies as they came out due to the excitement of my friends and they got better and better. I slowly became more and more of a fan with the release of each movie.

A couple of months ago, Matt decided he wanted to sit down and read all the books. I thought that sounded like fun, so I let him get started before I took the plunge. Seven books later I have to admit I am a huge fan. As good as the movies are, the books add so much more depth to the story as a whole. One of the things I love is how connected all of them are. Key parts of the seventh book, for example, draw from the earlier books (even going back to the first and second). We had a little marathon last weekend and watched movies 1-5, and I was left wanting to see the rest of the story and felt like I needed to read the last two books again. I've had dreams featuring all sorts of characters - from Harry, Ron and Hermione to Snape and Lord Voldemort...even Hagrid and Madame Maxine.

There is only one thing I don't like about the Harry Potter books: the way they are marketed. These are NOT children's stories. Maybe the first one would be okay for an older child to read, but from there they get scarier and darker. I see no harm in adults enjoying a brilliantly written story -- but the content is much too intense for children. Why are they sold in the children's section of all bookstores?? I know I'm not a parent yet, but I can't imagine giving this series to my child to read. J.K. Rowling wrote a fantastic story about good wizards and bad wizards that live in a world like ours outside of our realm of sight (we are muggles after all), but the reader needs to understand the distinction between a story and reality before letting this seven-book series consume their life.

If you haven't read the books or seen the movies, I would highly recommend it. For those of you with limited time, the movies are very true to the story and would be a good substitute if you don't have a couple of weeks to dedicate to reading the books, although the books are much better than the movies. Be warned - these books are very difficult to put down and highly addictive. I already want to read them again...


  1. "For those of you with limited time, the movies are very true to the story and would be a good substitute..."

    A better substitute would be the audio books. I don't actually "read" books much, but I listened to the entire series while driving, cleaning, packing, moving, traveling, etc. They're unabridged, and read by Jim Dale (in the US version) who does different voices for all characters (which even stay consistent across the whole series).

  2. That's true, too. That would be a good middle substitute for people that don't have time to sit down and read, but have the time to listen =)