Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minority report

What would a blog be without a HP post?

I admit it, I have not read, nor do I plan to read, any of the Harry Potter books. With that said, I am curious, what is it about these books that have caused reading to become popular again, especially among the youth?

I know the ms was rejected several times by agents, editors have commented that they would never have guessed this type of popularity, and even some authors have stumbled over her writing style. Yet, she is highly successful.

So, why? Those of you who have read the books, what made you put life on hold this past weekend and neglect everyone and everything while you devoured book seven?


Cindy said...

Hi Carol:

I haven't bought or read the book yet, I'm waiting for softcover and I think I might spring for a boxed set of the whole series, sometime. In the meantime, I'll read my little sister's.

For me, it's the power of JK Rowling's imagination. I want to cheer, sometimes, reading the stuff that she's come up with. And I almost always wish I'd thought of it first. (S) She doesn't pull her punches, either, to protect her children readers, which I do respect. Children are, IMHO and including my own, overprotected in many ways these days. Everything has to come out right, everybody wins, nobody EVER dies, and the bully always learns his lesson.

I once rolled my eyes and wondered aloud why a grownup would read HP. Then I did read it, and now I think you should, too! (big G)

Why not?

Carol said...

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for commenting.

Interesting. It almost sounds like it is a story that combines both youth and adult qualities. Blending reality of life with the innocense and curiosity of childhood. This would explain how she is able to capture both audiences.

Maybe they'll come out with a boxed-set, softcover edition in December. Poor Santa, if they do!

Susan Adrian said...


Because they're GOOD. Well-written, real characters with so much depth that you expect to run into them on the street--and as Cindy said, she doesn't spare them a bit, so you never can predict what's going to happen. The world is fully imagined, intricately plotted, and satisfying.

Shed the preconceptions and go read the first one--really. :)

Carol said...

Hi Susan,

LOL. Too bad Miss Rowling's will never see this. I think she would be impressed with your enthusiasm.

I think you might be on to the key to all good books that stay with you. Characters that are real. I think we have moved past the age of perfect characters who are never harmed.

Susan Adrian said...


LOL! Well, I'm only about 150 pages in, but it's living up to all the others. My husband thinks it's all phooey and hype, too--and I was trying to tell him how very rare it is for an author to carry off 7 books in a series where every one is really good. Almost impossible, actually. :) I respect her greatly for that.

Jen said...


I was a bit of a skeptic, too. I didn't start reading until after the first movie came out, which I bought on a whim, wanting to know what all the hubbub was about. It's a decision I'm very happy I made!

For me, the books are just plain ole' fashioned fun. They incapsulate _every_ fantasy you have as a kid -- from being able to do magic, to fly, to being plucked from your ordinary life to find out you're someone who's special and that you matter in the world. In her books, anything is possible.

Add to that wonderful characters and writing that just sucks you in, and there you have it. Personally, I think you should at least try The Sorcerer's Stone -- be it the movie or the book. I was sucked right into the fantastic world she created. To be honest, I felt like a kid again. Anything that can make adults feel like that, is a true wonder. :)


Carol said...

Hi Jen,

I think you have something there. Old fashioned fun. In a day when imaginations are dusty, she creates characters who rely on inherent talents and skills.

I like the thought that she takes the ordinary and makes them special.

This confirms a thought I've always had. Good stories always start with the basics.

Thanks. These comments have been very enlightening.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

I haven't read them either, nor will I. Even if they are great reading, it's not my cuppa Earl Grey. But there's been more to HP than a good read, I suspect. It hit a moment in time, became a brand, and has to have had some of the best (and most cynical) marketing for any product ever...the 'adult covers' for the same book with a cover for the children/ya market - what was that all about?? Extraordinary hype, and I'm afraid that put me off the whole thing.
Well done JKR, but even more well done, Bloomsbury...
(off to tuck my own cynicism away now ;)
J x

Carol said...

Hi Jane,
I agree. Great marketing strategy in her camp and although these books aren't for my taste either, she has hit on the right vein for everyone else.

While at the gym, I asked a mom whose son is reading these books, what's the fascination? She couldn't explain it, but said her son is completely mesmerized with the world she builds. She's gotta be doing something right to keep them coming back.