July, 21st 2007

Harry Potter. I just don't get it

– Liz Mair

OK, I'll come clean about it and publicly. I am not a Harry Potter fan. Not that I've ever actually read Harry Potter (because, well, I'm 29, not 8, so I don't see why I would).

So, scenes like this are just baffling to me.

Maybe I don't understand the Harry Potter phenomenon because I've never been a big fiction reader (I can probably count the number of fiction books I've read and actually enjoyed on two hands, and that's after spending four years of high school intensively-- and I mean intensively-- reading fiction and non-fiction alike, and spending two years of University studying French and Italian literature). But I don't get why adults (and I think the people in this picture are older than fifteen, most probably) are into books about a boy wizard who attends a weird boarding school in the hinterlands of England.

I don't have any objection to Harry Potter on content grounds-- well, OK, I was never into Dungeons and Dragons and so on, so I think the subject matter is a little bit lame, I'll grant you, but I don't think that Harry Potter fanaticism is bad because, say, it's going to lead to rampant Satanism or somesuch. But Harry Potter as a major, worldwide, transgenerational fan phenomenon, on a par with the Beatles? That just freaks me out.

Everyone deserves a bit of fun, and if this is the fun that people seek, then so be it. I just find it odd that so many adults revel in reading literature designed for people at least half their age.


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