The fifth book in the Harry Potter series releases tomorrow. I must admit that I haven’t read any of the books so far. Have seen both the movies – the first was okay, while I didn’t like the second one much. I am very much a “Lord of the Rings” person. Of course, that’s no reason not to read Harry Potter, but somehow I have stayed away. I missed the initial Harry Potter wave because I was too immersed in IndiaWorld. The impression I had was also that it is more for kids (and I was a grown-up) then. But again, that has not prevented me from reading books like “The Little Prince”. Something about Harry Potter kept me away, and then it was too late. Since I had not read the initial books, I didn’t read the later books.
I really think I should get rid of these biases and read it, and then make a judgement about it.
Meanwhile, two links to read:
– TIME cover story on JK Rowling: “[Bravery] is, as Rowling attests from the first chapter of the first book, the virtue that cannot be faked: you either walk into the woods full of giant spiders, or you don’t. Stand up to bullies, or hide from them. Hang on to hope, or surrender to fear. She addresses children as though they know as much as or more than she does about the things that matter. Kids like the characters she has created, Harry above all, not because he is fantastic but because he is familiar. Rowling, they say, gets everything right, writes as though she knows what it is to be 13 years old and anxious or shocked at discovering what you can actually do if you try. Maybe she finds her way straight into the hearts of children because she never left in the first place.”
– Economist on the merchandising: “The process is self-generating: each book sets the stage for a film, which boosts book sales, which lifts sales of Potter products. Globally, the first four Harry Potter books have sold some 200m copies in 55 languages; the two movies have grossed over $1.8 billion at the box office.”