Sunday, May 04, 2008

Harry Potter Addictions

I have a confession. It won't be news to my family, but to those who don't know me well, it might come as a bit of a shock. I am a die hard Harry Potter fan. I have all of the books, all of the movies, some of the cassette tapes, and some of the soundtrack CDs. I have read the books numerous times. I haven't read them in a few years, but I'm starting to have that Harry Potter urge again.

I first heard about the books from a radio interview. It sparked my interest, so I bought the first book to read to my children on a road trip. They balked and felt they were too old to be read to, but I persisted saying I would just read out loud for the youngest who couldn't read yet. By the time my voice gave out, all of the kids were hooked and begged me to keep reading. I told them my voice was too tired, so they asked me to drive and let my husband read to them. We all were hooked.

By the time we read the first book, the second was already close to publication, so we were able to go right in to the next book. From then on, we waited anxiously for each successive book to be published. Our neighbors invited my children to go with them to the midnight sales of the next book. When the movies came out, we went to the midnight showings because we couldn't wait to see them. If there was any disappointment in the movies, it was that they couldn't include everything from the book. Everything else about the movies was wonderful.

All of us read the books several times. The first book I bought was paper back, but it quickly wore out, so I began to buy the hard back books. Those too are showing wear after having been read several times by each family member. If you haven't read the books, I suggest you try reading out loud to someone. And try using different voices...seriously. :)

I also bought most of the books on cassette tape so that when I travel long distances I have something to occupy my time and help keep me awake. Those tapes have been life savers, and Jim Dale gives a masterful performance with his amazing variety of voices.

Once when I was in the grocery store, I overheard the checker talking with someone about Harry Potter. I spoke up and said that I was planning to go to the midnight movie. The checker informed me that the books were "of the devil". I told her that those who haven't read them have a misunderstanding about what they are about. I told her that some people think they are about devil worship or something, but they are just magic, similar to watching "Bewitched" on television. Her reply was, "Exactly!". This reminds me of a saying I used to tell my students when I was teaching at the missionary training center. I always taught them, "Ignorance leads to predjudice". If we aren't knowledgeable about a thing, we will develop predjudice towards it. It's sad that her preconceived notions will keep her from enjoying what I view to be some of the greatest children's books of all time.

Okay...where did I put that first book?


Fromagette said...

I worked in a book store in high school and was curious about this book that we kept selling out of. So, I began reading it during my breaks and before I was even halfway done, I bought it and took it home. Now, my whole family is in love with Harry Potter, even my engineer father who stated that nothing in the books was probable (duh!). I have to admit that I found the last few books rather dark and hard to read, but I have read them all and own each one in hardcover.

(By the way, if you like Harry Potter, you might be interested in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Absolutely hilarious and tons of fun to read aloud.)

Inside Stories said...

I'm addicted, too. I think JK Rowling is the most creative writer and these are classics. I discovered Harry Potter when I was working in a remedial reading class, before he was famous, and have read them over and over. I'm also addicted to the tapes by Jim Dale. He's wonderful! I have all but 2 and love to listen to them in the car. I'm also addicted to the soundtracks. Do you think we have all been bewitched? :0)

Nene said...

I am just finishing listening to the 6th HP book. It is how I have been able to get up every morning at 3:45 - I listen to Harry Potter over and over and over for 4 years - while I get ready for Seminary. I was thinking about it today and I decided that between reading and listening to the CDs I'll bet I have listened/read most of them about 10 times. I also have seen all kinds of adults - businessmen in suits, etc. reading Harry Potter in many airports. Makes you want to pass the guy and give him some kind of secret sign like "Yeah, I'm a Harry Potter fan too!" :0}

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I regret that I am not a fan of the books and I found the movies mediocre. Needless to say, millions of children disagree with me. Let's just put it down to a matter of taste. I agree with you though that there is nothing evil or satanic about the books anymore than Bewitched or Charmed.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Incidentally, the first character of your Chinese name is the same as my family name.

Max said...

Hey again,

Say what? You are a fan of Harry Potter!? Really? :O
lol now you caught me by surprise!!!

You never cease to amaze me and I am glad you don't lol :D!
I confess I am not a fan of Harry and his friends...I tried watching a movie and I fell asleep (perhaps because I am a mystic and I found the whole thing too basic lol). But the concept is interesting, I must admit.

Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us; this was good to know :D!


Looney said...

I have seen many Christian leaders wringing their hands over Harry Potter. I liked to compare Harry to Frodo with the young people and ask which was more of the kind of character that God wanted us to be.

Joseph said...

I think both Harry and Frodo were wonderful characters for kids to emulate. Harry put his friends first and was always loyal to what was right and true. He fought the war against evil, and won.

Looney said...

My observations were these:

Harry is the strongest character in the story. He is full of power, but just doesn't know what all he can do.

Frodo and the Hobbits are by far the weakest characters in the story. While others are doing the heavy fighting with all of their amazing powers, he simply perseveres in the task that he is called to do, but finally makes the biggest difference.

It is this contrast that I draw on and develop with the children.