Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter Boy Genius

The Harry Potter movie opens tomorrow, and I assume it will do well at the box office. In the world of books, the boy magician pulled off a remarkable feat: getting kids excited about reading. You can't dispute that regardless of what you think of the books. I haven't read them and have no desire to, but plenty of people did, including those who never read. That speaks volumes.

By all accounts, the books are "good." Not great, but "good." I could care less, however, because it got people lining up outside bookstores for each new volume. When's the last time you can remember that happening ... at a bookstore? Exactly. If "good" books get people this excited, imagine what would happen if they discovered "great" books.

I have heard some people blame the Harry Potter phenomenon on herd mentality. If these were movies instead of books, I would tend to agree. Books are an emotional investment, though. The herd doesn't have the patience to engage in that prolonged of a frenzy. I believe the people who stand in line, dress like the characters and can quote passages (and often do), are genuinely excited about the books. Since that's the case, I can't really poke fun at them, but can instead applaud them for being as open possible with their love of the written word. I thank you, and every person concerned with the future of books should thank you.

So, to all the Harry Potter fans: Thank you. Your love of this book restored some of my faith in humanity.

I'm still not reading them, though.

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