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I can't figure out the obsession with Harry Potter
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amother




Ruby
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 1:31 am
The romance has definitely been very incidental to me all the times I've read it, even when older. Let's face it, Harry's taste in girls is boring. Nothing to recommend them. My husband agrees.

Of course, Harry himself is kinda boring. Yet, I agree with what many others have said about the plot being very compelling.

The seventh book was my least favorite because Harry isn't at school. Kids love reading interesting stories that involve school. I sure did.
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youngishbear




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 1:39 am
amother [ Ruby ] wrote:
The romance has definitely been very incidental to me all the times I've read it, even when older. Let's face it, Harry's taste in girls is boring. Nothing to recommend them. My husband agrees.


Harry himself is quite boring lol. He doesn't ask obvious questions, though the fact that he was abused throughout his childhood and not allowed to ask questions surely contributed to that.

And off I go, analyzing the childhood traumas of a fictional character.

I also refused to read it throughout my early teens, mostly because I didn't like doing what everyone else was doing, but when I finally gave in, I was hooked almost from the first line.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

What an amazingly sarcastic line. To a girl who sneered at "normal," this writer seemed to be setting up the perfect antidote to boring normalcy.

I feel bad for people who missed getting into it in their teens, because it's never the same for adults who read it for the first time.
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amother




Seashell
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 1:56 am
I don't enjoy the series.
My husband and sons love it though, so don't hate me.
I'm less a plot person and more a character person, for those who can relate to what I'm saying. I read books mostly to "feel" along with the characters, so there are a lot of books I can't get into. I also enjoy humor. So yeah, books that are very emotional or very funny, I can read them all day every day- but most other books I just can't get into.
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 8:25 am
youngishbear wrote:
Harry himself is quite boring lol. He doesn't ask obvious questions, though the fact that he was abused throughout his childhood and not allowed to ask questions surely contributed to that.

And off I go, analyzing the childhood traumas of a fictional character.

I also refused to read it throughout my early teens, mostly because I didn't like doing what everyone else was doing, but when I finally gave in, I was hooked almost from the first line.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

What an amazingly sarcastic line. To a girl who sneered at "normal," this writer seemed to be setting up the perfect antidote to boring normalcy.

I feel bad for people who missed getting into it in their teens, because it's never the same for adults who read it for the first time.


And their son was the finest boy ever born.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 8:32 am
If you don't get it, that's fine. It's pure, silly escapism. Not everyone enjoys that.

Encouraging a child's imagination is priceless. Kids who can think outside of the box are the world's leaders in innovation, research, and tech. They become problem solvers, who can find creative solutions to problems that stump more rigid thinkers.

I call it "bubble gum for the brain." Real life can be tasteless sometimes, but it's necessary. Fiction can be fruity and delicious, even if there's no nutrients in it. I like a balance of both.

Most college students read several books at the same time, from history and psychology, to comic books. It uses many different parts of the brain, and helps prevent fatigue. Sort of like staring at one place for too long will give you a headache, but if you look around the room or go outside you'll feel better.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 8:32 am
Scotty wrote:
Maybe that’s just your personality. Contrary to what you feel, for many people fiction is a safe place to try new ideas: to mentally experiment with new thoughts, or challenge old thoughts in a way that’s less frightening because it’s “not real” (a concept Dumbledore himself mentions, IMO in the most masterful quote of the series: “just because it’s in your head, does it make it any less real?”) in fact Bilbliotherapy (and its modern counterpart, cinema-based therapy) was created because therapists discovered that using books and characters as springboards for real-life discussion made tackling challenging topics with their clients simpler and more successful. If we want to take it a step further, the entire concept of “visualization” could even be argued to be an offshoot of “fictional storytelling”, in which we therapeutically “tell ourselves a story” in which we experience success/act better/are wiser, and then with work and focus can make this fictional visualization become actualized reality. Personally, I find fiction to be both an escape and my most potent learning tool for change and growth, and keep fictional ideas and characters with me in my brain like portable old friends that are always available to offer support or challenge me on my weaknesses. If that sounds weird, well, we’re all different! there are plenty of people who, like you, neither enjoy fiction nor find any lasting value or meaning in it, the same way many people do not find the visualization process intuitive or helpful. That’s not bad, just an aspect of a different (and equally wonderful) personality. Perhaps you enjoy biographies or historically true accounts instead. Or not! Everyone is different. You like chocolate, I like vanilla. (Well, actually, peanut butter or bitter coffee, but you get the drift.)


Scotty, wherever you been?? Waiting for a new serial to start! Anything in the works?
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 8:44 am
youngishbear wrote:
Harry himself is quite boring lol. He doesn't ask obvious questions, though the fact that he was abused throughout his childhood and not allowed to ask questions surely contributed to that.

And off I go, analyzing the childhood traumas of a fictional character.

I also refused to read it throughout my early teens, mostly because I didn't like doing what everyone else was doing, but when I finally gave in, I was hooked almost from the first line.

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

What an amazingly sarcastic line. To a girl who sneered at "normal," this writer seemed to be setting up the perfect antidote to boring normalcy.

I feel bad for people who missed getting into it in their teens, because it's never the same for adults who read it for the first time.

The first Harry Potter book came out after I was married, and I totally enjoyed the series.

I think Harry's appeal is that he is a very relatable kid. He and his friends are overall good kids, with TV their hearts in the right places, but have normal flaws. The fact t that he has latent power is as surprising to him as everyone else, since he is so ordinary. That is something everyone can relate to.

I think the thing about the Harry Potter books that is so fascinating is that the author created a completely alternate universe but one that is familiar enough to us to seem like it could really be true. Everything muggle has a counterpart in the wizarding world, from the money system (including tellers in banks), to sports competitions, to teachers and school rules, to people of all personalities from the most obnoxious to the most loveable, to bad reporters, to bad government...the list is endless.

She even throws in wizarding history, to give us context. And it's all done without feeling forced..
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TranquilityAndPeace




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 9:01 am
I remember being away for Shabbos 18 years ago and reading my first Harry Potter book. The first one had come out a few years before when I was a busy young mom, and I’d heard the hype but never seen the books. I kept turning the pages, trying to see what everyone loved about the book. And I kept turning and turning, and got to the end without learning the appeal! It was the scorcers stone book - could it be because I hadn’t started with the first one?

And I’ve loved reading since I was very young, and really appreciate well written fiction. I think it’s hard for magic and fantasy and completely unrealistic concepts to draw me in?

Even when looking for TV or movies to hold my attention, I get bored when the storyline is unrealistic, hence, I think, un-relatable to me.

And I’m not a boring realist! I always like time travel, loved Back to the Future ages ago, but magic doesn’t speak to me...
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Ravenclaw




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:22 am
Nooooooo

You guys are killing me.
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Ravenclaw




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:25 am
healthymom1 wrote:
I’ve read books. I just don’t get the obsession. It’s fiction. What’s there to think about after the fact?? It doesn’t improve my life or view on life... it’s make believe. It’s entertainment for the moment. Then it passes.


Fiction is never just fiction.

It’s about the human experience, about pain and loss and love and the ultimate battle between good and evil. It’s about Life. It’s about connecting to something greater than yourself, to the collective unconscious, if you will.
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:27 am
Ravenclaw wrote:
Nooooooo

You guys are killing me.


Maybe it's because I belong in Slytherin?
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:28 am
Ravenclaw wrote:
Fiction is never just fiction.

It’s about the human experience, about pain and loss and love and the ultimate battle between good and evil. It’s about Life. It’s about connecting to something greater than yourself, to the collective unconscious, if you will.


This
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:33 am
southernbubby wrote:
Maybe it's because I belong in Slytherin?


I thought fluffy yellow chicks would be snake food... Gotta have a more Slytherin-like avatar if you want us to believe you Very Happy
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 10:51 am
cbsp wrote:
I thought fluffy yellow chicks would be snake food... Gotta have a more Slytherin-like avatar if you want us to believe you Very Happy


Don't be fooled by the yellow chicken Twisted Evil
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:00 pm
Ravenclaw wrote:
Fiction is never just fiction.

It’s about the human experience, about pain and loss and love and the ultimate battle between good and evil. It’s about Life. It’s about connecting to something greater than yourself, to the collective unconscious, if you will.

Yes this exactly.
I first read Harry Potter when I was 18-completely fell in love. The books talk about topics that are bigger than 11 year olds-Love, good and evil, sacrifice.
And Scotty-hello and welcome back!
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icedcoffee




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:16 pm
Agreed with amother periwinkle, the worldbuilding system is my favorite part, too. I first read Harry Potter in second grade and was immediately hooked. Like someone else said, it felt like MY series. I stayed up until midnight to go to the Borders new book release parties, I excitedly explained the plot to my bemused parents (a word I learned from Harry Potter because she uses it ALL THE TIME) and I really did grow up along with it.

And now when I reread it, it's like slipping back home into the world she created. Some of my favorite parts are the more mundane aspects, like the chapter when students get brochures for different careers and talk about the classes they need to take. It's simultaneously familiar, comforting, and magical.

As far as the importance of literature, I have a LOT of thoughts on that as an English major/teacher, but this quote from one of my favorite books sums up most of my feelings:

Quote:
Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.
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small bean




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:24 pm
Its funny I couldn't finish the first book. I didn't like it at all. I was in 6th grade, I think.

Maybe I have to read it now to appreciate it. My kids would love me to. I read tons of other books but I just cant being myself to read this.
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Crookshanks




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:27 pm
icedcoffee wrote:
Agreed with amother periwinkle, the worldbuilding system is my favorite part, too. I first read Harry Potter in second grade and was immediately hooked. Like someone else said, it felt like MY series. I stayed up until midnight to go to the Borders new book release parties, I excitedly explained the plot to my bemused parents (a word I learned from Harry Potter because she uses it ALL THE TIME) and I really did grow up along with it.

And now when I reread it, it's like slipping back home into the world she created. Some of my favorite parts are the more mundane aspects, like the chapter when students get brochures for different careers and talk about the classes they need to take. It's simultaneously familiar, comforting, and magical.

As far as the importance of literature, I have a LOT of thoughts on that as an English major/teacher, but this quote from one of my favorite books sums up most of my feelings:

Quote:
Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.

Yes exactly re the bolded.
And that quote is beautiful. What book is it from?
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amother




cornflower
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:29 pm
I'll admit growing up with the books as a pre-teen, I did love them. But when I tried revisiting them when I was older, I found I couldn't get into them.
I think Rowling created an incredibly captivating universe which has captured the imaginations of millions of children (and adults), however she is not a good writer. You only have to look at her adult books-casual vacancy-anyone managed to understand and get through that awful book?
She had a great idea but the execution was poor. She didn't plan out the series well enough and there are many plot holes and concepts that don't make sense, even in the 'rules' of her world.
And each book follows the same pattern-3 immature children by a series of luck and misfortune end up running into trouble and just luckily manage to escape. There's always the invention of a convenient magic trick that isn't really reused or replicated later on-think time-turners-talk about deux ex machina if you ask me.
Before you die hard fans descend upon me with an unforgivable curse, this is coming from someone who is a self confessed readaholic, and fantasy is one of my favourite genres, and in my experience, Rowling had a wonderful idea, and there was so much more scope in her world for spin-offs and other series. But what did she do, some funny play that made even less sense, and then assisted with writing a series of screen plays for a trilogy of films that also didn't add up.
There are so many other fantasy writers where the world building is just so well developed, she falls so short. Obviously I'm not holding her to Tolkein's standards, but there are many other series out there that are better written and thought out.
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southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, May 06 2021, 12:30 pm
small bean wrote:
Its funny I couldn't finish the first book. I didn't like it at all. I was in 6th grade, I think.

Maybe I have to read it now to appreciate it. My kids would love me to. I read tons of other books but I just cant being myself to read this.


Well it sure beats "The Hunger Games" which is big with 6th grade through teens.
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