7.21.2011

Friday Confessions: As usual, I'm about ten years behind

Currently there is a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sitting on my desk. See. Proof.
Some of you may be amazed by this alone but that’s not really the confession part of this post.

More to the point is that I’ve never read this book or any of the other Harry Potter books. It was first published when I was in the thick of high school and I didn’t do much in high school except fret, and sleep, and do homework, and watch Roswell. I was too into hot aliens to even think about pre-pubescent wizards. Jason Behr. Ahem.

So I didn’t know these books were in existence until I was a college undergrad, now in the thick of living on my own and being an English major. You’d think that as an English major I would be all over that Harry stuff no problem. But people were being so annoying about these books. They said I had to read them. It would change my life. I would start having fantastic magical wizardy dreams as opposed to boring dreams. I would be complete.

Well I didn’t much care for people telling me I had to read something in addition to the required Hemingway, Austen, Whitman, Dickens, James, Keats, Milton, Poe, Shakespeare, Spenser, Thoreau, Twain, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Blake, Bronte, Browne, Browning, Burns, Chaucer, Conrad, Hurston, Plath, Dickinson et cetera.

My eyes were blurry enough as is. So no. I didn’t read Harry Potter. I didn’t even WANT to. But this isn’t my ultimate confession either.

What I really want to admit is that I finally told myself just last week that it’s okay to read these books now. My brain is ready and the heart is willing. But this book (thanks library!) has been circling around various surfaces of my house and I just can’t get myself to read it. Even with all the hype. Even with all the acclaim. Even when critics say this is a series for the ages.

Here’s my problem. Besides the fact that I'd rather be sleeping, I think there’s a very real possibility that I will not like them (because I’m a difficult person and I have shifty eyes), that I will be disappointed. Then when anyone asks if I’ve read Potter I’ll have to say yes but I just won’t be able to keep my mouth shut and I’ll holler, “They weren’t that great!” There will be gasps. And awful heart palpitations. Then I will be shunned by all of society.

Well, I don’t need that kind of trouble friends.

I guess I need to go do some soul searching. Will update on the situation later.

6 comments:

The Atomic Mom said...

They are really good books. Well written, good use of language, way better than Austin and Hemmingway (and ohmygosh am I glad I was never an English major!) Might I suggest books-on-CD/tape. They are read by Jim Dale and he is FANTASTIC! I love his interpretations of the books.

Kristina P. said...

I haven't read them. My husband owns all of them. They aren't really my kind of genre.

Ryan said...

The only thing that is good about this series is the hype. It was the hype that got kids, who maybe would have never picked up a book for pleasure, to pick one up and read.

I admit there were times when I was reading where I wanted to find out what happened next and I enjoyed reading them, but that doesn't make the books good. They had serious flaws which ultimately leave a sour taste in my mouth. Most of these are little things when looked at separately and I'd sound even more like a fantasy novel nerd if I went into them with any detail, but the biggest one is that Rowling has no concept of good vs evil. All of her characters are either good or evil, their motivations are simply: "I want to be good" or "I want to be evil". One might argue that it's a kids book and it should be simple, but I disagree, kids should learn that people aren't black and white.

Anyway, if you do read them, don't bother reading past the first three. If you want good fantasy read the Wheel of Time Series, or anything by Brandon Sanderson. If you want to read almost the exact same plot as Harry Potter, but actually well written, read Ender's Game.

Keri said...

They're good and fun. They're not life-changing (although I do occasionally have some nice wizardy dreams). I picked them up after I had read one too many dark, depressing novels. It was a good mental break.

Elizabeth said...

I've never read them either. Still undecided if I will ever read them.

Marc and Rainee said...

You're not the only one that never read the book. You're also not the only one that has no interest in them. So I can understand! I read them all and I enjoyed them. Well, more than movies I think. Maybe I shouldn't say that until I have seen HP72. I couldn't because of how expensive movie tickets are and closed captioned weren't available yet. Lame...

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