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Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #61
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    When fishing, never try to hook and pull the fish with the first bite. I am more worried with the destiny after the first reading, the continuity than anything else. I do not see 50 years old people reading HP (those who read it with 10), so what will fill the needs of this reader and how for 40 he kept reading?
    There actually are a surprising amount of older people that read the Potters. The publishers even published a set with more "mature" covers to appeal to an older audience.

    I remember going on the public transit to classes, and seeing the people, all on the subway reading the books; they weren't kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    There actually are a surprising amount of older people that read the Potters. The publishers even published a set with more "mature" covers to appeal to an older audience.

    I remember going on the public transit to classes, and seeing the people, all on the subway reading the books; they weren't kids.
    no,no, you misunderstood me. I do not mean those reading HP now with 50 years, but those who are reading it now and will have to keep reading it for 40 years with the same passion. I do not see that happening.

  3. #63
    Registered User Joreads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    no,no, you misunderstood me. I do not mean those reading HP now with 50 years, but those who are reading it now and will have to keep reading it for 40 years with the same passion. I do not see that happening.

    I agree with you on this point JCamilo. I love the books and have read them all but I can not see myself reading them again. They are great books for what they are entertainment.

  4. #64
    Registered User Leabhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    I am puzzled by the rhetoric that goes around without any real logical proof, which basically says, "they read Potter first, and then went on to read other stuff" but doesn't justify the fact that for thousands of years, people went on to read other stuff without there being a Potter.
    For thousands of years only a small part of society was even literate, so you don't have any logical proof yourself. There are obviously more people reading today, literacy is very high. It wasn't half as high even a hundred and some years ago. That's a fact. Its also a fact that popular authors, Stephen King, Dan Brown, Koontz and the like write most popular books and the books people who don't read much read. It whats people who don't even own a bookcase have sitting around. If these people happen to have a child who reads these books as well, he/she could request more books and go on to actually read more than his parents, due simply to Stephen F'in King. I am puzzled that this is even hard to understand.

    Anyway, this obviously doesn't mean King, Rowling, etc are very good, but it means that people from small towns, like myself, who wouldn't of read otherwise, end up reading because of JK Rowling, Stephen King, and the other popular garbage. If it weren't for the popularity of these authors, a lot of people wouldn't even read at all except for maybe the newspaper. Some people don't read more than other books like them, and some people go on to read better books. It happens, it happened, I've seen it happen. Wheres your "logical proof" that it doesn't?
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    I am 61 and I love the Potter books and the movies made from them. I think they are timeless and quite frankly are too violent to be regarded as children's books. I can only see that being the case because the characters the story is most connected to are youths but so what? RK Rowling has a great imagination and her books have sold more than any other books. Give her credit and if you don't like them then don't read them. Better is a matter of taste. Some of the so called "better" books are boring with too much about descriptions and drag on. This is why I have not read the Historian yet. Appears to be far too long.

  6. #66
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollidew View Post
    I am 61 and I love the Potter books and the movies made from them. I think they are timeless and quite frankly are too violent to be regarded as children's books. I can only see that being the case because the characters the story is most connected to are youths but so what? RK Rowling has a great imagination and her books have sold more than any other books. Give her credit and if you don't like them then don't read them. Better is a matter of taste. Some of the so called "better" books are boring with too much about descriptions and drag on. This is why I have not read the Historian yet. Appears to be far too long.
    The Historian isn't a "better" book the way most literature-people see things, just so you know.

    It's actually amazing now that I think about it - the book seems to have drifted away from my memory, and I never hear it mentioned, as if it never existed, yet it was published in 2005, that's 3 years, and it already seems dead. Woah!
    Last edited by JBI; 10-21-2008 at 12:48 AM.

  7. #67
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    First of all... Welcome to LitNet Mollidew. I hope you won't be scared off but you really have jumped into the middle of a fray. I'm not certain... in spite of my own admitted elitism... if I fully agree with JBI. Of course I think the Harry Potter books are grossly overrated considering how good (or bad, as the case may be) they are. However... I'm not sure as to what their impact will be upon the reading habits of fans. There have been cultural phenomenons of a like manner in the past, and personally, I doubt that the Rowling phenomena will in any way prove itself timeless. When I was a child I remember needing to reserve Charlie and the Chocolate Factory months ahead of time. I thought that Jaws would never stop playing at the local theater... and before my time there were the Beatles. The fact that I grew up with each of these and loved them never prevented me from reading more... and eventually better books... seeking out better films (although admittedly Jaws is a pretty damn good movie), and maturing in my musical tastes to Miles Davis, Mozart, and Bach. Indeed, I might note that my beginnings in reading included a great many works that were far from being classics... including Fun with Dick and Jane (yes! we actually read that!). The reality is that serious literature is an acquired taste and whether we like it or not few will ever move from Harry Potter to a voluntary and enthusiastic reading of Shakespeare and Proust, but I'm doubtful that this will change greatly if the same readers were to start with Huckleberry Finn and Through the Looking Glass.

    Having said this much, I disagree with any of the notions of aesthetic relativity... the idea that Rowling or Stephen King or any number of other mediocre writers are in any equal to a real "classic" or culturally "important" or relevant because of their sales figures... or if we look at them in the right way... quality being nothing more than a matter of taste. Popularity has nothing to do with merit, and everything to do with filling a certain niche at the right time (and marketing... in today's culture). There are great writers who were virtually ignored and there are great writers who were very successful (Dickens, Scott...).

    I'm rather amused by some of the comments by those in defense of the Potter novels... slamming Dickens, Shakespeare, and other classics for their weak characters (a comment best ignored)... or for their excessive description... This comment always reminds me of that scene in Amadeus when the Emperor suggests that Mozart's latest opera is really something new... but it has too many notes. Simply snip a few and it'll be perfect. It's intriguing that one gets the exact opposite from those with limited experience in the visual arts when it comes to painting. I've never heard someone complain about "too much detail" or suggest that the artist should have simplified things or been more suggestive and less literal. Again, this is a discussion we have had several times already, and it grows tiresome. Then, as now, my position would simply be to state that some artists are more concerned about lush description... others want a crisp, concise writing. Neither manner is better than the other.

    Having said my piece I will go back to my elitist corner where I most certainly won't be reading trash out of some misguided notion that to be really "well-read" I must read the "good, the bad, and the ugly". I can certainly understand JBI's frustration. I feel the same when I recognize the talentless hacks that have achieved recognition and even stardom as opposed to any number of far greater artists, poets, novelists, musicians. But I'm done rambling... I'm tired and need to get up early tomorrow.
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  8. #68
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Some other food for thought - looking at the Toronto public library, and counting copies of books, they have

    165 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone, with less than a half-dozen holds

    and 542 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly hallows, with 54 holds, and around 200 copies lent out.

    The publishing distance is 11 years.

    Meaning that within 11 years, the demand for a Potter book went from way high, to a very select few (I assume the rest of their coppies they simply just sell off for dirt cheap).

    I think, though this is rather flimsy data, that the number of people reading the Potters, and rereading the Potters is going down significantly. People are seeming to read these books, and simply moving on, and not staying.

    Of course, this is borrowing books, not buying them; but still I just wanted to show the gap between the last and the first, and the lack of reread interest given to the books.

  9. #69
    Registered User Joreads's Avatar
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    JBI can you clarify something. Have people placed them on hold because they are all out at the moment?? Just asking because that is the way that it works here

  10. #70
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    Okay i'm going to mention a thing or two about how things work in the book industry. When a new book by a popular Author comes out, of course you sell more than you would a year later. In the Case of J.K.Rowling, she has a large fan base who were all demanding a copy of the book at the same time, hence why she went on to sell so much in so little a time. It would be insane to expect the same amount of sales continuously. The Market demand then slows down, it slowly leaves the charts, but the books are still in demand, so they continue to be printed, and sold. Thats what makes them best sellers. 11 years on, and the first book is still selling as newer generations are buying them to read.
    And its not just the case of J.K.Rowling. There are many other authors that would sell a lot of books in their first week they are on shelves. Marion Keyes for example, although not as big out side of Ireland, we sold approx 2000 copies of her latest one in its first week.
    But then there is another side to it all. There are books that get deem best books of 2008 etc that do well in their first couple of months and then just fall from the shelves due to lack of or no demand. The Dan Brown books arent selling like they did, but then he hasnt written a book in over four years, so the interest has gone. J.K. Rowling will keep writing and as long as she does, people will read her books. Enid Blyton is finally coming back onto shelves because her books are fashionable again. If there is no demand for an author, their books will stop being printed.
    And dont forget that most books will have two main runs in the industry. When they come out first as trade paperback or hard back, go off sale for a few months and then come back as small paperbacks. A lot of the time, if they where popular and in demand, they will end up in the bestselling charts twice.
    I said it before and i'll say it again, those books will remain in demand, they same way Roal Dahl is.
    Last edited by Niamh; 10-21-2008 at 06:52 AM.
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  11. #71
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    A couple of personal statements.

    1) I eventually do plan to re-read the Harry Potter series. The reason mostly is I never got to read it as an actual continuous series with no books in-between. So I have no idea if I represent other Potter fans, but I certainly would like to re-read the series at some point in the future.

    2) I am in fact someone who went from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series to reading the Classics. True, this is a bit of an oversimplification as I still read Fantasy and Sci-fi alongside the classics. Not to mention the first "classic" that taught me to appreciate literature, the one that made me finally understand what literature was for and what it could do beyond simply entertain was Philip Roth's "Goodbye, Columbus." But still the fantasy novels made sure that I kept reading and enjoyed it so that I was in fact prepared for Roth's novella, which then led me onto other books.
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  12. #72
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    I am actually quite glad Tamora Pierce came up, I remembered last night that in that she deviated in her writing style post the Harry Potters, writing shorter series with longer books for instance The Trickster books was a pair as compared to the Alanana books which came out in a quartet. Anyway in the acknowledgements at the end of the second book Trickster's Queen she writes and I quote "Aly's story is a pair of books instead of a quartet thanks to J.K. Rowling ( I haven't met her!), who taught adults that American kids will read thicker books, which means I don't need four books to tell a complete story."


    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Some other food for thought - looking at the Toronto public library, and counting copies of books, they have

    165 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone, with less than a half-dozen holds

    and 542 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly hallows, with 54 holds, and around 200 copies lent out.

    The publishing distance is 11 years.

    Meaning that within 11 years, the demand for a Potter book went from way high, to a very select few (I assume the rest of their coppies they simply just sell off for dirt cheap).

    I think, though this is rather flimsy data, that the number of people reading the Potters, and rereading the Potters is going down significantly. People are seeming to read these books, and simply moving on, and not staying.

    Of course, this is borrowing books, not buying them; but still I just wanted to show the gap between the last and the first, and the lack of reread interest given to the books.
    I need to explain here how public library stock control works now I think. Ok basically nowadays while major pity alot of public libraries stock is controled by the suppliers and of course market factors. Public libraries need to keep their customers by whatever means possible and if this means that they have to insure a realtivly short waiting period for books that they can predict will be in high demand for a short period then they will over buy- mostly suppliers cut them very good deals on these books to make this possible. Take for example the other day I was doing a reservation for a customer on a book that wasnt going to be published for another 3 months now so far we only have 5 copies on order but this woman was the 37th person on the waiting list which means the stock manger may very well up the order to around 55 copies so that there is usually a copy hanging around if a customer comes in a wants a copy instantly. When the Jacqueline Wilson comes out we usually have a waitinglist of well over 100 kids months in advance so we about 150 books and for the first year you never see them on the shelves, eventually they start trickling back in by which time at least 10% of them are no longer fit for use and are scrapped instantly and then over the next 3-4 years they are gradually culled to make room for more such is the way of public libraries, its the only way they can afford to stay in business unless people start leaving them money in their wills.

    Now I gave up on the Harry potters after the 5th book mostly because Im not very good with long series and I read the 4th on first ( I couldnt afford to buy books when they first came out and the4th book was the first I could get my hands on at a library when I eventually had access to the library) but I can tell you that while have worked my way through loads of classics, the first grown up book I read was Colin Forbes' The Sisterhood and when it comes down to it 'the classics' are just as much tripe filled as the modern best sellers , which is why I can never understand people who wont try the classics because they are classics and must be hard and boring or wont try modern best sellers or chicklit because it rubbish, there are no new stories the only real difference I have ever been able to see is that age the setting and the language and I suppose the cultural context. But a romance about 2 people who misunderstand eac other is still a romance about 2 people who misunderstand each other whether it was written by Austen and has a grave black and gold leather cover or was written by Sandra Brown and has a jazzy bright pink cover with a couple falling all over each other.

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  13. #73
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joreads View Post
    JBI can you clarify something. Have people placed them on hold because they are all out at the moment?? Just asking because that is the way that it works here
    No, it counts as a hold until the person goes and picks up his copy from the library. Most people, I think, by now, order their books from the website, and therefore just go and pick them up. the number of check outs is like 3 or something.

    Honestly, what's with everyone and the classics. I want to here someone say that from Harry Potter they went on to read good contemporary fiction, both children's and adult.You can't trust a reader who only reads classics.

    And for the stocking of the shelves, I know libraries stock many-many copies at the beginning. Deathly Hallows was stocked at over 1000! when it first come out. The point I was trying to make, is slowly but surely, the books will only be left taking up space, until they are completely forgotten.

    Pride and Prejudice, for example, has 149 books with 68 available, and 7 holds, meaning 81 people are currently reading, and 7 are waiting for their turn to read (I.E. the book to go to the library and pick up their novel). This is just one copy of the book though, the library has several different publications, and they all have holds. Unlike the Potters, this book, for instance, is an evergreen, and probably will never drop in popularity. I was just trying to show the difference between popularity at the launch of a Potter, verses after several years.
    Last edited by JBI; 10-21-2008 at 12:04 PM.

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    Just to add my own bit of information, I thought the Potter series was very enjoyable. I am forty years old and I have taught literature for fifteen years. I am an avid reader of everything! Taking into consideration the books are for junior age readers, I had a great time reading them all. Sure there may be some inconsistent parts or weak plots, but if we read a lot of any specific author's works (especially ones with recurring characters) we will find the same mistakes. Just look at Conan Doyle. As for its place in history, I can't imagine it becoming a great classic. It will probably fall into the same place as Madeleine L'engle's A Wrinkle in Time, great readable stories, but not The Count of Monte Cristo. Let's not over analyze this whole thing.

  15. #75
    Serious business Taliesin's Avatar
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    I loved Harry Potter when I was around 12-16. I constantly reread them.
    In this summer I tried to read a Harry Potter book in German. Turned out I could do it. I hadn't had the patience to finish other books in German as my German isn't very good because it is my second foreign language.
    Now I managed to buy one HP book in French (my third foreign language which I know even less than German). Again, I could read it.
    Now I just need to to get my hands over a HP book in, say, Latvian or Swahili - because if I can read them in those languages I know that reading HP in some language doesn't have anything to do with knowing or not knowing the language - then I just have learned the series by heart.
    If you believe even a half of this post, you are severely mistaken.

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