Stacy's Place on Earth
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Thursday, July 19, 2007:
The next big thing?
Over the next few days I think anyone who is breathing and conscious will no doubt be bombarded with blogs and articles and interviews and news programs about one of the most visible literary production ever to be produced: the Harry Potter series. So far, the first 6 books have sold about 325 million copies in 64 languages - that is just mindboggling. Yet for a reader, it is a magical thing to have a book/series make such an impact on people. The thought that this story has gotten people, who might not ordinarily pick up a book, to not only read the first one but all the sequels as well is just simply amazing. Definitely a very good thing.
I was just reading an article myself about J. K. Rowling and her feelings about writing the 7th and final book in her Harry Potter series, and how she felt that writing those final words was "like a bereavement". And though I've only recently jumped on the bandwagon, I couldn't help but feel quite a bit sad about the whole thing, which surprised me. I mean, I'd avoided it for years, not intentionally since I've had 4 of the books for quite some time - 2 or 3 years I think - yet never read a single one until last weekend, after seeing all 5 movies. To know it's going to end in just a few short days makes me feel kinda...empty. It's the end of an era, one in which we'll probably never see again.
Just what was it about these books that created such a sensation around the world? After reading the first book, which I liked a lot, I had to wonder when the fervor started: was it after book one, or was it later? How did this particular book - about an ordinary boy who turned out to be a wizard - capture millions of fans?
Doesn't it make you wonder how such a thing can happen? To be honest, Harry Potter was not particularly ground-breaking; in fact the series dealt with many issues that all of us go through at one time or another - not fitting in, death, crushes, making mistakes, jealousy, feeling unwanted, doing the right thing - and maybe it's those very elements that resonated so strongly with fans that it just snowballed into the phenomenon it is today. All I know is that come Saturday, I will feel a bit melancholy knowing that Harry Potter's adventures will be coming to an end, and where it leads is anyone's guess. (I'm pretty much convinced that I'll find out the spoilers - whether I want to or not - long before I get my hands on that 7th book).
It also makes me wonder what, if anything, will once again have the world all abuzz like these books. Some things are universal, and obviously Harry Potter spoke to millions and has made a lasting impression that can't be ignored. I think it will be impossible to ever replace the impact this series had on the world. So while I get that all good things must come to an end - that's part of what makes them so great - it still leaves me feeling a little brokenhearted. No matter what though, Harry Potter will live on in our hearts long after that last book is read.

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  1. I haven't read them yet--I'm waiting like you did. I guess I should start, but my daughter is too scared to read them :(

    I'd like to be the next big thing please. LOL. Can you imagine?

  2. I'm a little sad about the end too! I didn't get into the books right away. I just got tired of hearing a friend of mine talk about it over and over, so I bought the first book. Then I went back and bought books 2, 3, and 4 (the only other books out at the time) because I was hooked.

    I'm probably going to have to wait to read the book since I'm so busy. I'm sure that I'll be hearing spoilers too (especially from my students!), but that's life!

  3. I love HP but I do know that there are better books out there. Still, I'm a total fangirl. LOL.

  4. To tell you the truth I don't know what it is about these books that make them so special but I believe they are. They've captured my like no other series ever has as I'm sure they have tons of other people, young and old. It doesn't seem to matter. Everyone loves Harry Potter! I'm really excited for the last book but I'm also very sad. Like you said its the end of an era and I don't know if anything will ever take its place. I've grown so fond of the characters and their story.

  5. I think even if you've never read the books, you can't deny the incredible impact they've had around the world. I love that it's about a group of three friends who start out as just kids, then grow up before our very eyes. Stuf we can all pretty much relate to.

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