Wednesday 6 November 2013

Why I love Harry Potter

    JK Rowling often gets a bad press. Not all the time obviously – I do believe her books have, generally, sold rather well – but for every good review praising her achievements out come the Rowling bashers too.
    Let's not forget that the Harry Potter series is aimed at children, which immediately seems to annoy people when adults enjoy reading them too. I never really understood this opinion, as if any adults who enjoy the stories are therefore missing out on great 'grownup' literature (not to be confused with 'adult' literature, which deserves a blog of its own probably judging by the popularity of Mills & Boon).
A truly shabby waxwork in Prague
that had blue eyes and no wand
    My main irk however are those who say it hasn't encouraged children to read more, as if Harry Potter isn't real literature, and all children should be snuggled in bed with a first edition of The Pilgrim's Progress instead. Snobbery around what is the 'right' type of book to read is what holds many people back from reading. Not everyone is a natural reader and getting children to read anything that they enjoy will encourage more reading in the future.
     As a child I loved the Beano and Dandy and looked forward to reading them every week, as well as my fortnightly Animals of Farthing Wood magazine, which cost over a pound per issue so was a special treat. I seriously believe that reading these as a child helped me learn to appreciate how nice it is to put time aside to read. Hence, I bristle when people sneer at readers of graphic novels – if people enjoy reading them then what's the problem!
Dangerous wizard on the prowl
     Literacy, or more accurately a lack of, can impact hugely on someone's ability to live their life. It's my job to correct spelling and grammar, but I'd never ever judge the people who I help. I proofread a thesis for an engineering PhD candidate in the summer, their English was poor but their knowledge in their field was outstanding, so does an inability to position an apostrophe correctly make them an idiot – obviously not.
    I recently did some online searches for insurance provider reviews, looking on forums for people's experiences to help me decide who to go with. I was perhaps a bit naïve as I'm not a forum user myself but the abuse people received for simple typos shocked me. Ostracising someone who either just made a mistake or who genuinely has trouble with their spelling will only isolate them further. I didn't like the online bullying as I saw it, it was nasty and the electronic equivalent of sticking a dunce hat on someone.
    So why do I love JK so much? Because it became more acceptable for adults to read children's books, it also made reading cool again for a generation of kids who've grown up with technology sweeping around them at a heady pace. So forget the snobs I say, a real reading advocate will appreciate the value of all literature: especially Harry Potter.

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved!

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. I despise reading snobbery. As a primary school teacher I believe reading for enjoyment is crucial in children's language and writing development whether that be reading a magazine, comic, encyclopedia or (my own personal favourite) the wonderful world of Harry Potter!