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Has Harry Potter turned you or your children [back] on to reading? [merged]

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Has Harry Potter turned you or your children [back] on to reading? [merged]

Old 07-14-05, 11:58 AM
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Has Potter got you back into reading???

Hey guys,
Just a quick question. Has the Harry Potter series improved your reading skills?

Take me for example, I used to HATE reading! I have only really read a very select few books and finally my friend told me I just had to give Harry Potter a chance (and since I liked the films I did). Man oh man, I got through the first book in 3 days (it used to take me a couple weeks to finish a book) and I went straight out and bought book 2. I know that these are easier reads but suddenly I am interested in reading more and more?

Has the Potter series affected anyone else like this?
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Old 07-14-05, 12:29 PM
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Nah, I've been into reading since I was little. I'd like to think Potter just enriched it.
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Old 07-14-05, 01:17 PM
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Potter does seem to be a gateway drug for a lot of people (especially teens) who may not have been regular readers before.

Last edited by boredsilly; 07-14-05 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 07-14-05, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by boredsilly
Potter does seem to be a gateway drug for a lot of people (especially teens) who may not have been regular readers before.
I think 'The Da Vinci Code' is a similar "gateway drug" for adults. A lot of my friend's parents, who don't normally read anything besides the ads in Sunday's paper, picked up that book and now have started reading other books.
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Old 07-15-05, 06:32 AM
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Nah ... it hasn't started me reading more ... but of course I have an English degree, so I guess that means I already liked to read . However, I too have seen it successfully used to spark reading interest in both younger children and adults ... to which I say, good for them!
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Old 07-15-05, 11:20 AM
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I always go through phases with reading. Lately, it's been audiobooks. I've just gone through My Life (Clinton), America The Book (Stewart), and Prey (Crichton). I'll definitely pick up Harry Potter and probably read it over the weekend.
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Old 07-24-05, 06:53 AM
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I started reading the series in college, where I didn't really read because, you know, it's college. I'm already doing it all day.

I always read a lot when I was little, and as a teen I read every Crichton book (except for The Great Train Robbery).

I don't honestly remember what book or books got me back into reading as an adult, but it was not the Potter ones, as I read those years before.
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Old 07-24-05, 10:51 AM
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I picked up reading again with Angels & Demons while i was in college, and subsequently read the Harry Potter books with a new found interest in books.
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Old 07-24-07, 12:24 AM
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I don't have children yet, but as for myself, I'd have to say no. I'm not an avid reader, but I did read a couple books a year before finally picking up Harry Potter when it was 5 books in to the series already.

Although I can easily say it's the only time i've really looked forward to a particular book opposed to picking up something based on recommendations.
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Old 07-24-07, 04:53 AM
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It is actually raising literacy rates here and abroad. Read a story about this in the local paper last week.

Here's a pretty long article related to it...didn't read the whole thing, but it does talk about the affect the HP books have had on literacy.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture...725/25read.htm
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Old 07-24-07, 01:41 PM
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No, it hasn't. It has turned us into Satan worshippers though.
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Old 07-25-07, 07:51 AM
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It's a decent question but...

That's one kind of magic Harry does not know and I doubt will ever know... Turning children into readers... That's about as hard as finishing reciting the digits of pi. (Either they are already or they're not.)

-ringding-
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Old 07-25-07, 09:42 AM
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^In fact, quite a few parents and teachers give credit to Harry Potter for tearing children away from their computer and video game screens to read the books. And some then go on to read other things. The article Blade linked to above, written at the time of the release of Book 6, gives some examples.

It may be anecdotal evidence, but such reports have been pretty consistent since the Harry Potter craze began a decade ago.

Since I don't have children and my friends mostly have adult children I don't have any personal experience to verify the claim. But it certainly is a valid question to ask.
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Old 07-26-07, 12:43 PM
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I read a recent article, whose source I can't recall, that argued that the Harry Potter series could actually discourage reading. The argument was that the books had such a blockbuster sense of hype behind them and were such a shared cultural experience that it was unlikely that readers could replicate the experience with any other book. An interesting idea, but I'm not sure if the series makes a difference one way or another.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:15 PM
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My wife was never a reader up until she was 27 and someone talked her into reading HP. She loved it.

Now she is insatiable with reading. She finds an author she likes and will read as many of their books that she can find at the discount book stores. I oftentimes will wake up in the middle of the night and she is still reading.

I have not read the HP series myself even though she badgers me to. I read too but I have always been afraid that since HP is aimed at younger readers that I would not enjoy it.
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Old 07-26-07, 04:29 PM
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Same thing happened to me. I was never a big reader in school and always seemed to not read anything post high school cause I was in the mindset of mandatory reading which really turned me off. It wasnt until four years later that I started reading harry potter. The books hooked me back into reading and I lost that old feeling of school books. Once I finished the first five books in a row, I was thinking there are probably more books out there that are probably better. The first non hp book I read was TH Whites "The Once and future king". That book blew me away and It got me going back to the library more and more.

Thank you JK Rowling for bringing a new joy into my life.
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Old 07-26-07, 05:20 PM
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I don't know about kids, but for myself, HP and Sopranos this year have absolutely ruined any desire in me to follow a series anymore. I was disappointed by both and don't see ever getting myself wrapped up into something like that again.
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Old 07-26-07, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
I don't know about kids, but for myself, HP and Sopranos this year have absolutely ruined any desire in me to follow a series anymore. I was disappointed by both and don't see ever getting myself wrapped up into something like that again.
I think people judging the totality of either the Sopranos or Harry Potter based on whether the main character of each lives or dies (or "what happens at the end") are completely missing the point, but that's neither here nor there.
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Old 10-09-08, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BeanDip View Post
My wife was never a reader up until she was 27 and someone talked her into reading HP. She loved it.

Now she is insatiable with reading. She finds an author she likes and will read as many of their books that she can find at the discount book stores. I oftentimes will wake up in the middle of the night and she is still reading.

I have not read the HP series myself even though she badgers me to. I read too but I have always been afraid that since HP is aimed at younger readers that I would not enjoy it.
Well an update... I finally reached a point where I ran out of books to read and did not have time to go look for more.

I read myself to sleep at night and was just looking at our bookshelf and figured "why not?"

The first two books were good but as I feared they were at a young adult level. The third book was fantastic and each following book gets better and better. I am halfway through book 6 now. I have only seen movies 1 to 4 and never was excited about seeing the movies but am now (not stay up and watch it at midnight the day it comes out excited though)

So to those who were on the fence like me do yourself a favor and read the series.
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Old 10-18-08, 03:24 PM
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I think that most of the hard data shows that the Harry Potter phenomenon doesn't really ignite a desire for reading beyond the series. For instance - Years that saw a Potter book release (Hardcover or paperback) showed a huge boost in book sales, but overall the rest of the industry doesn't benefit much from all these new consumers. In retrospect it looks like Harry Potter was more of a social phenomenon rather than a resurgence of literacy among the 'millenials' (people born after 1982 or so).

My own personal experience backs this up (high school 2000-2004). Everyone knew about it, and because of that you could strike up a conversation about the series with almost anyone old or young alike (especially on the web). Some people I knew lived and breathed Harry Potter, but did not move on to many (or any) other books in between releases. My cousin, who is a few years younger than me, avidly read the series, but beyond that never talked about other books or series.

So, yes Pottermania got people to focus on literature as subsequent books/films were released, but overall I don't think this is even putting a dent in the growing prevalence of TV, internet (myspace, youtube), cell phones, video games, etc. Literacy rates are getting lower and lower among young people, and because of the above they have fewer incentives left to pick up a book.
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Old 10-18-08, 07:44 PM
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I am an avid reader, however I didn't get into the Harry Potter faze. I attempted to read the book twice but it didn't capture me (it could be because everyone raved...which tends to send me the opposite way) When my son was in 5th grade he read it and didn't really like it. He is not a reader (he likes math...go figure) but there was another author he really liked named Darren Shan, he wrote a series of books about Vampires called Cirque de Freak. That is the one author that my son devoured...he stayed in all week and read (he is 18 now...and that has never happened since!)
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Old 10-23-08, 02:57 PM
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my youngest niece hates reading but sat thru and read thru the harry potter series and while she doesnt read alot shes alot moreopen to reading when i bring her a book to try out..like we are now reading thru the twilight series.

im on the da vinci code bandwagon...before that i would randomly grab books off my moms case to bring to work...andid read half of it and not care anymore. granted they were clancy/patterson books. then i read thru da vinci code in 2 days and enjoyed it where i started actually looking up books of interest. my second book was house of leaves and i never looked back on looking for the next thing to capture my attention.
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Old 11-01-08, 12:20 AM
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I have always been an avid reader and never gave a flying flip about Harry Butthole Pussy Potter (and I'm 22).
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Old 11-05-08, 12:27 PM
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i am not an avid reader. there is usually 1 month out of a year that i will read 2 or 3 books and that is it.
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