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Topic: Is the Harry Potter books that good

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jjameli avatar
Subject: Is the Harry Potter books that good
Date Posted: 7/15/2007 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
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I keep on seeing how excited people are about the new HP book coming out, and now i'm wondering if I should start reading them.  I'm really not into that genre so is it that great that I would enjoy it anyway?  Also, what is the order of the books?  I guess i'm just skeptical about spending money or credits on something i'm not sure I will like.  Ahhh!, help me decide. lol!!



Cattriona avatar
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Date Posted: 7/15/2007 8:04 PM ET
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Hi Melissa--


Well, you could go to your public library and "try out" the first one before spending anything.


Not all adults like Harry Potter, but many do.  In fact, the Harry Potter series turned my 36-year-old hubby into a reader, as he'd never known the "joy of books" previously.  They are not as shallow, however, as some adults fear.  The books draw from classical literature, mythology and other "adult" genre.

So, get the first one at the library, give it a try, and let us know what you think.  Be forewarned ... the first is the shortest, and they only seem to double in size after that.




Caryn9802 avatar
Date Posted: 7/15/2007 8:06 PM ET
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I don't typically read this genre either.  I grabbed the first one in college after a recommendation from a friend and am glad I did.  I like Beth's suggestion, that you try the first from the library to see if you like it.  They're pretty easy reads since they were originally intended for young adults.  I say go for it, and let us know what you think!

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Date Posted: 7/15/2007 8:33 PM ET
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I agree with Beth and Caryn  go check it out  from the library and give it a try. They are fun and easy reads. When I read the first book I borrowed it from a friend.  I love it so much  I went out bought one myself.  

The order of  the  books are

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  Year 1

Harry Potter and the Chamber of  Secrets Year 2

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Year 3

Harry Potter  and the Goblet of Fire  Year 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Year 5

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  Year 6

Harry Potter  and Deathly Hallows  Year 7

Happy Reading



Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/16/2007 1:08 AM ET
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To give an alternative view point, I would say no, they're not all that good. A lot of their popularity seems to come from hype and marketability. They are INCREDIBLY marketable, and that'll take a book a long way. I'd say, if you want, give them a try, but don't let people push you into reading more than you like. By which, I mean, I read the first and didn't like it. So I was told 'read the second one, it's better'. So I read the second. Didn't like it. My friends said, 'read the third, it's better'. I read the first four, and I still hear people saying, read the fifth, it's better.

But I don't listen, anymore.

They are mildly entertaining, but if you're looking for depth, originality and character development, you can do a lot better.

jjameli avatar
Date Posted: 7/16/2007 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
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Thanks ya'll(i'm from Texas gimme a break),

I think I will give it a try and read book 1, and i will check it out from the library, which I didn't even think about doing duuhh.  Thanks again, I'll let ya'll know if I become HP crazy.


RockStarGirl avatar
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Date Posted: 7/16/2007 10:11 AM ET
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I read the first one many years ago, after it came out in paperback, to see what the buzz was about.  I was instantly hooked, and went out and bought #2 in hardcover, followed by all the rest of them.  I have since gotten my husband hooked (who reads very little), my mom, and my sister.  She had a few male college friends who thought Harry Potter was lame and who now stand in line at midnight to buy the books just like her.  Basically, if you read the first book and fall in love, then you'll know they are for you. 

grendelynn avatar
Date Posted: 7/17/2007 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
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Yes--and it's perfect timing--you can just read them all at once, without years of suspense...J.K. Rowling is an excellent writer.

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L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 7/17/2007 1:14 AM ET
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I thought they would be really dumb, but I loved them.  Just read the first one and see how you feel. :)


booktopia avatar
Date Posted: 7/17/2007 6:22 PM ET
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I absolutely love them. I'm rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in preparation for the last book. I've laughed out loud and shed a few tears and I'm only about half way through. The chapter about the House of Gaunt terrified me.

In some ways, it's annoying that there is so much paraphernalia that people want little kids to waste their money on. However, I love the hype about the release of a new book.  This is my first year actually going to a Midnight release party and I'm excited!  I'm 23  and my sister is 21, but we'll be just as pumped as the 11 year olds. ( I won't dress up as one of the characters though : )

Every once in a while I let out a pained sigh just thinking about the chance that Harry Potter might die in this final book. So many loose ends will finally be tied up! (hopefully).

I understand how some people might dislike the books. (Some people just don't like fantasy, some people don't like YA books, plus the books are somewhat formulaic)  Probably what I like about them the most, is that every kid (and adult) who reads them can find a character they can relate to and cheer for.  Every reader can imagine what house the sorting hat would place them in at Hogwarts. Not to ramble on, but I also like how J.K. Rowling includes sophisticated ideas like loyalty, living with a troubled and ineffective government, figuring out the greyness of good and evil and right and wrong, and even discrimination (all the Mudblood/Pureblood, House Elf, centaur, etc. issues)!

Definitely give these books a try!




Harry:  'He accused me of being "Dumbledore's man through and through"'.

Dumbledore: 'How very rude of him'.

Harry:  'I told him I was'.
.... Dumbledore's bright blue eyes looked rather watery ... 'I am very touched, Harry'

Last Edited on: 7/17/07 6:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
RockStarGirl avatar
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Date Posted: 7/17/2007 8:51 PM ET
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Sarah, I love your signature line!  That is one of mine and my husband's favorite quotes from The Half-Blood Prince.

reader avatar
Date Posted: 7/18/2007 8:35 AM ET
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I love the Harry Potter books.I a little behind in my reading. I am just now reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix..I have Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince here to read. And I haveHarry Potter  and Deathly Hallows          on order.I may not be able to start Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows right away but I love the idea getting it the same day everyone else is getting it.

Last Edited on: 7/18/07 8:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/18/2007 6:38 PM ET
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I've also been wondering about all the hype on these books.  May have to try them out.  Off to look for the first one so I can order it.  


edited to add: Wow only the first 2 are in the system.  I thought more of the series would of been here.  Are these books keepers for most people?

Last Edited on: 7/19/07 10:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
VeganFreak avatar
Date Posted: 7/18/2007 7:40 PM ET
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I thought people were crazy for reading "children's books". I broke down and read the first one to find out what all of the hype was about. Usually when a book has that much hype, I am disappointed, but this series surprised me.

I got invested in Harry right away, because I felt bad for him. One of those rooting for the underdog situations. The other characters were very likable as well and I fell in love with the whole Weasley family.


Christie, they are keepers for me. It's one of the few books I buy in hard cover the day it comes out.

Last Edited on: 7/18/07 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Dawa avatar
Date Posted: 7/19/2007 12:33 PM ET
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I read the Harry Potter books, but I'm not at all wowed by them.  Fantasy happens to be one of my favorite genres and I've been reading it since I was a kid.  I have to tell you guys that Harry Potter isn't very original.  It's enjoyable for sure.  J.K. Rowling just came along at the right time to catch some spark.  I think there are lots of YA fantasy authors that have written better stories in her genre.  But at this point, Harry Potter is what everyone wants to read.

They are NOT keepers for me, but I'll read them.  I don't think they're a waste of my time, but if my only choice was to buy the hardback now or wait a year for paper, I'd wait for the paper back.

Luckily, someone is hosting a Harry Potter book 7 games ring over in the forum. :-) 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/19/2007 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
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I love the Harry Potter series!  Are they the best thing I've ever read, and do they deserve all the hype they've gotten?  Definitely not.  I find them enjoyable and they are fun, creative stories.  I think they're keepers because my spouse and three kids all love them too, so buying them all has been a no-brainer for our family.

hugbandit7 avatar
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Date Posted: 7/19/2007 5:16 PM ET
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I have actually enjoyed the books, but then there is very little I don't like!

I am pretty excited that I am #4 on the reserve list at the library for the new book....I was #229 but something happened and they must have wiped everyone out.  I just happened to check and didn't see it on my hold list and went back in and put myself on the list for the book now that it was actually in the system.  This is the first time this has ever happened that I know for books that aren't out yet (hold list being wiped out).  not sure if they will put it back or not but if I can stay #4 I'll be happy!

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/20/2007 3:36 PM ET
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  I read a lot of urban fantasy (magic in the contemporary, real world) and while there are several authors I love and read all their works, I've read 2, or maybe 3, HP books, and seen one movie, and I was just not that taken by it.

  This is the rare case where I think the movie was much better. IMHO, I thought the books were just a little too easy; they are after all YA; not really enough meat there to be satisfying.

  Now of course it's become a media frenzy. It seems like people stand in line , etc., just for the party spirit of it all (nothing wrong with that!)


danumoonfire avatar
Date Posted: 7/20/2007 11:13 PM ET
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I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books yet. I just found the first book in paperback at Good Will for 25 cents, so I'll be reading it soon.

angelstar avatar
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Date Posted: 7/21/2007 12:59 PM ET
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Yeah, go to the library first and try out the first one.  They are great and very well written.  I've read all the others and plan on reading the newest.  I also go to see all the movies!!

Yes, they can be terrifying and sad and funny all rolled into one.  I'm going to read them all through again one of these days!



cozynblue avatar
Date Posted: 7/23/2007 10:45 PM ET
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When I read the first Harry Potter book I was hooked, so I bought all of them in Hard Cover, which I rarely do. The problem is I haven't had a chance to get pass the second book. I still want to buy the latest Harry Potter book. They just look great on my bookshelf. By the way, I thought the first movie was awesome!!!

magnoliafly avatar
Date Posted: 7/25/2007 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2007
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It is ok, just fun reading for most of it.  It isn't what I'd call an excellent literary work though.  I didn't care for the last two books, the series seemed to drop off at that point to me.  But lots of people like them.


You might want to try the series "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman.  The Golden Compass is the first one in that series.  I was turned onto it by a co-worker and thoroughly enjoyed the three book series.  The movie comes out in December but the books were great.

mariep avatar
Date Posted: 7/26/2007 4:45 PM ET
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I didn't start reading them till the 4th book was released & I was complaining about all the hype for a "kid's book."  A friend insisted I borrow the first one and .... I was hooked.  I finished the 7th book last night...and I'm said to see the series end. 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/27/2007 4:13 PM ET
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I've also wondered about this series.  After reading all these posts I think I will read the first one and see if I enjoy it.  It is just so hard for me to think that a book that an 8 year old likes would also be meaty enough for an adult to enjoy.  But I will try and report back.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/27/2007 4:36 PM ET
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Many of my students, aged 9-12, have read the series.

I was just at an education conference where probably 50% of the participants had already read #7 or were in the process of reading it - ages 21-60's!

My sister and I have just finished the series - we are both in our 50's.

Our mom, in her 70's, is reading the series, also!