Goodbye to Harry dignified
Published 4:01 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I did something last weekend that I would normally never do - I approved of defacing a book.
I knew that my unfortunate habit of reading ahead to the last page of a book would get the better of me before I ever finished the last “Harry Potter” tome. So I let my husband tear out the last two chapters before I ever got my hands on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
I'm an unabashed adult Harry Potter fan. The books are not the greatest literature, but they are great stories. And they remind me how much fun it was to stay up late at night, with a flashlight under the covers, reading old library copies of the Betsy-Tacy books or worn paperback Judy Blume novels or C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series.
When I was growing up, we had friends across the street whose father was a doctor; I considered them rich not because of the pool in the backyard but because their bookshelves held a complete set of the “Little House” series.
I know that the Harry Potter books have brought that same joy in reading to children across the world; for that reason alone I would treasure them.
There will never be quite a phenomenon like Harry Potter, but I hope the books have inspired children to read more and more, and on into adulthood.
I suspect many of the children who grew up with Harry Potter will consider him a literary friend for the rest of their lives, will dip into them for comfort as re-readers of Jane Austen and JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis often do. For me, there is no greater cure for a bad day than chocolate and a few chapters of Laura Ingalls Wilder's “These Happy Golden Years.”
I made it to the end of “Deathly Hallows” without torturing my husband for the hiding place of the last chapters, so I was able to say goodbye to the series with dignity.
But I think all of the books will keep their home on my bookshelves, beside all of the other favorites and even not-so-favorites that make me feel richer than I deserve.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at email@example.com.