...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

I'm Not A Harry Potter Fan, but
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No I am not a Harry Potter fan. People sometimes express amazement at that – but you like sci-fi!, they say. Poor them. FIRST they get the 5 minutes “puh-LEEZE don’t call it ‘sci-fi’” THEN I do another few minutes on how a) I’ve read better fantasy and b) I don’t read a lot of fantasy ANYway.

And it’s true. I read the first one. It was, to me, totally okay. Nothing more. I did not get the passion for it that others apparently felt from day one. And still feel. Hurrah for them – and I mean that. I mean there you were 12 years old when you read Sorcerer’s Stone (and yes, I had too google it, as I did not recall the title) (or Philosopher’s Stone in Britain, because Americans get easily confused…or something) and now you’re what, heading to college? In college? And you still read them and I so love you for it. OR you read it when your kid did. Or you just read it and you are so psyched that the new movie is out. I DO love that.

A while back, when book number whatever (5?) came out, the newspaper asked what you love best about Harry Potter and I wrote and said just what you’d expect from me: “Are you kidding? Any book that gets people, especially children to READ?! That gets them excited enough to want to wait at the bookstore at MIDNIGHT to get the thing?” that’s what I love about HP. Beyond that? I doesn’t grab me. Few fantasy novels ever do. I mean you should see all my sf reading friends – one of their favorite questions is “I read all the Potter books, what do I read now?” and gleefully, we trot out lists, or pile books into peoples’ arms going “here, and oh HERE, and HERE and….”

Look, I had a library card at the age of something like I dunno, seven. I have a button that reads “my idea of heaven is a library with dim sum service”. If you look up at the links on this blog, you see “free books” which will connect you to the donation button for “First Book”, a national organization that gives BOOKS to children, children who, due to financial constraints or circumstances like moving a lot or who knows don’t know what it is to own a book that is totally theirs. And is doing huge work post Katrina via their “book relief” work to get books out to affected areas. Hell, I remember buying my “own” books as a kid from the “Scholastic Book club”. Wow. Now there’s a flashback.

So okay, so I’m not a fan. Yes, the movies are super well done with great talent. Yes, a gazillion of the books have been sold in all sorts of forms. Yes, I bought some once; I got them as a deal and gave them to New Beginnings, the shelter program I volunteer at, figuring they’d be popular reads. And I think the young Daniel Radcliffe is amazing; Everything I read says he’s grown with the films, and he still is plausible and believable as the young man. I hope to hell if he wants a career as an actor as an adult, he gets it. And gets all the great parts.

But today there’s a big story in the paper about the new film and I laughed. It’s not, see that I don’t like this stuff, I just don’t read it or watch it, but I’m not against it. So thanks to whoever- J K Rowling or the filmmakers who named the two other magic academies. There’s the all girl “Beauxbatons” (nice outfits!) and, as the review reads, “the manly fellows of Durmstrang Institute” (who, our reviewer reports, enter the Great Hall like a road company of Stomp.) The Beauxbatons and the Durmstrang Institute. Oh thank you.

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