Prison Pete

Sunday, August 14, 2005
  Viva the Individual! (and at 10 years of age).
I have been clipping articles that highlight the power that each of us has as an individual. While our corporate, brand conscious, monolithic consumer society, in my humble opinion, plays to our need to fit in and belong to something bigger than ourselves, it is moments of individualism that we all need to be reminded of from time to time to show the true power each of us has at our fingertips.

The following recently appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the New York Times:

To the Editor:
With the latest Harry Potter release is there room for a dissenting voice?
My 10-year-old son announced his intention never to read another Harry Potter book. 'Because, Mom, haven't you noticed? It's the same old thing- Harry Potter falls in trouble, Harry Potter learns a spell. It gets boring.'
Could I believe my ears? My son, a good reader, at last'. And I recalled (silently) a favorite quote from Vladimir Nabokov: 'Caress the details,' he directed. 'Read for the tingle, the shiver up the spine.'
When my son deposited his hardcover Potter collection in his school's donation box, he assured me: 'I don't want to keep these. They're not the kind of books you read twice.' Well, I asked, what kind of books do you read again? 'One with details,' he answered. Sorry, J. K. Rowling.
Kate Roth
New York,
July 14, 2004

While I have only read one of the Harry Potter books, and it is certainly a Cinderella story for Ms. Rowling, my question is at what point do her continuing novels of the life of Harry Potter stop being great reading and more of the same?

I think that point is different for each person, and I am certainly not advocating a Harry Potter boycott, but I do applaud the son of Kate Ross for deciding he has read enough of Harry Potter. That type of attitude would certainly open up the possibility for him to discover other authors.

That is one of the reasons I actually enjoy the eclectic mix of books that my editor sends me. I only recently was forced for the first time to pass on reading a few of the books and donate them directly to the prison library without reading them. They were all of the fantasy (as in alternate society type, gnomes, etc.) and that is one of my least favorite genres to read.

I will be digging through my clipping pile over the next few weeks and will post more of the individual spirit triumphs over simply going with the flow.
Well, I happen to enjoy the Harry Potter books very much and have read them more than once. I don't think they're the same old thing and they've gripped me enough that I find it difficult to wait for the last installment. But that is simply my opinion and that of my son.
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