Why Harry Potter Matters


I almost talked myself into taking time off from writing so I could finish the Harry Potter books before Halloween. The first one came out 16 years ago, so I’m a bit behind — but literature is forgiving that way.

I read the books for the dark parts, and to bask in her story-telling. You can write them off as kids’ books, but think about that: what better way to inspire young generations to read, imagine, and write?

I introduced my eight year-old to Microsoft Word this week, and she’s writing a story called The Hidden Door, inspired by JK Rowling. It begins like this:

Carrie’s life was miserable.  She had two teasing brothers, a dead mother, a non-caring dad, and no friends.  

Lily has an idea of where the story is going, but she hasn’t revealed it to me yet. I can relate to her, on that.

That’s perhaps one of the most gratifying things about writing, about any form of art: something so deeply personal can come out of you and be given to others, who find something personal in it too. That connects us, despite time or distance, and the dreaded thought that we are all alone in this world.

So JK Rowling has given so much, but her name and identity don’t matter. She’s there forever in her books, and the books the kids will write who are reading her now.

Through a similar medium, we can choose how to form this community of virtual connections by giving or taking…by sharing. Here’s a post that says it better, from the guy who inspired me to do this four years ago.

Categories: inspiration

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