Daily Archives: January 7, 2011

Potter’s Magic Has Long Shelf Life

I am in the midst of reading through the Harry Potter series for the first time, and I am loving it!  Nothing earth-shattering there, I know.  I started reading the series a couple of years ago when the Order of the Phoenix came out in theaters, but I only read the first book before getting distracted by other titles and moving away from it.  The release of the first part of the Deathly Hallows movie prompted me to come back, and I have since blown through The Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.  Next up, Goblet of Fire.

As evidenced by their monstrous circulation numbers here at CLP, the Harry Potter books and DVDs are constantly being discovered and re-discovered by new and returning readers.  Take the aforementioned Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for example.  Randomly checking just one copy here at the Main library, I see that it has been checked out 46 times, and renewed 22 times. That compares quite favorably to a random copy of Thomas Friedman’s bestseller, The World Is Flat, which has circulated 48 times and been renewed 14 times.

These gaudy circulation numbers ensure that Harry Potter will remain a mainstay of the library’s most checked out items list.   I know I can’t wait to introduce my nephew (a 2nd grader) to the books.  He’s seen the movies, but the books offer so much more, IMHO.

While motoring through Ms. Rowling’s wonderfully crafted world of magic and mayhem, I’ve also looked around to see what else this particular corner of the Young Adult fantasy genre has to offer.  I checked out Rick Riordan’s Lightning Thief, and while it is not up to Rowling’s high level of quality, it is still pretty solid, and nicely realizes a fantasy world where the Greek gods exist alongside modern humanity.  Once I’ve finished the Harry Potter series I intend to give Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books a look.

All three of these series dovetail nicely into Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books, which feature a more adult application of the whole “modern magic” sub-genre of fantasy.  I’ve written about these stories before on this blog.

I am happy to discuss the aspects of the Potter series that I have read so far, but I have been able to assiduously avoid spoilers to this point, so please, don’t tell me who lives or dies at the end!  I relish finding it all out on my own.


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