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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Harry Potter loses magic despite record high sales

I am not a Harry Potter fan. There, I said it; my secret is exposed, do with it what you will.

While the impact of this confession may be lost on some, lets take a look at the numbers. According to CNN, the seventh and final chapter of the Harry Potter saga, released on July 21, 2007, sold 8.3 million copies in its first 24 hours available in the United States alone.

Lets put those numbers into perspective. Thus far in the year 2007, Spider-Man 3?s record shattering Hollywood opening fare was $151.1 million dollars. The opening sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, almost double what Peter Parker grossed, with Potter taking in approximately $290 million dollars. In the music industry, the top-selling album of the year, Minutes to Midnight, released by Linkin Park has sold a seemingly paltry 623,000 copies since its release, according to Ernest A. Jasmin’s July 20, 2007, article, Linkin Park outlives nu metal.

Those sales are nothing to laugh at. J.K. Rowling?s Harry Potter is arguably one of the best selling literary series of all time, as sales of the series have topped 325 million copies and translated into 66 different languages.

With the buzz surrounding this worldwide phenomenon, people assume I never gave Potter and his cohorts a chance. I can honestly say however, that I have given Harry, Ron and Hermione an opportunity to envelop me into their world as they have with so many others. About the time the books were garnering their world-renowned popularity, I sat down and read the first and second books.

Now, apparently that was my downfall. I have heard the books do not really begin to get good until the third or fourth. Call me crazy if I am wrong; I believe a series of books is supposed to engross you from the very beginning. I entered into the Potter realm with high expectations and he let me down.

So for me, the magic is lost. My Potter record stands at reading books one and two. I have yet to watch any movies, read any novellas, Wizards for Dummies, or any of the countless spin-off items.

Here I am, several years after reading The Sorcerer?s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, and I cannot help but ask myself, ?Why do people like Harry??

Other opinions

?The vast majority of people who love Harry Potter started reading them when we were pretty young,? Natalie Harper, a junior at San Louis Obispo High, said, ?so it has taken us through most of our school years reading the series. More likely than not, if you?re a teenager and you love the books, you started loving them when you were young.?

Despite my views on Potter, millions disagree.

?They?re books that I can just get into,? Haylie Hansen, a junior at Buchanan High, said. ?The Harry Potter books are easy to read and I can understand them. They keep me interested and I don?t get bored reading through them.?

For some, the Potter craze consists of awaiting the newest book’s arrival and reading the novel, then anticipating the latest movie release.

?People don?t know what they?re missing when they haven?t read the books,? Liz Trukki, a freshman at Reedley College said. ?They need to just start reading them. I think those who have only seen the movies should go read the books. I think the books are way better than the movies. The books have more information than the movies, and they’re longer.?

Despite those who are entertained with the reading offered by Rowling, others chose a totally separate route and have seen the movies, but not spent time reading the books.

?I haven?t really read any of the books; I just have no interest,? Jared Bingman, a senior at Buchanan said. ?I started to read the first one and got confused, so I didn?t like it. The movie is just easier to follow than the books. Plus I didn?t have to read the movie.?

There are fewer still that are in a totally separate camp.

?I didn?t read any of the books,? Ronnie Giannetta, ?08, said. ?I never had the time, energy or desire to read them; they held no appeal for me.?

Opinions on Potter are all over the map. While some are die-hard fans, others read simply because ?everyone else is doing it?. However, Harry?s magical appeal is not just limited to youth. Rowling has crafted a saga that captures parents and kids worldwide, making her the highest-earning novelist in the history of literature.

?I think the reason that Harry Potter has such a wide fan base is because people can find a common ground with a lot of the characters,? Scott Orcutt, ?09, said. ?There are many different personality types throughout the seven books and people can watch their particular character grow and progress through the series.?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold roughly 250,000 copies an hour in its first day of release. With that kind of following, I sometimes am tempted to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon again. However, I then remember that I opened my mind to the spell that Harry has cast on many people and that it?s charm that has engraved it into the hearts of millions across the globe did not work it?s magic on me.

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