Regular readers of my blog know I LOVE HARRY POTTER books and I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and I know many many many Harry Potter fans who are super neat people. So when a party I follow on Twitter recently posted a link to an article about how some recent studies are showing that readers of Harry Potter books are less prejudiced and more accepting of others, I had to stop and look. I felt giddy to see that the researchers, who might love Harry Potter as much as I do, took the time to conduct this Harry Potter-themed study, and I’m glad that their results showed the positive effects of reading the books.
However, while I read the article, I remembered something I saw in the news around 2005, when the Internet buzzed about which lucky girl would be cast as Cho Chang, Harry Potter’s first crush, in the GOBLET OF FIRE movie. The plum role went to the lovely Katie Leung, a Scottish actress with Asian ancestry. Unfortunately, some Harry Potter fans who were unhappy with the casting choice attacked Katie online with rude and racist comments and hate sites. So while I’m pleased that the aforementioned study has shown some people can learn tolerance from reading Harry Potter books, there is pre-existing evidence showing that not all readers and fans of the Harry Potter stories are free of prejudice.
My “other side of the coin” sentiments aren’t meant to be criticism of the researchers or the study itself. Because really, it sounded like a fun project. It’s just that…as much as many others and I love books and have experienced the comfort and enrichment from reading a good book, I'm also aware that not everyone will be affected or enlightened by what they read, even if the book is an amazing work.
So I tweeted back to the party and condensed these thoughts into two posts of 140 characters each. And then I thought about it and….I deleted my tweets. I didn’t do this because I was playing backsies with my tweets but because I realized that in order to fully articulate how I was really feeling about this topic, I should blog about it here instead.
Tell me about a book that affected or enlightened you.