Pardon me while I get my whine on for a moment.
There are times when I almost regret being part of the literary culture, simply because so many of us seem to find such great pleasure in self-satisfied dismissal of others who are not like us, as if there is something inherently virtuous about our own particular pursuit of the written word.
You can see this attitude in a whole lot of different ways, but I'll leave the big picture smugness for another today. What I want to to whine about right now is the insufferable self-importance of so dang many Harry Potter readers.
If you haven't read the books, so many HP fans dismiss your interest in the franchise as not only invalid but somehow incriminating.
I can't even count the number of (frankly) snotty comments I've seen this weekend from writers and readers towards people who've only seen the HP movies, as if they are somehow inferior people. Many are tagged with such bold signatures as, "Sincerely, People Who Know How to Read," or "Yours Truly, People Who Like BOOKS."
I have enjoyed the Harry Potter movie franchise. (Haven't seen the most recent one yet.) I read a lot. I'm a writer. But I have no interest in reading the HP books. I'm sure they're great. My wife and most of my family love them. Several friends who are writers love them. Several friends who have little other literary connection love those books. I have nothing against them.
But they are the sort of material I don't really have any interest in reading.
Just my personal taste.
I can enjoy movies without enjoying related books.
The assertion that somehow that means I don't really like Harry Potter, or worse yet that I'm illiterate and uncultured is shocking to me.
Let's sit down and talk about Antigone, Frogs, Beowulf, and Candide. Sir Thomas Moore, Leon Uris, and Jack Higgins. How about pre-columbian art? Existentialist philosophers?
I just don't feel like reading Harry Potter. Please stop extrapolating my human nature from that one fact.
And, while you're at it, please sit back and think if there are other matters upon which you position yourself in the judgment seat of literary virtue.
We all like different things. We all do different things. Why do so many of us seem hell-bent on investing our particulars with exclusive value?