Recollect Wednesday: Harry Potter and the Book Snob… I Mean Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I didn’t start reading Harry Potter until after the first movie came out.  Why?  Because at one point in my life I was a horrible book snob.  Why did I need Harry Potter when I had Lord of the Rings? Why did I need Harry Potter when I was an adult who didn’t read young adult books.

Poor Sara in her mid-twenties.

Even when my sister and father adored them, I resisted.  My friends fell in love, but I kept resisting.  The world was in love and I resisted.

Why?  Because I was a book snob.  Why? Because I was an idiot.

What changed?  I was challenged by a friend.  I had made her watch Lord of the Rings so she made me watch Harry Potter.  When I loved the first movie, she told me I should read the book because it was better.

That was almost 15 years ago.

Book snobbery is dangerous, but I quickly grew out of it.  I still find myself inclined to book snobbery, but it is typically informed by knowledge of my taste and elements I am tired of.  No, I don’t want to read the book with the bright pink cover and fun font.  No, I don’t want to read the book that is clearly another story about World War 2.  I just can’t do those anymore.  Sometimes I want to wait to see if other people enjoy it.  By this point in my life my book snobbery is completely different than it was when I was 25.

I meet so many book snobs though.  I am shocked at how many think they have a kindred spirit in me.  They scoff at something popular, but can’t bring themselves to give it a chance.  They are shocked when I say that I enjoyed the book or am looking forward to reading it.  I only hope this makes them reconsider.  If they think I share their good taste in books and I like something, maybe they will see the value in reading it.

Something similar happens with people who don’t consider themselves big readers.  There is a trepidation when they tell me what they are reading.  They make excuses for reading something so meaningless.  The excitement on their face when I tell them how much I enjoyed a book is priceless.  We end up chatting about the book and I then suggest other things they may like.

To claim to be a reader means you read without judgement.  It is one thing to judge because you know your taste.  It is another to judge the book poorly because it is popular or just because you think it is beneath you.  I am glad I got over that snobbery.  I have discovered so many books because I got over it.  Most of all, I found the world of Harry Potter.  Who would I be without Harry Potter?  What would I have named Cedric?

Oh, let’s be honest! I probably would have named him Fitzwilliam Darcy.




0 thoughts on “Recollect Wednesday: Harry Potter and the Book Snob… I Mean Sorcerer’s Stone

  1. I love this, Sara. All books, if picked up by a reader, can lead to reading, and reading engages the mind and the imagination. The degree to which it works for one reader over another is called “preferences”- when a book touches the mind and imagination of many, in a way that we share, that is called power- regardless of the classification of the book. Thank you for your blog.

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