Am I the only one who hasn’t read Harry Potter?

There’s a lot of pressure out there. It started when I was in ed school, studying to be a teacher. The professors and my fellow student-teachers raved about Harry Potter. When I finally got a full-time teaching gig, all the teachers there raved about Harry Potter. My wife raves about Harry Potter.

Am I the only one who hasn’t read Harry Potter? And does that make me a bad person? After all, there are plenty of great books I’ve read that most Harry Potter fans have never read or even heard of. Are they bad people for not appreciating those books? Why do people give me strange looks when I say I haven’t read Harry Potter?

It’s not as if I never tried to read Harry Potter. I did. I really did. When all the big hoopla in ed school was going on, I thought I’d give it a shot. I picked up Sorceror’s Stone (also known as Philosopher’s Stone) and tried to read it. The first 100 pages were painful. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the writing style. The characters didn’t feel real to me. I stopped. I haven’t started again ever since.

Some people will say this is heresy, but the movies are a lot more exciting to me. Usually I like book versions better, but not in the case of young Mr. Potter.

If you genuinely enjoy Harry Potter, good for you. If you’re one of the flock, who read Harry Potter just because it’s the “in” thing, then shame on you… but at least you’re reading something. And if you want to know what books a non-HP-reader would recommend, try Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover, Hardcore by Linda Williams, Femininity by Susan Brownmiller, On Writing by Stephen King, or The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell. I guess I should have mentioned I favor non-fiction. Could be one factor in my lack of enthusiasm for Potter books.

Further Reading
Pottermania and other random ramblings


  1. I haven’t read it for the same reason you mentioned. I tried to read the first book a couple of years ago but the writing was terrible. It sounded like it was written by a ten year-old. Like you said, I think the story itself is okay (if not a bit melodramatic), but the books themselves suck.

  2. I have not read the book and I find it absolutely ridiculous that adults are standing in lines for a children’s fantasy book.

  3. I’m not trying to hate on anyone here.

    I just want to be left alone. If I don’t want to read the rest of Harry Potter, don’t look at me as if I’m some kind of freak. I’m entitled to my opinion/reading choices.

  4. Vitality, you’re way off. While it’s fine if you don’t like the book/s, it’s not a children’s fantasy series any longer. The new books are quite adult in theme and content, and I would not allow my children to read them. You have to understand that there’s actually guite a bit of genious to the series as a whole; the first books start off very much geared toward young readers, and as the series progresses they become more and more engaging, deep, and adult.

    I don’t think it’s heresy or anything like that not to read them, and I think you are entiteled to have your own tastes. Bring up Star Wars sometime; you’ll see the same thing. At least one person in the room will probably say “eh I never really liked Star Wars” and everyone else looks at them like they have their head screwed on backward. It’s just human nature to take something you like and assume everyone else likes it, because you like it and because it’s generally popular. I don’t think you should be offended by it, just explain that you didn’t much like it and have your own tastes like you did here.

  5. ubuntucat, you are not alone. i just never got into it. i dont know why. probably because i dont have time. heh.

  6. Harry Potter books are a was of global hysteria.

    Derivative plots, which are front and center in the movies, must be the most annoying thing in the books.

    It’s like one succesful children’s book rewritten seven times.

  7. Harry Potter is the worst thing I’ve ever read… (the first one). Horrible, painful style, worse characters, void fantasy without any stable background that acts like super-plot (like there is in Star Wars, for example).

    And Mrs. Rowling didn’t have the courage to kill Harry…

  8. I have yet to open book 1. I do have the first 5 books, in hardback no less. They look great sitting up on the bookshelf. Just seems like I can’t concentrate enough lately to just sit down and read and I hate that. I guess I’ll get around to them one of these days(months?, years?).

  9. I have heard from many people that the first part of the first book is…unpleasant. I agree: you have to force your way through it to get to the good stuff. :D

    Each subsequent book adds a great amount to the whole story. By the end of the seventh book, it comes together very nicely.

    J. K. Rowling’s writing in the HP books may not be Faulkner or Joyce, but it is well-written, engaging, and full of beautiful imagery, regardless.

  10. I had the same experience when reading the first Harry Potter book, but I heard the book was a good one so I stuck it out and it all went uphill after that and since then I’ve been an avid Potter fan (I turned into one of those guys who finished each book within 48 hours of them coming out).

  11. Well, see, until I saw the comments for this post, I had no idea that Harry Potter fans conceded that the first part of the first book was boring. So maybe I will give it another chance after the Pottermania has died down about.

  12. Terry Pratchett may be more to your liking.. more satire and parody than supernatural, but , again, one needs to read well beyond the first in the series (The Colour of Magic) to enjoy the best.

  13. Same, I was curious after I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Newt ❤️) and even downloaded the seven books (pdf) Tried Philosopher’s stone, didn’t like it. It was too chaotic and didn’t feel real to me. I also prefer the movies than the books, but I like FBAWTFT (hoping there was a book version where I could know Newt’s thoughts)

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