Harry Potter- why so popular?

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Posted 13th Jun
I love reading, but when I picked up the first Harry Potter book many years ago..I have to admit I just didn't get the hype.

The problem is I still don't..when I compare it to other great reads that grip you throughout the story..like the Kite Runner or something..this just didn't have the same edge to story telling. Even if I go to the more children orientated books such as Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton, or The Secret Island..they seemed just as exciting!

My kids need to read it for English so I thought I'd better have another go..but what am I missing here?? Did it just come along at the right time or something?!
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All I know is I was asked to look ino the books for a niece and was shocked to find the complete paperback set sells for £35-£40.

I regret offering to pay for them!!! Honestly thought they'd be dirt cheap all these years on.
Edited by: "Gollywood" 13th Jun
Brilliant books, characterisation, story developementa and the intricate details of the Potter world. Only read them this year after daughter going on about them for years but I can see why they have hype and are far better than the movies, which did a reasonable job of interperting. Late to the cause but now a fervent fan but hate the new movie stuff.
Why so popular? Because they are a really good series of books and films with some great characters and a fantastically realised world. If you tried reading the books and didn't get them then it's no big deal, why not let your kids read the first book and then sit down with them to find out if they liked it and why?
Gollywood13/06/2020 23:52

All I know is I was asked to look ino the books for a niece and was …All I know is I was asked to look ino the books for a niece and was shocked to find the complete paperback set sells for £35-£40.I regret offering to pay for them!!! Honestly thought they'd be dirt cheap all these years on.


Found in 99% of charity shops, £1 a book or less. It's the most guaranteed thing to find I think because they have sold so many copies, there are a lot in circulation which inevitably end up in the charity shops on your spring clean.
Firefly114/06/2020 00:27

Found in 99% of charity shops, £1 a book or less. It's the most guaranteed …Found in 99% of charity shops, £1 a book or less. It's the most guaranteed thing to find I think because they have sold so many copies, there are a lot in circulation which inevitably end up in the charity shops on your spring clean.


None open
You have to remember its a childrens book - only the later ones were more geared towards older children and adults. The early ones were written fairly simply.

TBH I didn't see what the hype was about kite runner - if you want a book to make you feel miserable its right up there with 1984....

Everyone has different tastes.....
They're OK as kids' books (that's not a dig - I love kids' books). They improve up to the third book (which is, admittedly, outstanding) and then it seemed she cast a disappearing spell on her editor as each book is more tedious and wordy than the last from that point on.

Hype is an amazing thing.
Its for people that like fantasy. I love it & my other half hates it.
Its a fantasy book that captured the imagination of children who wished their school was extraordinary. Relatable to everyone who attended school, it definitely fit within the zeitgeist of pre-mass internet usage in late 90s entertainment.
That said While I like fantasy I don’t like HP strangely, it’s just something about the setting and characters that I can’t relate to, mainly concepts of extraordinary schools don’t appeal to me.
Ferris14/06/2020 01:45

They're OK as kids' books (that's not a dig - I love kids' books). They …They're OK as kids' books (that's not a dig - I love kids' books). They improve up to the third book (which is, admittedly, outstanding) and then it seemed she cast a disappearing spell on her editor as each book is more tedious and wordy than the last from that point on.Hype is an amazing thing.


I think aim was to evolve the books as the reader would when the books first came out. Starting off as say a 10 year old for example and being an adult by the time the last book was released. They get progressively darker and less innocent, mainly from the third book onwards I would say.
Ferris14/06/2020 01:45

They're OK as kids' books (that's not a dig - I love kids' books). They …They're OK as kids' books (that's not a dig - I love kids' books). They improve up to the third book (which is, admittedly, outstanding) and then it seemed she cast a disappearing spell on her editor as each book is more tedious and wordy than the last from that point on.Hype is an amazing thing.


Definitely agree the third book is the best
I asked myself the same question, but I think the hype has been created with the movies and to a smaller extent the pr of how the author wrote this books from a coffee shop. Plus when it gets printed all over the world in so many languages, promotes a books success.

The books are an ok read and some of the key themes of friendship, hope, competition and adventure appeal to many. The series flowed quite well.

I do love the Kite Runner though. Some really great quotes.
Gollywood13/06/2020 23:52

All I know is I was asked to look ino the books for a niece and was …All I know is I was asked to look ino the books for a niece and was shocked to find the complete paperback set sells for £35-£40.I regret offering to pay for them!!! Honestly thought they'd be dirt cheap all these years on.


Don't forget that there are seven books in the series, £40 for a set works out at £5.70 per book which doesn't seem too unreasonable. By the way the books are available to buy individually on Amazon for £4.50 each, but some are included in the 2 books for £7 promo which takes them down to only £3.50 each which is great.
The hype?
millions of people grew up with the franchise and passed it down to their children.
We are a Harry Potter family and the books are better than the films. Very clever writer is JK. If you research the names in characters etc. They all have meanings or Latin based,
It’s either you’re thing or not. We love them
The complete sets have been deals on here in the past for £20-30, I enjoyed them and in my youth would be down at WHSmiths on release day to get it and then read the whole thing in a day or two.
ytfc_nick14/06/2020 07:58

I think aim was to evolve the books as the reader would when the books …I think aim was to evolve the books as the reader would when the books first came out. Starting off as say a 10 year old for example and being an adult by the time the last book was released. They get progressively darker and less innocent, mainly from the third book onwards I would say.


That was the aim, and it went well and peaked at the third book. After that they were overlong and overwritten. The third book was the point they became a global phenomenon and I guess she felt the only way to satisfy the growing fanbase of kids and (not young) adults was to write more and more rather than keeping focus on writing a good story for kids.
Agreed. Don’t understand the hype. There are so many more engaging reads out there.
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