Mad as a Potter

So, the new Harry Potter book is out. I liked the first book, but haven’t read any subsequent releases. It now takes an immense effort for me to sit down and finish reading a book, because I’m so used to scanning web pages for specific information, that I have no patience for anything lengthy and non-factual.
Which explains why I never did complete Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy when I was a teenager. What a whopper it was! When I reached university, things got worse. Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things is packed in one of my moving boxes, barely touched. Don’t even get me started on Lord of the Rings – Mother swears her old books are still around somewhere but we can’t find them and I don’t dare to buy new ones. So I haven’t read anything by Tolkien yet, either. She tried to get me interested in a comic version of the Hobbit when I was young, but I found it boooring, sorry to say it. Thank goodness for the movies.
However I used to read some titles over and over again, such as David Edding‘s four major series, the Belgariad, the Mallorean, the Elenium and the Tamuli, which some purists would probably see as low-brow Tolkien-inspired fantasy writing. It wasn’t flawless, but as a teenager I loved it. Mother had to lock up the books during my A levels. I am also proud to say that I ploughed through Frank Herbert’s Dune, and actually understood it, as a young teenager who was obsessed with the games Dune and Dune 2. I did likewise with Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, when I was fourteen. I read some Isaac Asimov and Piers Anthony (also because of the game Xanth), much preferring the style of the latter, but that was it.
Today I stood at the shelves in a major bookshop, flipping randomly through a copy of The Order of the Phoenix, wondering if I’d be lucky enough to hit upon which character died, which would be valuable blackmail material to the few Harry Potter fans I knew.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t.
Anyway, mother quietly bought a copy of the Phoenix. I saw her join the queue, discussing seriously with another lady her age, which book was the best. Now you know who’s actually been reading them 😉
What about the baby of our family? Well, Vicki isn’t back from Perth yet – she hasn’t gotten past book two anyway, and I don’t think she’d be interested, seeing how we had to force her to read Dr Seuss when she was eight. My entire Enid Blyton series (she’s the best!) ranging from Noddy to Amelia Jane to Secret Seven to Famous Five to Enchanted Forest – the list goes on – was sadly untouched by her during her childhood, and is now packed up in storage boxes at home.


  1. Desiree

    van, u make me feel nostalgic!!! yah, i read loads of enid blyton too. she was a must have read of my childhood. read enchanted forest every school hol till its now torn and tattered. am a david eddings fan too, read the entire 10 books of belgariad and mallorean series during my o levels prelims!! ha ha ha, so u are not the only one who has let books overtake her life. 🙂

  2. dawn lee

    i absolutely love the harry potter series. but u already knew that! i always thought it was like enid blyton and roald dahl rolled into one, but older and more convoluted. nice.
    you know, i’m surprised, van… anyone partial to reading about people at Malory Towers, St Claire’s and Whyteleafe (remember Elizabeth, Julian, Arabella…?) should really find HP an extension of that whole private boarding schoolie trust-fund kid thing. 🙂 then there’s the magic… Faraway Tree, Wishing chair… And don’t even get me started on what Roald Dahl sets a mindset and precedent for (The Witches?! Matilda?! Chocolate factories, horrible children, little men…)… 🙂
    I would imagine our generation would have been far more primed for Harry Potter’s arrival than Gen Wired, after us. 🙂

  3. vantan

    I think Potter is fine, despite some religious objections, but I really don’t have the time. I haven’t even finished reading other books I’ve bought yet. None of which are fiction.

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