Sadly, the popularlity of the Harry Potter series does not mean young people read more books overall. A Boston Globe article looks at trends in youth reading habits based on a study coming out in the fall. Some youth reading rates are up, but teenagers seem to read less than other age groups. A decline in reading means a decline in reading comprehension, knowledge, and academic achievement. The article also discusses whether another book series might be able to touch J.K. Rowling’s work in terms of popularity, sales, and inspiration.
I wonder what the series has done for adult readers. I fall into the category of people who shudder at the thought of reading large books with few pictures, but I have read the gigantic Harry Potters and plan to read the final one once the popularity dies down enough that I might be able to borrow it from my local library.
Harry Potter is an extremely popular series of books about children and adolescents who go through seven years of wizard school. Readers watch them grow up, become entangled in their lives, and place bets on who will die in the last book, book the seventh (if I may), that will come out in about ten days.
Two Harry Potter fans conversing about the series mentioned the magic of being able to talk about the books with children, teenagers, and other adults—something they find they can’t do with very many books.
Addendum 7/15: The Playful Antiquarian shares how the Harry Potter series resparked her hobby of reading.