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Staff Picks: Kate’s 7 Reasons to Wait Until You’re Older to Read Harry Potter

To close out 2013, we asked library staff members to write lists–of anything they want. Today we feature Kate Dunn’s seven reasons to wait until you’re older to read Harry Potter.

Kate is the Preservation Associate in the Bindery at Cudahy Library.


    7 Reasons to Wait Until You’re Older to Read Harry Potter

    Yes, people of all ages love these books. You almost couldn’t throw a stick without hitting someone who’d read them…almost. I delayed for years within my own monomyth and finally found myself with a chunk of free time and an old heart that needed warming, and so here I am, three books deep. And so very glad I waited for the advanced age perspective.

    1. Creatures like Errol, Scabbers, Crookshanks, Dobby, Peeves, etc. to name a few
    It feels a bit like an advent calendar to see what adorably haggard character will pop up next. Rowling rules at making less-than-pleasant individuals very lovable, a lesson indeed that comes with age.

    2. Howlers
    You’ve probably gotten into trouble enough to garner at least a dozen of these by now in life, and started running through worthy instances in your head the moment you read and learned about a Howler. Imagine receiving one in the Cudahy Reading Room? Oh the humiliation!

    3. Britishisms
    Everyone’s always using these British expressions like “Are you mad?” and “Mum” and “Right, then” and “what are they playing at?” and you know, really anything Hagrid says, and you have to admit that it definitively scratches that Anglophile itch you’ve been cultivating since you were 6.

    4. The Sorting Hat
    It’s real! And it’s so comforting. Call it what you want, but really, haven’t you always felt something at work which places you right where you need to be in the world? Regardless of how long a hatstall it takes to get it right? The sorting hat, my friends, is a metaphor for LIFE. Not to mention the joy of speculating which Hogwarts House you’d be placed in! Go here if you really want to know.

    5. Chocolate still fixes everything
    Well, yeah. Dementors and heartbreak and loss be damned, chocolate always has and always will make it all better. Sucks the cold right out.

    6. Movie Binge
    Yes. You get to read all the books for the first time, and then disappear and be of no use to man or beast for a weekend while you watch all of the movies in one glorious fell swoop. SEND PIZZA.

    7. Deeper appreciation for Lord of the Rings, your first love
    The archetypes of Tolkien’s older classic series can absolutely be seen at work in Harry Potter and of course a litany of other stories. What is so magical about Harry Potter in particular is that it takes place in the world as we know it. Lord of the Rings takes us to the nonexistent Middle Earth, and so the happy new concept of a Muggle life now has layered meaning. It’s all fun and games to head to other worlds, but what if the worlds were never separate? What if Middle Earth is just medieval wizard world?! Joseph Campbell would be so pleased! Which is something I probably wouldn’t have considered when I was 11.

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