Yes, I said "the greatness." Those words actually came out of my mouth.
Basically my August was consumed with Harry Potter. After reading book 4 I couldn't rest until I had completed the series. That is the point in the series where things picked up for me and I became irrevocably intrigued. Jonathan gave up on me there for awhile. He told me that I really needed to go to bed at a decent hour when I was halfway through The Deathly Hallows (Book 7). (I love him, but some things you just cannot do.) I did make myself go to bed at midnight that night, but then I woke up at 6:30 and DEVOURED the ending before he had to leave for work. And then I was depressed for the whole of that day and the several which followed. I still haven't gotten my reading mojo back. I'm still recovering from Harry.
Now, those of you who know me and have tracked with me for awhile know that I didn't enter into this series with fond thoughts and hopeful expectations. The truth is, I rather expected to hate it. By the end of it, I didn't hate it, but I do retain some concerns. I think the concerns absolutely should not be ignored and should absolutely be considered if a person is thinking of reading these books for themselves. I would indeed offer a word of caution relating to the form of magic that is used but I also wouldn't suggest to anyone that it would be a sin issue to have read them. I would most definitely apply the concept of Christian Liberty to these reads and allow Christians to decide for themselves, as individuals, whether or not they should read them. Some will choose not to and I think that is a good choice. Others will choose to read them and I think that's also a good choice. You know yourself. Keep your conscious clean before the Lord. Understand what you are getting into and enjoy them if you are able. I discovered myself able and I in no way feel guilty.
Someone asked me if I plan on letting my kids read them. I wasn't sure what the answer was to that question when I first started reading them but now I would say that if my kids think that they can handle it when they are given the opportunity of reading it, then yes! I would love to read these books with them, discussing as we go. (And, who are we kidding? I would love to read them with them so that I can read them again!)
Post-reading of the books I spent a day reading articles and interviews online with the author, actors and actresses who brought the Harry Potter characters to life on screen. I watched the behind-the-scenes for the last movie and bawled my eyes out as the actors said their good-byes. (They were cathartic tears.) I even watched Oprah's interview with Rowling. (This is a marvel, considering my general distrust of Oprah's growing empire.) The interview is 45 minutes long but if you have the time, I rather recommend it. I found it both intriguing and insightful.
Harry Potter was a reading journey that had some unexpected twists and turns for me but ultimately I'm quite glad to have gone on it. I found it entertaining, enthralling and very thought provoking (even if I'm not hashing out a lot of thoughts on the last few books).
My most pressing questions were answered:
Are the Harry Potter books like Narnia? No. Definitely not.
Should/Can Christians read Harry Potter? Yes.
In answering these questions, I found myself delighted along the way. Win, win!