Before the rise of Harry Potter books, there was not a whole lot of excitement in the world of children’s literature. Parents and teachers would beg children to read their daily amounts for school. Today children are begging to stay up all night and read the newest Harry Potter books. Parents wait in line for hours in order to be the first to get the newest release at midnight.
Book stores are having sleepovers to honor the book series. So, what happened? How did the world go from non-interesting, uninspiring children’s books to the billion-dollar machine of Harry Potter books?
J.K. Rowling began the story of Harry on a train years before she finished the first book in the coffee shops of London. Unemployed at the time, she wrote “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in between nap times, while single-handedly caring for her daughter. The first of the Harry Potter books was published in 1997, and the craze began.
The Harry Potter books are based on the life of a young boy wizard and his classmates as they attend a school for wizards. The series begins with Harry Potter living with his Aunt and Uncle in London. Harry Potter is not treated nicely in his home and longs for a way out. This way out comes in the form of a mysterious letter from a place called Hogwarts. Harry’s special powers, that he soon finds to be magical, get him introduced into a world of witchcraft and wizardry that he could have only imagined. He begins school at Hogwarts soon after his eleventh birthday, and the Harry Potter books tells of his trials through eight years of Hogwarts.
Since 1997, Rowling has published six of the seven Harry Potter books. The quick releases of the second, third, and fourth books kept Harry Potter books at the center of fans’ minds. Books from the series including “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” broke sales records – each selling at least 12 million copies, making J.K. Rowling the richest writer in literary history.
Harry Potter books are written in 63 languages.
Shop For harry potter books
A person looking for Harry Potter books for sale would be hard pressed to not find one, as they are literally in nearly every country in the world. The popularity of the books can be attributed to word of mouth praise; however, the series seemed to catch a second wind of success when it was added to the list of banned books because of its witchcraft focus. The fifth book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” sold 14.3 million copies – nearly as many as the first book. In spite of the ban, Harry Potter books continue to be best selling books.
Harry Potter books online are at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Scholastic, and most book retailer websites worldwide. The soft cover Harry Potter books are around $10, while the hard cover is $20. The final book, which will be released in July 2007, will likely cost $27-29 for the first weeks, as all others have when newly released. Harry Potter books online can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes and Noble.
Not long after the release of the sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Harry Potter audio books were made available through iTunes. The release of audio books was made in an effort to quell illegal audio and text downloads of the book series. Surprisingly, Stephen Fry voices all of the characters for the Harry Potter audio books, which are available in CD, cassette, and digital format for about $35 each. Harry Potter audio books made Stephen Fry a household name with the eight and under crowd, but the world knew him before Harry Potter as a prominent BBC writer, novelist, and movie actor.
The big question is what will take the place of Harry Potter books once his story is complete? Within such a short span of time, Harry Potter books have changed the culture of children and adults. Rather than begging for TV or video game time, children begging for reading time. Sometime in 2007, the seventh and final Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Death Hallows,” will be released. Millions of people will be waiting for the modern golden ticket into the final chapters of Cowling’s exceptional world.
Harry Potter. Wikipedia. 23 Jan. 2007. 23: Jan. 2007
J.K Rowling Official Site. 2006. Warner Bros. Ent. 23 Jan. 2007