Jul 012003
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

Weighing in at about 27, 294, 100 pounds, two and 1/2 pounds each, and with 870 pages, the 8.5 million printed copies of the latest Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” seems to be on everyone mind. From ages 5 to 65, everybody seems to have picked up the book.

I have not picked it up, and being that I am not at all interested in any sort of science fiction at any level, I probably wont, but I think it is fabulous that this book has piqued everyone’s attention.

At the younger ages it is really hard to get children to read, once in college it is very rare that students have time to pick up a book outside of class and work, and as parents and grandparents it is rare that they want to read the books they are reading to the kids. This book overcomes all of this.

It is getting children into the books. The kids will actually sit down and read the entire almost 900 pages and love it. My roommate went through the book in less than a week, because the reading goes quickly. And my mother reads each Harry Potter book to my cousin who is about 10, I think.

It is fabulous that a book is getting everybody to read. Reading is such a fabulous tool, especially for the younger children. Reading enhances children’s intelligence and ability to do well in school. Reading requires that a child sit down for a while and keep their attention on one thing, which is also something students need to do in school. Reading prepares children for school.

Reading also increases vocabulary. This is good for people of all ages. Even books like Harry Potter can toss out words that not everyone would necessarily know. For example, asperity: roughness or harshness, as a surface, sound, weather, etc. or of circumstances, according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

These are not necessarily words that people are going to use every day, but as students try to get into college or graduate school or get a job, having a larger vocabulary can always be useful.

Also, having a great big book like this that people of all ages read can give people of all ages a common ground to start communicating. It gives grandmas something in to have in common with their children and grandchildren when otherwise they might not.

Finally, this new book is providing more people with jobs at a time when the economy is still struggling. According to Newsweek it took 2,000 hours to print the books and 8,000 hours to bind them for a total of 120,000 man hours used for the production. It also took 650 tractor-trailers hauling loads of 140,000 book to get this out to the stores. This is a lot of hours people were being paid to work which they would not have had if Harry Potter didn’t have the popularity it does.

This book has many great assets outside of just being a good book to read. It is kind of hard to believe that children are sitting down and getting through a 900-page book, but since I keep hearing that they are, it is great.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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