In 1997 a skinny boy with a mop of black hair and a scar did something for literature that Faulkner, Hemingway, Twain and Fitzgerald never could do â€“â€“ get kids to love reading.
And for that, the Collegian editorial board would like to bid a fond farewell to Harry Potter, as â€œHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part IIâ€ is released this weekend, marking an end to the beloved franchise.
After almost 14 years, seven books selling a total of 400 million copies worldwide, eight movies on the list of highest grossing films of all time and a theme park, Potter has left an unforgettable mark on todayâ€™s culture.
Before the stroke of midnight on July 21, 2007, millions of people waited in line to purchase not a video game or a toy, but a book, â€œHarry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.â€ In the first 24 hours of its release, 11 million copies were sold to kids who had dedicated seven years of their lives to Harry Potter. They had grown up with Potter and his friends.
This Friday these same fans, now college-aged adults, will make their way to movie theaters in the wee hours of the night to say goodbye to the wizarding world.
The Harry Potter books might not have the literary value of Faulkner or many other famous works, but the fantasy series tricked an entire generation away from the TV and into the pages of books.
Most of the members of your Collegian editorial board might not even be here if it wasnâ€™t for Potter and his creator, J.K. Rowling. We might not have wanted to be writers if we hadnâ€™t walked the halls of Hogwarts at such a young age.
So thank you Harry Potter, and good bye, because for all you know we could be a generation of washed-out stoners if you hadnâ€™t gotten us high on books.