David Madore's WebLog: I am not reading Harry Potter

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(Saturday) · Summer Solstice (2003-06-21T19:10:27.32Z) · Last Quarter

I am not reading Harry Potter

If I had known about the release of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I would have by all means avoided all English (language) bookstores of Paris today. Pure madness! As it was, I didn't know.

I've read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and I'm not opening another one of these books until Rowling puts down her pen and I can be reasonably confident that the end is an end, not an incentive to buy the next volume in the saga.

I hate this saga frenzy. And I despise authors who try to take their readers as hostages with this contemptible artifice of “if you want to know what becomes of <character Foo>, you must buy the book <The Return of Foo>”. Somehow, science-fiction and fantasy authors seem direly hit by this madness and stupidity. Some friends of mine are deeply stuck in the Wheel of Time saga, and it is obviously adversely affecting their normal life. Basically I spent most of my time in the bookstores either looking for books that weren't part of some n-volume saga (and not by some too obscure author either) or waiting in line at the cashier's desk behind fifteen other people all buying Harry Potter. This, of course, did not help much lighten my annoyance at the saga frenzy.

Anyway, here is the list of books I bought during the last 48 hours (not all to be read during the next two weeks, of course! I still haven't made my choice as to which I'll be taking with me on travel):

  • Italo Calvino, Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore (in French translation)
  • Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City (I've heard so much about that one that I guess I had to buy it eventually)
  • Cara Black, Murder in Belleville (an English-language murder mystery taking place in Paris, I thought it might be interesting)
  • HPG, Autobiographie d'un hardeur
  • Umbert Eco, L'Isola del giorno prima (in French translation)
  • Dino Buzzati, a collection of short stories
  • Mercedes Lackey, Take a Thief
  • Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea (volume One of blah blah blah, unfortunately)
  • Clive S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (another volume One, ugh)
  • The Onion ad nauseam (complete archives volume 13)
  • Vernor Vinge, A Fire upon the Deep (somehow I'm convinced I won't like that—I wonder why I bought it)
  • Vernor Vinge, collected (short) stories
  • Mercedes Lackey, Brightly Burning
  • David Sedaris, Naked

You may now proceed to tell me I have utterly bad taste…

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