Castles, magic, wizards… These literary elements familiar to the British, combined with the story and imagination of Harry Potter, make the British feel different from Harry Potter today. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film in the Harry Potter series, and the protagonists have gathered again to record the 20th anniversary special. In fact, in addition to the attention of movies, the original Harry Potter series is still influential among the younger generation in the UK, no less popular than 20 years ago.
Although the Harry Potter series of novels explores extremely dark magic themes, it is still positioned as “children’s books” in the UK – on the children’s bookshelves of major bookstores in London, the Harry Potter series is still placed in the same position as 20 years ago, in the C position (center position). The price is the same as in those years, and it has never been regarded as an air discount book for sale. The only difference is that today’s works are a complete set of sales.
After Harry Potter, book series such as Twilight and Hunger Games have also been successful. However, after several years of dominating the book list, Twilight was replaced by Hunger Games, and Harry Potter’s popularity persisted. Today, the paperback version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first novel in the series, can still be ranked in the top ten best-selling list for children’s books in Britain.
In fact, when the first novel in the Harry Potter series was published in Britain in 1997, it was not favored. At that time, although many large publishing houses set up children’s book departments, no one had too much commercial expectations for children’s books. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers, but later sold well all over the world because it was favored by Bloomsbury Publishing House. The series has sold more than 5 billion copies worldwide, which is an extraordinary sales volume in the book field.
In addition to the plot content of the novel itself, the British government promoted the National Reading Year in 1998, and then many positive measures aimed at children’s reading and literacy emerged, which also helped Harry Potter a lot among young British readers. Especially after the publication of the third series Prisoners of Azkaban in 1999, reading Harry Potter became popular among young British groups.
In addition, the “Reading Starting Line” program funded by the British government gives a large number of school-age children the opportunity to read books, including Harry Potter, free or cheaply. The “Harry Potter” phenomenon makes reading this book still popular local reading sharing activity, which is even attractive to those without English people who often read also joined in.
In British primary schools, reading through the Harry Potter series is something that many students can be proud of among their peers. As early as 2014, about 600 primary and secondary schools in the UK participated in the survey, and the survey found that more than half of the students in these schools had completed at least one Harry Potter novel, most of whom were boys. The survey also found that many students who read the whole series have made considerable progress in reading comprehension. The reporter noticed that many British children are willing to spend an hour reading Harry Potter alone every day, and then share their experiences with their friends. In addition, going to Harry Potter Studios on the outskirts of London has also become the best choice for many parents to reward their children.
If you want to ask why the young British generation is still willing to read this “old book” published more than 20 years ago, many views believe that Harry Potter has subverted many rules in the field of children’s books. In the past, the British believed that the length of children’s books should not exceed 6 thousand words, and the characters should stay at almost the same age in the whole series, otherwise no one would like to read them. But the “routine” of this commercial series has not been reproduced in Harry Potter.
However, Harry Potter is not perfect. While it is still in the hands of the British younger generation and unwilling to put it down, there are also many criticisms about this IP. Many contemporary readers began to question the representative of “eliteism” of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the book, while others questioned the “sexism” in the character characteristics of the characters in the book – the more extreme personality of female characters, which is especially reflected in the image of teachers in the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.