The Harry Potter books are now regarded as one of the biggest publishing phenomenons of all time.
J.K. Rowling has achieved what billions of us would like to achieve - if only!
But seriously, her achievement will live on for many years (decades, millenniums!) to come, and lucky for us.
It all began with the Philosopher's Stone (Sorcerer's Stone in USA) and has "blossomed" from there and well, we all know where it finished.
If you've perhaps been "under a rock" for the last ten years you wouldn't know about Harry Potter's quest to defeat the "Dark Lord Voldemort".
I love how it takes seven books to play out, or should I say "tease" out.
As it's often said, it's not the destination but the journey that's the enjoyable part. If only we could extend that journey!
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As Harry matures the battles intensify and consequently the plot and story lines become more interesting to the audience.
It's like Ravel's Bolero in a way - one long crescendo.
But the main factor driving millions back to the story time and time again is plain, pure fun.
It's fun to be wrapped up in the drama, it's fun to be absorbed by all the happenings, places, characters, nuances, spells and so much more.
It's fun to be scared, at least vicariously, of the "state of affairs" as characters such as "notorious mass murderer" Sirius Black and Lord Voldemort wreak havoc and threaten the world of both magical folk and muggles alike.
It's fun to see the bullying Dursley family, including Aunt Marge, get their comeuppance as they try to thwart our hero Harry Potter.
Even when the action turns really "dark" in the latter Potter books we still derive a goodly amount of fun, though at a "safe" distance.
Also we are introduced to magical items and creatures such as the:
life sized battle chess sets;
howler letters; flying cars and motor bikes;
flying brooms and so much more.
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We are able to cheer, sympathise and root for Harry, Hermione and Ron as they go on each adventure throughout the books.
They meet all manner of situations and on most occasions, triumph over both the situation and evil itself.
The popularity of each successive book has gained momentum and doesn't look like diminishing any time soon.
Both the critical and commercial success has stunned the world.
J.K. Rowling herself has become, in my opinion, a huge hero for the underdog, downtrodden and even the downright quirky, as her character Luna Lovegood would definitely attest to!
The only thing I find slightly irritating about the Harry Potter book series is Rowling's overuse of alliterative names such as: Salazar Slytherin; Godric Gryffindor; Helga Hufflepuff; Rowena Ravenclaw; Moaning Myrtle and the like.
This is a very small criticism if you could even call it that.
I'm a lot like other children/adults when asked about their favorite Harry Potter thing - I like it all!
If you doubt the success of the Harry Potter books you only have to look at the figures.
As of 2011 there have been more than 450 million copies sold worldwide in over 67 languages. J.K. Rowling herself is the ONLY billionaire children's book author the world has ever produced to my knowledge and research.
Now that's saying something!
I think Bloomsbury are very happy they signed her before the other publishing houses realized what was about to be unleashed on the world.
Additionally, the Harry Potter books, with their multi-themed story lines and plots have actually become the fastest selling book series in all publishing history.
I wonder what Johannes Gutenberg (inventor of the printing press in 1450 A.D.) would make of all this!!!
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