I Have A Shameful Secret

I have a secret. A dark, shameful secret that I have kept locked away for years, deep inside of me. I never thought it would see the light of day for I feared, to do so, would turn me immediately into a social outcast, a literary leper who would be mocked and ridiculed wherever he went. But, today, the world must know the truth and I will take whatever society chooses to throw at me. It is time for you all to know….

I’ve never read a Harry Potter book.

There I’ve said it. Are you still reading? I hope so for I will need all the support and counselling I can get in the coming days and weeks. What’s more I’ve never watched a Harry Potter film from start to finish. And believe me I’ve tried. I so want to fit in with the rest of the reading universe. Yet something holds me back. It leaves me cold. I just don’t get it. I change the channel always about half way through the quidditch game. Is that even the right word? Sighs….

I should love Harry, adore him and Emma Watson and the other one; you know, the annoying ginger bloke. Robbie Coltrane is in it. He was brilliant in Cracker. And Young Adult Fantasy is my favourite genre. Hunger Games? Loved it. Twilight? Read them all before they made the movies and everyone decided they weren’t cool anymore. Divergent? Yes, Yes and three times Yes. I was raised on a diet of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. This should soooooo be my cup of tea. Yet I retch on it like yucky coffee.

We hatezzzzz the coffeeeeee…..

It’s not as if I’m a literary snob either. I’ll give anything a go and am not one to be put off by a bucket of hype. After Game of Thrones exploded into our consciousness I watched the first season, became hooked and then read all the books before Season 2 came out. I stalked the cast all over Belfast city centre, cornering the Starc girls in jewellery stores, accosting Samwell Tarly in a coffee shop for a selfie. I had no shame.

I even gave the First Fifty Shades book a rattle to see what all the fuss was about. I found Christian robotic and Anastasia well….a bit annoying if I’m honest. Fun fact. My office colleague, Claire, used to play tennis with Jamie Dornan when they were teenagers. She said he was a bit quiet. Just thought I’d drop that in there. You’re welcome. So you see, I’m not one to be put off by fads and gimmicks. I’m as gullible as they come, a marketing dream.

As an aspiring author, J.K. Rowling should be my hero. The whole writing the first book in a coffee shop in her spare time, getting rejected by how many publishers before she got signed. It’s the rags to riches that keeps so many of us returning to our keyboards, day after thankless day. I haven’t even given Harry and her a chance. It’s as if I have a mental block when it comes to all things Hogwarts.

This troubles me. Should I seek professional help? Harry hypnotherapy? Are there support groups out there that I can attend? I’m willing to give anything a go. Anything to avoid the social alienation of being ‘that guy who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books.’ A social pariah of my generation, pointed at by people in the street who protectively usher their children away from me as I pass them by. The man who puts the Dumb into Dumbledore.

I write this post from my knees, a broken and desperate shadow of my former self. Please help me. Tell me I’m not on my own. Is there anybody out there who feels my pain? Who share my guilty secret? And if not, what do I have to do to become a PotterHead? Is there a magic potion I can take? Or perhaps one of you can wave your wizards wand and that will do the trick. I’ll try anything.

Are you a Harry Potter addict? Or does he leave you cold?

What are your ‘guilty secrets’ when it comes to your book collection?

298 thoughts on “I Have A Shameful Secret

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  1. I haven’t read any of them or seen the movies, either. I rather like the “Marvel Movies” and the “DC Universe” mostly – I object to certain non-Christian ideals and such.

    I’ve read a great deal of science fiction and quasi-scifi fantasy and even the arguable fantasy of Tolkien and Lewis.

    I do read many ‘mystery’ stories. Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolf are my favorite, followed closely by Dame Agatha Christie and others. I enjoy the British sort of ‘intellectual and emotional’ mystery novels AND the “Hard-boiled” dicks of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

    Not everyone likes chocolate. I’ve met those who did not like – not a different preference, but DIDN’T LIKE – chocolate. I even accept them. Maintain a certain suspicion, of course…

    Perhaps our literary tastes are largely colored by taste. I am what I and many others would describe as a ‘strong Christian’. However, there are clearly Christian writers I really don’t read. It’s not that I disagree with what they say, I just don’t appreciate their ‘style’ of writing. So it goes.

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  2. This post made me laugh and especially the delightful puns! I have indeed read the Harry Potter books and seen all the films (I think). My guilty secret à propos my book collection is/was a raging obsession with all things Star Wars. I’m not ashamed to admit that I seek parallels for life with Jesus in fantasy fiction and tales of high adventure. 🙂 Thanks for your quirky, fun, and wholesome writing style! I look forward to browsing more of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read all the books… Out of obligation? When I was young, everybody would talk Harry Potter, so I force myself to read them even if I didn’t enjoy it. I am unable to watch the movies again.

    You blog post was great and made me laugh ❤️👏

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  4. I am new to this blog thing. So yours is one of the first I have read. You made me smile, I’m not one to laugh out loud, smiling is about as close as it gets. We all have secrets, what a fun place to share them. As for Harry, I watched my children and wife devour the books but just couldn’t bring myself to read them. However, I have watched all of the movies, only having to be nudged a few times. I am a very lucky soul though because I can watch a movie today and will honestly be able to tell you tomorrow that I have never seen that movie. I couldn’t tell you what any of the movies were about if you were to ask. I don’t know what it is but the majority of movies I have seen are forgettable. Or, I just forget to watch them or don’t pay attention because something else caught my eye. I do have adult ADHD so I guess that could be the issue. Anyway, great blog post, I’ll make it a point to browse through your site. Thank you.

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  5. I’ve never finished a Harry Potter book either! I watched the first film, liked the visuals and otherworldly feel but didn’t find the plot that amazing. Same with the first book. You’re not alone! Each to their own. I respect the author and how she was able to realise her dreams, writing like you said in her spare time etc that’s inspiring but the actual stories didn’t capture me as much as other authors.

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  6. I am so right there with you. As a writer proud of JK Rowlings struggles and amazing success, it follows I should read everything she wrote cover to cover. Just can’t fan the interest. This from a person who lives near Harry Potter Adventure at Universal Studios. I could go there, but would have no idea where I was as crowds wandered all around with stars in their eyes.

    Just want you to know it is comforting to know I’m not alone.

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  7. Ok so I am a fan of the Harry Potter universe and J. K. Rowling’s writing. As a writer interested in “Hero Cycle” adventures and someone who has always felt comfortable in a well fashioned fantasy world, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape. Lupin, and the rest populate a world I visit often as a welcome departure from the profane realm of muggledom ; albeit there are some fine characters here, too!

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      1. I resisted for a long time from reading the HP books and did not like the first one til several chapters in. Then I was hooked. But, we each appreciate different genres.
        I am no5 a fan of crime novels or biographies.

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  8. I read the first one and didn’t love it; never read the rest. Nothing against the series or the author. Glad the world found something to love. I read some HP fanfic so I had to go to the wikis to get some of the plot points so I could understand the fanfic 😀

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  9. As others have mentioned, different people have different tastes. My best friend and I can watch a movie together, and she loves it while I hate it (or vice versa). If you’ve given it a reasonable chance and it doesn’t do anything for you, then no need to feel guilty. However, with so many Potterheads out there, it might be best not to admit it. Doing so just will mean sitting through a lot of well-meaning attempts to ‘convert’ you to the wonders of the Wizarding World.

    Intially, there was so much hype about the books that I ignored them. Not until someone I trusted said they were good did I dive in (by then 2-3 of the books were published). And I thoroughly enjoyed them. As with many things, there are flaws. There are things that don’t make sense. There are things that are questionable. One of the things I most liked was that Rowling would toss in some tiny detail or comment with no significance, but then a book or two later it became very important.

    While I do like the books, I don’t much care for the movies. They moved too far away from the story line, in some cases even going against it. After the 4th movie I completely lost interest. Any time I decide to watch one of the early movies, I usually decide to just read the book instead. It has richer, deeper characterizations and I find them far more enjoyable.

    Take a stab at reading them if you like. Or not. If you don’t like the first one, then don’t bother with the rest. But probably best to keep your shameful little secret to yourself. Who needs to listen to a lot of fans haranguing you for not loving what they love, eh?

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  10. I have read them. J.K. Rowling is basically Enid Blyton on steroids, or possibly some sort of spell. The books aren’t great literature by any means, but are a fun read and a great way to get kids interested in reading. My daughter is now 13 and began reading the books at age six and has never looked back. In fact, she’s re-re-re-reading them now! I read very little fiction, but indulge in the works of Bernard Cornwell and have for the last 30+ years. There’s my secret

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  11. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books but I started with number 4 because it was on sale. It was darker than the first so less children, more young adult? My boys loved the series. Have you read JK Rowling’s new series? It’s under a pseudonym: Robert Galbraith

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  12. I have a shameful secret as well: I hate Game of Thrones! I know I should love it -it has the queen of dragons! And I’ve been called the queen of dragons (I sculpt dragon heads and make dragon eye pendants.) But when I watched I saw a child thrown out of a tower window and have never recovered from it!

    It’s kind of like my reaction to Pet Semetary. I love Stephen King! But when I read about a 2 year old playing on a hill leading to busy Route 2. I could see what was coming. I put down the book and never picked it up again. It’s been 33 years!

    So I understand!

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  13. I love Harry Potter stories, and I really enjoyed this hyperbolic post. I applaud you for not being a literary snob. I loved Atlas Shrugged but also the first 50 Shades book. It takes all kinds.

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  14. Your blog, just what was needed on a rainy morning! Ok I have read all the books, sort of. You see I am the greatest coward on two feet so when it came to the scary pieces I glossed over them.
    When the first film came out we went as a family where I promptly fell as sleep for the duration.

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  15. I only read the first one because a few friends insisted (one even paid me $1 to read it). I had seen the first few movies though (they’re not that exciting imo except for in the third one I enjoyed the Dementers). The first book wasn’t that exciting and I have no interest in reading any more of them. Interestingly though, people tell me to keep reading because by book 4-5 the series gets AMAZING!!!!

    …doesn’t that seem odd that you have to slog through three books to get to the amazing bit?

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  16. First book was a slog, but the rest I couldn’t put down!
    But, shhhh…I watched one episode of G of T and that’s it. No books, no more episodes.
    Now, Stranger Things…there’s a keeper!

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  17. Hello I am glad to make your acquaintance and thank you for the comment you left on my page. Now, as for you and your bib secret, look at not being able to finish a Harry Potter movie as you would a new book. I’m sure you’ve had this experience. You pick up a new book and feeling so very excited to have it in your library. But then after reading a few pages you totally lose interest. But weeks, months or even years later you pull the same book out of your library of books and start to read it and suddenly it appears as though each and every word is illuminated as you read them. You’ll be able to watch it when it’s your time. And I’d be willing to bet when you do watch it that you’ll have amazing things to write about.

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  18. I haven’t read the books, and only watched half of the movies. But there are a lot of books I haven’t read. I tried to read Game of thrones but it was too graphic for me.
    Now, as for Marvel movies, if I miss one all hell breaks loose.
    Priorities.

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  19. I absolutely adore the Harry Potter series! I first read it in the 5th grade and reread it about a million times! But it’s completely fine if you have a mental block (is that what it is?) against it. I have a friend who loves reading and devours every book she can get her hands on like me, but doesn’t like Harry Potter (even though she’s never actually read it). So don’t worry you’re not the only one 😊

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