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Archive for April 21st, 2007

J.K. Rowling, Writer of Plain Old Books

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One of my favorite recent memories of going to the movies was when I went to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I sat near the front with a friend, and through the whole movie, I could hear a mother seated behind me whispering back and forth with her young son. I don’t usually like people talking during movies—which is funny because I am a frequent sinner. But I have likely never enjoyed hearing someone talk during movie than this time.

At every scene—and I do mean nearly every scene—the mother whispered to her son, “do you know what this is?” And his reply, “Yeah, this is when they…” I gathered they had read the book together before coming to the movie. I loved listening to them go back and forth, enjoying their favorite moments from a plain old book play out on screen. I hope my little boy and I can annoy folks at the theater with such enthusiasm some day.

Therefore, I’d like to highlight J. K. Rowling’s reception of one of WIRED Magazine’s Rave Awards. I’ll let the write up speak for itself…

“In 1990, before the rise of Second Life and World of Warcraft, before the triumph of MMORPGs, a young woman named Joanne Rowling was stuck on a delayed four-hour train ride to King’s Cross station in London. She began to conjure up an outcast boy heading to a sorcery school called Hogwarts. Seven years and countless drafts later, the first Harry Potter novel plunged readers into a parallel universe more compelling than any online world imaginable. Rowling was paid a $4,000 advance. Today she is the first person to become a billionaire by writing books. And when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final volume in the series, apparates on July 21, it will mark the conclusion of an incredible run: more than 325 million books sold in 200 countries, not to mention the $3 billion or so earned by the first four movies and billions more from games, action figures, and product tie-ins. Rowling is the reigning master of what you might call MMFWs-massively multireader fictional worlds-inspiring a generation of screen-fed kids to devour old-fashioned books on paper.” -Liesl Schillinger (emphasis mine)

Thanks, Joanne, for reminding us that books—on paper, no less—are still cool.

HT: Mugglenet

Written by taj

April 21, 2007 at 7:29 pm