They're Just Wild About 'Harry' (Potter, That Is)

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When associate producer Jennifer Hunt weighed in late last week with a piece about being an adult "Harry Potter" fan, little did she know how big a response she would provoke. Here's a sampling of the letters she received:

I loved your column on Harry Potter. Your words of encouragement are enough to make me go out and buy a copy of any of the four titles — and I'm in my late 20s as well, but a guy (I wonder if that's okay?!). Thanks for the insight. I never thought I'd want to go out and buy any of the "Potter" books... until I read your words. — Brian

Loved your "Harry Potter" piece for TIME! What fun! I rode the London underground today, niece in tow, both of us entirely buried in the latest book (and missing our stop completely). At least 25 percent of people I saw had "the book" tucked under their arms. Amazing! How glorious it is for a pure work of children's imagination to take the mainstream hostage. If you haven't already done it, there's no greater pleasure than reading/acting out "HP" to a child. Try it! — Justin (vindicated 25-year-old "Harry Potter" fan)

I agree wholeheartedly with your view of Harry and Co. — it's such good fun. I read parts I-III for my kids last summer (they were 3 and 4 then) and we've just listened to I and II on tape (long car journey) so we are ready for part IV (although I suspect that it will be too much for them — I'm really getting it just for me!). — Elaine

This book has opened up a whole new relationship between my 10-year-old son (who definitely had no passion for reading) and myself (a person who has such a love for reading). We have the best time talking about the characters and the stories! I do believe this has made my son love reading, which is a gift any parent will appreciate! But I think the best part is the quality time we spend reading and talking about the adventures. — Beth A.

Thank you so much for a wonderful article about the "Harry Potter" books. I didn't know what "Harry Potter" was all about. I imagined it to be just another materialistic "craze." What a joy to know that this literature will expand creative minds and give parents and children some common ground, as well as, be great fun. I will be buying my first copy tomorrow. — Elizabeth A.

While your piece on the "Harry Potter" books touches on its good points, you do not talk about its bad points. From reviews I have read, Harry is a warlock, or male witch. In this it is in direct conflict with Christianity. I do not begrudge you the fact that you like it, and want to read it, but you should point out the fact that it is in conflict with Church beliefs. Perhaps TIME could look into the fact that it is either required reading in some schools, or is read to the students by faculty. If a faculty member forced students to read from the Bible, many would be up in arms because of separation of Church and state. But it seems to be OK to feed another religion to the students, and not have any complaint from the same people. — Bob M.

I am 13 years old (14 on July 12), and where I live it is quite hard for me to admit my obsession for "Harry Potter." My close friends know a little bit, but not all of it. But I just wanted to tell you that if a woman in her 20s can do it, so can I. — Brittini

My greatest gift to my son will be the gift of reading, and I will be very happy when he can enjoy "Harry Potter" as much as his mom does. They only sad part is that once the 7th and final book is out, what do we do then? — Janet

I really like your article about the "Harry Potter" series, and I hope many others will read it and agree. I am glad you compared "Harry Potter" to our, excuse me, "television junk" because so many kids are saturated with TV and will not even touch a book. As for adults, I believe it's even worse. Thank you for your article. Now I will go read my own "Harry Potter" IV ! P.S. My parents love these books!
Natalia, age 12

I'm one of thousands of bleary-eyed parents this morning, after having spent the hours between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. this morning at a "Harry Potter" party at my local Barnes & Noble. I don't know who was more excited — my 11-year-old son, or me! The store provided cake and lemonade and coffee (lots of coffee), and entertainment by a magician in a cape and wizard's hat. All of the employees of the store were in costume as characters from the book. Just before midnight, the manager climbed up on a table to lead the "countdown." Right at the stroke of twelve, employees started opening boxes and passing books into the outstretched hands of hundreds of children and adults. It's wonderful to see so many kids so excited about a book. Many of them opened the book and started reading immediately, curled up in chairs, and laying down on benches. — Polly P.

Thank you for the article about Harry Potter. It truly is an amazing series of books. Until last night, I never thought I would ever find myself sitting in a bookstore for 2 hours waiting for a "children's" book. Yet there I was, 32 years old, laughing along with all the other adults waiting for the book. I tried to resist and wait for it, but I just couldn't wait. I had to have it. Now it's going to be a lost weekend as I spend all my time reading this huge 4th edition. Puffy eyes here I come. — Clayton

I enjoyed your comments about "Harry Potter." As a fifth grade teacher, I regularly witness my students frothing at the mouth when their names are called in the school library's weekly "Potter" drawing. I hope the book series has the staying power of Pokemon and the WWF... — Devik