How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomena - Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason, or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read - or NOT to read - these books because everyone else is?
I tend to believe cultural phenomena lack quality and substance. I have not read any Harry Potter or the Twilight series. I once attempted to watch a Harry Potter movie but drifted off to sleep. However, I bought the Potter series for my 10 yr old (at the time) nephew at the recommendation of a school librarian -- he devoured them! I suspect I would have liked them as well when I was 8 - 9 years old.
The only book I've read that would qualify as a reading phenomenon is The Da Vinci Code. I read it purposefully to be a part of the world-wide popular culture. We actually kicked off our book club with Da Vinci Code for this reason: it was almost certain to be the book most of us had already read and for anyone who hadn't read it yet, we could get a copy to them pronto. Plus, it was an easy, quick, entertaining read.
So, I have a mixed response to reading, film and TV phenomena. I usually resist them but I can understand the rationale that it is a way to have a connection with the broader culture (community).
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