Dig in to the treasure!
The final installment of the Harry Potter movies will be released on July 15, 2011 at 12:01 am. On July 16th our group will break out the books and start our year-long reading / movie-watching club and discussion group. Our focus will be on seeing what one misses if they only watch the movies but do not read the books.
The first book we will read between July 16 and August 12 is Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (or the Philosopher’s Stone if you are reading the UK version).
Everyone is to start reading independently or within your family. Our first meeting will be after we have read the book independently. During the weekend of August 12 – 14 we will meet to watch the movie together and discuss what one finds in the books that is missing from the movies.
So, dig out your dog-eared copy or find a new one. It’s time to break out the books!
Discover the Treasure in the Books
Recently, I have had a few conversations that went something like this,
“Hey, Connie. I finally got into Harry Potter. It’s cool.”
To which I reply, “Great, which book is your favorite?”
“Oh, I haven’t read the books. I’ve seen the movies.”
Which causes me to launch into an animated explanation of why the movies can NEVER be a substitute for the books. As I have given this personal lecture repeatedly, it occurs to me that we true Harry Potter fans have an obligation to persuade those who show an interest in Harry Potter to actually read the books. I appreciate the movies but NOT as a substitute for the books.
So, what are people missing if they only watch the movies without reading or listening to the books?
- Great characters (Movie-goers never even meet Peeves and sweet Colin Creevey.)
- Deliciously creative words and phrases (Before reading HP I had never heard or read the word galumphing until Uncle Vernon did it in Sorcerer’s Stone. Also, thanks to the Harry Potter books, my kids grew up understanding what it means to be pensive and to feel umbrage.)
- Character-revealing details (Please! compare Norbert & Hagrid’s relationship in the books to the movie.)
- Intricate sub-plots that are woven together beautifully throughout the series with clues in one book that are resolved in future volumes
- The possible biblical parallels and great moral lessons (Since I have been a champion for Harry in defending the books against Christian opponents, I like to point out that the Christian imagery and parallels that can be found in the books are lost in the movies. For example, movie-goers totally miss the two Bible verses on the tombstones in Godric’s Hollow. When I met Ms. Rowling at the Open Book Tour press conference she told us that these two verses encapsulate the entire Harry Potter series.)
As the final movie is released, I propose that those of us who love the books read them again on a shared schedule and invite our friends to join us – especially our friends who have not read the books yet. Then watch the movie together after each book and take note of what is missing if one only watches the movie without benefit of the books.
What do you think?
I will post the schedule shortly. I plan to start re-reading Book One: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone on July 16, 2011 (probably right after returning home from the midnight showing of the final movie). Then we will watch the first movie sometime the weekend of August 12 – 14, 2011. Then move on to the next volume with my book/movie club. I will blog after each one about what we noticed that was missing in the movies. I plan to do this with my friends and family even if no one joins us, but thought it would be great fun to throw this out to the world to see who wants to track with us. That way you can share and we can hear what your group notices that our group might miss.