Elizabeth Teare contends that Rowling’s Harry potter novels have awakened a reading revolution around the world by redefining the readers’ twenty-first century notion of a best-seller. Literary critics have been intrigued by the success of J.K Rowling since a majority of them have come up with theories to justify the million of copies sold all over the world, whereas others ascribe their success to the manipulation of the book market and an excellent marketing, Rowling’s attraction lies in her treatment of magic as a commoditized technology. Teare contends that on opening weekend sales, the sales of Rowling’s books on Harry Potter are chartered like those of blockbuster movies. In fact, Teare places Rowling’s works in the context of children fantasy literature, from Tolkien’s Lords of the Rings series to Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.
The first claim that Teare brings forth about Rowling’s books is that they have transformed both the technologies of reading and how readers understand those technologies (Tear 802). Teare wonders why Rowling’s works not only spark compelling interest to social, literally, and cultural critics, but also draw international phenomenon among, teachers, parents, and their young children. She attributes this to the fact that the stories that Rowling tell in her books enact both the fears of children’s literature, as well as the reader’s fantasy, not to mention that they were published in the context of the twenty-first century technological and commercial culture. In proving her claims about Rowling’s works, Teare posits that every fiction, regardless of its target audience, can teach the readers viewpoints that are significant to the larger culture. Instead of simplifying the message in Rowling’s novels, Teare asserts that the novels’ interesting, compromised and uneven depiction of commodity culture and children offers a useful arena in which concerns can though about (Teare 801).
Another claim that Teare puts forward is that Harry Potter books gives the much needed instructions on how to live in commodity culture (Teare 802), thus still guiding and enlightening the young reader towards making the right choices. Her assertions contradict critics like Jack Zipes who claim that the series is a hodgepodge of popular culture. Children’s attitude towards the reading culture has been experiencing a downward trend in the past twenty years. Books have lost their market share because the attention of readers has diminished. Teare asserts that children have instead directed their attention towards other media such as video games, movies, and videos since they present narrative fantasies. She posits that not only has the reading culture been affected by competition, but also by the increasingly tainted image of children’s publishing. However, since Harry Potter appeared on the scene, the reading culture of the young generation has been rejuvenated. This can be attributed to the fact that it initially offered a strong counter narrative to other media, and allowed its publishers, especially, Bloomsbury in the U.K. and Scholastic in the U.S. to recapture the high ground and redirect the story the story they tell about themselves.
Finally, Teare highlights the problems that Harry potter books find themselves in relation to the Internet commerce. In late spring 1999, enthusiastic American readers discovered that get both the second and third editions of this book directly form the U.K. via the interne, from amazon.com’s U.K. affiliate (Teare 807). As a result, scholastics moved up the publication dates of their second and third volumes, which ensured that the fourth and subsequent volumes would be published simultaneously in the U.S. and the U.K. Moreover, scholastic challenged amazon.com for breaching international territorial publishing rights but Amazon refuted this claim by stating that buying a book online is legal just like buying a book in a British book store when visiting the country.
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