Blogging the World of Harry Potter

My collection of Harry Potter books | Photo Credit: Michele // Just a Lil Lost

How different would the release of Harry Potter have been if it came out today rather than in 1997?

Computers in every home were not common when we were first introduced to the world that J.K. Rowling had so intricately & lovingly created, let alone book blogging. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone) was released on the cusp of the Internet boom. It wasn’t long after that when almost everyone you spoke to was surfing the information super highway. But even then, the world wide web was still in its infancy. There are some bloggers who have been doing it for many years, myself included (over 10 to be exact, though not solely dedicated to books). A bit more specifically, there are some book bloggers who have been doing it for quite a few years now, and I find that it’s not until the last year or two that it’s really taken off. The internet is the wave of the future, and companies are finally taking notice at the impact that word of mouth can have, whether it be via blogs, online, or in person.

I’d even go to say that when the last book was released in 2007, book blogging was still a fairly new idea. Sure, there were some people blogging already but I can fathom a probable guess that any ARCs that would have been available for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would have been reserved for professionals in the industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to sign a confidentiality agreement, with how much secrecy surrounded each installment of the beloved series.

Now, can you imagine if Harry Potter were to be released in the present day? Imagine you were one of the ones to receive an ARC of one of the books? Would you even know what you had in your hands and what a worldwide phenomenon it would become? Okay, now forget the advanced copies. Even if you waited for the release date, went out and bought a copy and devoured it in one sitting like many Potter fans, the online community would be on fire discussing the latest book. All these years later, the Potter fandom is one of the biggest out there. Imagine how much bigger it probably would be if it were to be released now. I’d say spoilers would run rampant though. Can you imagine finding out all the key moments with people tweeting it and having so-and-so die trend on Twitter??

That being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. People say that J.K. Rowling reinvigorated the love of reading in children with this series, and it’s based on the good old fashioned way that it was done: through printed books and non-internet-based marketing. It’s not even until maybe later this year that these seven beloved books will become available in eBook form via the Pottermore site. To me, it’s all of this combined that solidifies it as a classic.

Photo pictured above features my collection of all books Harry Potter-related. (Yes, that’s two copies of the full series – the “children’s” cover and the “adult” paperback versions which are just for show!)

Comments

  1. Such a lovely post! I have to agree with you completely though! Part of the reason the books were just sooo good was that they were in tune with the time. They may be timeless and they may be loved for centuries but they may have become too over-hyped if they were released today. In fact, it may have been harder (surprisingly) for them to have gotten as big as they did. Who knows?

  2. What a wonderful post. I can’t even imagine Harry Potter fandom being any bigger than it already is, but I do agree that with how things are now, it would have had a huge impact on it. As it is, even people who aren’t HP fans *gasp* still know about HP more than they probably want to. (although I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t want to love HP and everything about it) The reach that can be achieved now with digital marketing and blogs is just incredible.

  3. MartinaCK says:

    I love this post. I’ve never really thought about how it’d be if books from the past were published today. Even classics.. I wonder if P&P or Gone With the Wind would be as popular if they were published recently and book bloggers got their hands on them!

  4. Great post. And you are right- it’s hard to imagine what Harry potter being released now would mean, and how it would have changed the experience. I for one feel so grateful not only for the books but also for all the memories JK Rowling helped me create because of the books. MIdnight Book Releases -two of which I planned for large book stores, Parties, Dressing up like the characters at Halloween, movies and within the last 2 years watching my son read and fall in love with the stories as much as I am. One more big memory (dream) we have planned is to visit the Wizarding world of Harry Potter some day.

  5. I have never read the books….have thought about it, but dont really have the time or patience I think. I have seen all the movies (Yes, I’m sure the books are MUCH better) and love the movies. She is such a great story teller.

  6. I haven’t read the books! I know! I know! I want to! :) I remember how it came to surface all over the place, though! This was such a thoughtfully written entry! Thanks

    I was actually hoping some other bloggers would be able to help me develop my TBR list by sharing their faves. If you’d like to contribute visit me here Glitter Lit

  7. You said it perfectly. Part of Harry Potter’s charm is how magical the experience of reading the books it. I couldn’t imagine having read them any other way. If they were to be released now, I think, it would be greatly different. I could just imagine the amount of spoilers released if it had been released slightly later….as it was there were some that got out.

    A fantastic, thought provoking post that made me nostalgic for the magic that this series brought with it.

  8. If it were released today.. i think the response would be the same, just from a different generation.

  9. This is a great post! I definitely think of the mystery would have been ruined by the internet (much as I love the internet). Especially for people like us, who are so active on so many social media sites, it would have been near impossible to avoid spoilers. It was hard enough to avoid them from the regular media or people around you!

    I remember when the 5th or 6th book came out the Ottawa Sun printed the spoilers in the paper! I was shocked that they would even consider doing it!

    Like you however I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! The memory of going to midnight releases and reading all day when the new books came out, the excitement of finding other HP fans and most of all the community that has been built, are irreplaceable! It’s such an amazing thing that has happened and it will definitely be hard to replicate!

  10. Wonderful post, Michele!
    I totally agree with everything that you have to say. I remember the day DH came out! I stayed up all night just to read it. I remember being so upset that it was over!

  11. What a lovely post. I also think that it was one of the reason why Harry Potter is so “magical”. We have to wait for the next installment to be available to continue reading about the Harry Potter world. No spoilers abound, no reviews out there yet (I’m not much of a internet geek back then and only discovered reviewing and blogging in early 2008). I just love reading this kind of posts. Makes me so nostalgic about my childhood. Harry Potter will always be a part of me and nothing could change that, ever. :)

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