A friend in California has been sending me random obscure links to blogs and their comments on the latest Harry Potter book. After spending the last two weeks reading them I have come to a few conclusions.
J.K. Rowling wrote a great series. I believe her only agenda was to write something she loved and to provide for her family. I don't think she set out to lure anyone to occult rituals. I don't think she meant to make any religious statements either.
The oddest thing I have found in following the great Harry Potter blog trail is how atheists see her stories two ways. Some say she should be credited for not giving in to Conservative pressure to put a "Christian spin" on the plot line. Some say by not outwardly having the characters declare there is no God she leaves the door too wide open.
Christians have been lambasting her for not naming God as the source of all power. Others have been praising her "obvious" comparison of Harry's sacrifice to the sacrifice of Jesus.
So from both sides she is alternately loved and hated. You might wonder how this happened. The answer is simple.
Everyone reads and interprets what they have read from their own mindset. They will see what they desire and will take the pieces they like which reaffirm what they already believe.
That's what happens when you read a book.
Literature is nothing like that.
Literature is to be consumed, to be taken to your heart, to make a change in your life.
The difference between reading a book or a piece of literature depends on the reader. If the experience you have reaches beyond your mind and into your heart you have literature in your life. If you enjoy what you read but it has no causal effect in your life, you have read a book.
How are you changed by what you read?