To the Editor:
With the latest Harry Potter release ("Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Summer Camper," Arts pages, July 14), is there room for a dissenting voice?
My 10-year-old son announced his intention never to read another Harry Potter book. "Because, Mom, haven't you noticed? It's the same old thing. Harry Potter falls in trouble, Harry Potter learns a spell. It gets so boring."
Could I believe my ears? My son, a good reader, at last! And I recalled (silently) a favorite quote from Vladimir Nabokov: "Caress the details," he directed. "Read for the tingle, the shiver up the spine."
When my son deposited his hardcover Potter collection in his school's donation box, he assured me: "I don't want to keep these. They're not the kind of books you read twice." Well, I asked, what kind of book do you read again? "One with details," he answered. Sorry, J. K. Rowling...
New York, July 14, 2005