Success or distress?

  November 7, 2003 at 4:33 PM ET
  grae     Moreover (via Publishing News)

There's no question that the Harry Potter novels have been a huge success, helping to boost the popularity of children's literature to unprecedented heights. But has it been too much of a good thing?opens in new window

A consultation document from the Arts Councilopens in new window believes it is possible that the vast success of the Harry Potter phenomenon has damaged sales of other children’s books.

"There is some evidence that, in bookshops, young readers are transferring their allegiance from other authors, for instance R L Stine’s Goosebump series, to Harry Potter, without looking back," the document states. "It is also suggested that the price of each Harry Potter volume inhibits parents from buying other books, and that the time it takes to read each volume discourages young readers from reading more widely."

However, the document does not regard Harry Potter as having a solely negative impact. "J K Rowling has helped to bring children’s literature into focus, made it a subject of popular and critical attention, both here and abroad."


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