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A Study Shows Reading Harry Potter Reduces Prejudice

The reasons to read Harry Potter are endless. Like the Department of Mysteries, every time I read the series I find a new storyline I hadn’t discovered before or learn something new about a character I thought I had sussed out.

Aside from picking up on new details, there’s also the sheer escapism that reading Harry Potter provokes, that make it perfect for revisiting. Hogwarts and the rest of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is such a richly written place that you can’t help but leave everything else behind as you tap the third brick to the right and enter Diagon Alley.

Alongside the escapism and detailed plot lines, a study has shown that reading J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels can also reduce prejudice. If we ever needed an excuse to start back at our first year of Hogwarts then this is surely it.

As a child I would pre-order every new Harry Potter book from Waterstones. At the time, the £15 was a huge amount of money, but my parents knew how important it was that I got a copy on release date so we would dutifully trek into town and queue up along with the rest of Bristol. Usually I would have finished reading it by the end of the day, perhaps the next day in the case of The Order Of The Phoenix, and every year as I waited for the next book to be released I would reread each of the series so far, by book seven this was a fairly serious commitment and took over most of the proceeding week.

I learnt so much from those days and weeks spent buried nose deep with Harry, Ron and Hermione. I learnt about friendship, the best kind, and I learnt about good and evil and how people will always try to divide and conquer what is good and pure, but that in the end, despite all odds, good will triumph. I learnt to decipher the difference between friendship and romantic love along with Hermione, and I developed a healthy lack of regard for rules as I adventured with Harry.

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