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The Pause That Refreshes ~ Part II

Written on: December 29th, 2008 by: in Learning Journeys

Kathy here: My tale of runaway reading last week was only part of the story. You remember that I was swept away with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

What you don't know is that Meyer Followers lined up to purchase the final book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, hours before the sales began at midnight on August 2, 2008, including my 26-year-old daughter. Book stores likened the frenzy to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter phenomenon. And, frenzy is the right word.

While I missed this round, I was a part of the Harry Potter rumpus.  Wandering Barnes & Noble at 11:30pm., waiting with hundreds of children, teen and adults from all walks of life…many dressed as their favorite character…for our turn to possess, to hold, to own the next installment in Harry's adventures. It was hard not to hug the person next to you.

What did this add my learning path? I recall that around Book 3, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, I pulled out my old "research" into the power of story, the need to write/tell/hear them; I even dug up my old copy of Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth.  I began to explore the topic anew.

Meanwhile along the way, an entirely new vein in the experience emerged when the Harry Potter titles moved to film. Attendees couldn't help dissecting the director's interpretation of the book, discussing what points were made, where sub-plots fell away. I witnessed the same with Peter Jackson's vision of the Lord of the Rings ; the chorus there was "It takes a true fan of the books to make the movies. And Peter is one." 

Now, Twilight has hit the big screen. Yes, I went to see it with my daughter. Yes, the theatre was full of 12+ females madly in love with the male lead. Yet, imagine my delight when I heard them give approval to the portrayal of the Cullens' home in the woods or to the completeness of the dialogue in the high school cafeteria.  This was still a strong group reading experience. 

And, the group reading experience is the rest of this story. Wouldn't it be great if an adult novel stimulated this sort of reaction? How about you? Any altering reading experiences you would like to share?