Categories
general

Style

The Harry Potter books are really easy to read. I can read them quickly. I don’t need time to get used to the style, except when I first come back to them after reading something else–in that situation, I have to adjust my thinking down so that I’m not offended by the simplicity of the prose. Once I’ve done that, though, I can just fly right through, and pick up where I’ve left off with no problems.

They’re children’s books, so this should not be all that striking. I just wanted to mention that this is quite a contrast to the Thomas Covenant books, which I have to kind of crawl into before I can read at a good clip. The Covenant books aren’t as bad as the Aubrey-Maturin books, either. There are whole levels of complexity out there.

One thing I did notice myself doing as I read the Potter books this time was mental revision. Whenever I came across a section that I felt could have been done better, I’d write it over in my head. Mind you, the only reason this happened is that it is much easier to spot errors in simple prose. I can skim along pleasantly and edit on the fly without breaking up my flow.

Mostly my “edits” involved punctuation usage, though there were several sentences I would have removed entirely (they took away from the effect of preceding sentences by overexplaining the situation), and there were a few actual grammatical errors. Yes, I did notice the ellipses…but they didn’t bother me as much this time. Maybe I had decided to not let them affect my enjoyment, or maybe I had built them up in my head so much that when I actually came across them, they didn’t seem as bad. Either way, I’m glad.

My euphoria at finishing the books is slowly fading. I don’t have anything to fill the place Harry Potter is leaving in me–I don’t feel like jumping back into Covenant, because that would be too much of a contrast–so I hope I don’t go nuts before Saturday.