Currently there’s a sign on my door which reads “I’m reading Harry Potter. If you need me, come back next week.” Although I wasn’t allowed to read Harry Potter for the first 16 or 17 years of my life, I have now starting reading the books for the second time, have seen all the movies, would like to go to Hogwarts in Orlando someday, and have considered buying a Hufflepuff house scarf, although I’ve heard they smell weird. So even though I have a healthy appreciation for Harry Potter, many people still insist upon pointing out to me that they love the books and movies more, which I don’t try to argue with. For the most part, it seems that Harry Potter is a love it or hate it thing. People either yell “Literally, that was my childhood! (like, literally.)” or they look totally horrified when they hear that I like the books, and try to tell me that Harry Potter is a pack of lies. Personally, I don’t feel that Harry Potter in and of itself is inherently wrong. Although I’m glad that my parents didn’t let me read them as a child, because there’s some bad language and I might not have understood that everything wasn’t true, I’m also glad that I’ve read them now. Because now I can understand that they’re just fiction, and I think that’s where much of the world is getting a bit confused. You see, I think that the problem with Harry Potter isn’t the content, so much as the importance we give it. I think it’s fine to enjoy reading the books and watching the movies every couple of years, or even every year, if you really love it. But the problem comes in when you start developing an unnatural dependence on it, to the point where you don’t talk about anything else, or can’t go to sleep without listening to the fourth book on tape every night. To me, Hogwarts is a good place in which to hunker down when you’re feeling scared or upset, but it’s only a temporary refuge, not someplace you’re meant to hide in forever. The whole point of Hogwarts is to equip students to face whatever’s out there, and that should go for us muggles too. We shouldn’t spend our whole lives limping in the shadow of some fantasy story, cool as it might be. As Dumbledore would say “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” (J.K. Rowling, 157). Go out and have some adventures of your own. Make Harry proud. Don’t worry, Hogwarts will still be waiting for you when you get back.