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The Harry Potter Decade

jk_rowlingThe Guardian has proclaimed JK Rowling the winner of the last decade, as far as book sales go. The Harry Potter author dominated the bestsellers lists during the “noughties”, selling more than 29 million books, prompting the New York Times to create a new bestsellers list for children’s books, and racking up sales of over $360 million (£225.9 million). Though she characteristically shied away from the press, Rowling’s personal story became mythologized as well: A struggling single mother, toils away in obscurity on a story about a boy wizard, only to hit it big with her first published novel. Really, really big. Though Rowling’s first royalty check for the UK publication of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (published in the U.S. as Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone) was a meager $960.00 (£600), she was a millionaire just one year later. Thanks to the continued popularity of the Harry Potter books, movie franchise and merchandise licensing, Rowling is now reported to be worth about $1 billion (£545 million).

The Guardian also named Harry Potter “the first new global superhero of the 21st century.” His universal appeal owed to the fact “that the details of Potter and Hogwarts Academy were so meticulously imagined.” The publication also finds that “Rowling’s decision to let her characters grow up is one of the most fascinating aspects of the project.” The author is applauded for writing children’s books that are accepted and enjoyed by people of all ages. “Until the 21st century, a fully educated adult seen reading juvenile literature on public transport would expect to receive pitying stares and possibly even a visit from social services.” All of this leaves loyal fans wondering what JK Rowling will do in the second decade of the 21st century. Have we read the last of Harry Potter? Will she write a new series? From a financial standpoint, Rowling never has to write another word, but avid readers around the world fervently hope that she does publish again. Soon.

Read The Guardian article

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