Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Harry Potter

#MothersDay NewsFlash ~ Reading #HarryPotter Damages Your Mind !

I have it from a real “educator” who actually founded his own school that Reading Harry Potter books makes children MENTALLY ILL… 

Harry Potter

Home to the initial writing of Harry Potter ~

Graeme Whiting, headmaster of the school he actually founded has also said:

“…other fantasy titles such as Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games and Terry Pratchett encourage ‘difficult behaviour’.”

And, of course, since he founded his own school and installed himself as headmaster, I can share this further information:

“…Mr Whiting, head of the independent Acorn School in Nailsworth, Gloucester, thinks that people should have a ‘special licence’ to buy fantasy books.”

And, only because this man is the headmaster of the school he, himself, founded, I’ll add a quote of his to make things perfectly clear:

“Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and Terry Pratchett, to mention only a few of the modern world’s ‘must-haves’, contain deeply insensitive and addictive material which I am certain encourages difficult behaviour in children; yet they can be bought without a special licence, and can damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children, many of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children.”

And, finally, but only because it is Mother’s Day, and mothers need to know how dangerous books like these can be for their children; and, also, to prove the high level of education this man has reached by displaying a sentence that gets to the core of the dangerous issue while it shows his amazing “proficiency” with the English language, please ponder this exact quote carefully:

“Children are innocent and pure at the same time, and don’t need to be mistreated by cramming their imagination that lies deep within them, with inappropriate things.”

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What Are Humanity’s Most Popular Books?

I’m always happy when I can write a blog post that deals with all three of the major topics I cover—Reading, Writing, and Publishing.

Most Popular Books

Image Courtesy of Brendan Gogarty ~

I’m sure readers want to know about popular books, even if they often love books that aren’t popular.

I’m sure writers need to know about popular books, even if they have no intention of writing a bestseller.

I’m sure publishers are ravenously interested in what makes a book popular.

Still, there are fleetingly popular books and enduringly popular books.

So along comes a site in Australia called Women’s Weekly that takes the data and orders it a bit in an article called, The 30 biggest selling books of all time might surprise you.

I imagine Readers can enlarge their horizons by checking out these books

I’m sure Writers would improve their craft by reading these books

I honestly wonder what Publishers think about all this

Here’s a list of those books (ranked by total sales):

The Holy Quran

The King James Bible

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

She: A History Of Adventure by H.Rider Haggard

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Odyssey by Homer

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Anderson’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson

Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Are any of your favorites in the list?

Are there some you’d consider reading?

Why do you think these particular books became the Most Popular?

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What’s To Be Done About Banned Books?

There’s a certain 15-year-old, Amaranthia Sepia Gittens-Jones, who “…attended Pal and Nischimachi International Schools, Tokyo, Japan…”. “By age eight Amaranthia declared her purpose to become an artist. By age 12 she was awarded a full scholarship at Kimball Jenkins Art School, Concord, New Hampshire, USA.”

Baned Books

Image by Christian Ferrari ~

She’s written a guest post on Jessica Bell’s blog, The Artist Unleashed, called Why Books Should Not Be Banned.

Certainly, some folks who think particular books should be banned might stop reading right here, or read further and engage in rant-mode.

And, some people who think no books should be banned may not much care about a young person’s opinion on the subject—possibly reasoning that kids want freedoms just because they’re young

Let me share some excerpts from Amaranthia’s post:

Talking about the Harry Potter series and quoting another author—“‘Some religious groups feel that these books steer children away from God and the church.’—she goes on to say, “Should books be banned and ostracized for themes that people can enjoy and learn from?”

Then, she immediately expands her position:

“I believe banned books should be shown to children to educate them about censorship and themes that are seen as inappropriate to certain demographics….If these themes are explained to children, it could inform them about the viewpoint of groups who believe in censoring, and grant them an awareness of a story that may benefit them before they read.”

She then brings up Huckleberry Finn

And, including a quote from a professor at Franklin Pierce University, she says, “If we only study what we agree with,’our world becomes smaller’.”

Amaranthia next shares a quote from the American Library Association:

“A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.”

One of her closing remarks is:

“Banned books can be used to teach students ethics, the blunders of the past, and the mindset of former generations.”

Powerful ideas from who many folks would classify “just a youngster”
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How To Make A Book A Bestseller

Some folks think every writer tries to write a bestseller.


Image courtesy of Lisa Kong ~

Well, many writers just write what they want because they feel they must.

If the money comes, fine; if not, write more

Some folks think bestsellers are hard to write.

Some writers think they know a “secret” to writing a bestseller

I should, at this point, refer you to one of my past posts:

Want To Be A Bestselling Author? ~ Don’t Read This Blog . . .

In that post, I reference four writers who pretty much smash the idea that there’s a “formula” for bestsellers.

In fact, even the best-written books have only a crapshoot chance of being on The Lists.


If you can find enough up-front money, you can, it appears, buy your way to the top.

Let me quote the Los Angeles Times :

“Every author wants a bestselling book — and those who can pay for the services of ResultSource Inc. just might get one. The company describes itself as ‘a boutique marketing firm that works with today’s thought leaders to build bestsellers’, which it has.”

The article that quote is from is, Can bestseller lists be bought?

It talks about the book Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace.

More from the article:

Their “contract was for ResultSource ‘to conduct a bestseller campaign for your book, Real Marriage on the week of January 2, 2012. The bestseller campaign is intended to place Real Marriage on the New York Times bestseller list for the Advice How-to list.'”

And, it did appear there, for a week

That was the first signal the book was a bogus bestseller.

Do read the article about how ResultSource made that happen.

Also, the ResultSource presence on the web is mostly a 404 Not Found error now

If you’d like to see some lists of books that seem to have earned the Bestseller title, check out these 100-million-copies-sold books. (Scroll down a bit to see the top three in each category…)
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Bestsellers . . .

That title up there has a definition that rather surprised me. I typed it in and used the handy highlight-and-look-up-dictionary I have to check the spelling ( it’s very late and I worked very hard today :-)

I’d spelled it right but the definition wasn’t just something like: books that sell a lot of copies.

Here’s my dictionary’s entry ~ “A book that has had a large and rapid sale”

So, slightly taken aback by that “rapid” part, I’ll forge ahead and recommend an exercise for Readers, Writers, and Publishers.

Whether you read books, write books, and/or publish books, it might be of some aid if you could familiarize yourself with books that fall into these categories I plucked from Wikipedia:

I’m sitting here trying to grasp the concept of 100 million copies of the same book and being hindered by being just as incapable of comprehending 20 million copies

In case your not the type of person who clicks all the links in a blog post, I’ll list the top three books in each of the three 100 million-catagories:

Best-selling single-volume books ~ More than 100 million copies

A Tale of Two Cities

The Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit

Best-selling book series ~ More than 100 million copies

Harry Potter


Perry Mason

Best-selling regularly updated books ~ More than 100 million copies

Xinhua Zidian / Xinhua Dictionary

Scouting for Boys

The McGuffey Readers

Have any surprises?

Think they got the numbers wrong??

Wish other books had been in the top three???

Before you answer those questions, I’m compelled to put their disclaimer about why certain books were not included. I’ll make it small in case you don’t care about disclaimers:

“Religious books, especially the Bible and the Qur’an, are probably the most-printed books, but it is nearly impossible to find reliable figures about them. Many copies of the Bible and the Qur’an are printed and given away free, instead of being sold. The same goes for some political books, like the works of Mao Zedong or Adolf Hitler. All such books have been excluded from this list for those reasons.”
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