February 07, 2014

Some Thoughts on: Books I wasn't allowed to read as a kid

When Harry Potter was making his way in the literature world and all of my school friends were reading about him, I wasn't allowed to. My family was living with my grandma, and we were waking up every Sunday, going to church and studying the bible. Mom and grandma would talk about the aspects of Harry Potter and the magic related themes about the books that they didn't want me reading or getting too interested in. So I never did.

I do not for even a second ever resent my mom or grandma for not allowing me to read Harry Potter. If I had really wanted to read them anyway, I would have borrowed them from the school library, or friends in my class. My mom has a few old fashioned, and by today's standards, closed-minded morals and values she raised me on. And I think I grew up pretty ok :) I grew up knowing I have to make up my own mind about the world. 

I didn't read the Harry Potter series back then, and I still haven't read it today. I kind of don't plan to, because my personal, uninfluenced by anyone or anything, interest in the Harry Potter series is little to none. 

Maybe one day I'll pick it up and read it on and off like I can imagine myself doing. But as of today there are no plans of that, and it has little if anything at all to do with the morals I was raised on. 

I love contemporary fiction, I like historical fiction, I can appreciate science fiction to a small degree. I like romance. I like scandal. The Harry Potter series doesn't make the cut genre-wise. (Not saying that the Harry Potter series doesn't have romance or scandal.)

On the other end of the spectrum, my boyfriend and his siblings were read the Harry Potter books by his mom when they younger, when the books were popular. It's funny, my boyfriend has no interest in reading himself, by he could listen to his mom read him Harry Potter for the rest of his life with no complaint. His family are major "Potterheads" and because of them, I have seen all of the movies.

You are probably falling out of your chair realizing that I've never read Harry Potter but I've seen all eight films. You are probably ranting and raving at me in your head that I am missing out on so much, that the books offers explanations on so many things, characters I'd just love, and plot holes that are in fact not plot holes because they're covered in the book. 

I was raised reading realistic fiction, children's and young adult, and a surprising amount of non fiction for my age. I love almanacs, especially, though they aren't the kind of book you read cover to cover. My mom and dad bought me the children sized almanac and I'd read myself to sleep with it in hand. 

My dad has less old-fashioned ideas of what I could and could not read, he'd even help me pick children's science fiction titles, and even some fantasy titles at the library. I'd get twenty pages in and tell him I was getting bored. He'd frown but he would understand. (My dad's absolute undying love for science fiction is where I get my appreciation, because I'm a daddy's girl and I'm supposed to at least appreciate everything he loves.) When I wanted a one hundred percent winning recommendation, I went to my mom, or my aunt, who introduced me to V.C. Andrews books, which I can never ever get too much of!

So I guess in some sort of conclusion, my non interest in Harry Potter may be from my childhood restriction of it, but it is mostly because of the fact I simply prefer other genres. 

When vampires were a big deal, I only read a single vampire-related novel, which was the first installment of Night World by L.J. Smith. My boyfriend's brother insisted I read it, interestingly enough. Dystopians are a big deal right now, and I haven't read any modern dystopians at all. And all of my friends have read the Hunger Games, naturally, and they would probably love to see me reading it, but I simply don't wanna. I just wanna hang out and see the movies with them :)

I can't help but wonder, if I were raised in my boyfriend's shoes, being read Harry Potter every night before bed, would I still grow up not having any interest? If my boyfriend had been raised in my shoes, would he be dying to get his hands on Harry Potter? Does your raising influence your interest in books, and genre? 

Were you allowed to read anything you wanted as a kid? Did your parents pick books for you? Do you 'rebel' against what morals you were raised on and read books that would make your grandma faint?


  1. My parents never censored anything I read. I read my first Stephen King novel (Cujo) at eleven. At the same time I was raised with classics like The Little House series. Today I read a pretty wide selection of genres and titles.

    On the other hand my movie and television intake was HEAVILY censored. I wasn't allowed to watch PG-13 movies until I was 16 and never felt comfortable watching R-rated titles with my parents up until the day my father died. Consequently, I've never seen any of the Jason or Freddy movies, nor do I have the desire to today. But I still love horror films and watching movies on my own sex, violence, and language doesn't bother me at all.

    So, I have no answer. :) But thanks for linking up!

    1. I was (and still am sometimes lol) too afraid to watch horror films, so I had no problems with my parents telling me I shouldn't be watching them. I am still uncomfortable watching r-rated movies with them, but I watch a lot on my own. My dad and I watched The Clockwork Orange movie together a year or two ago and while I enjoyed it very much, I was kind of scandalized and embarrassed watching some scenes with him. He didn't warn me at all what the movie was going to be about, so I saw it as him showing me he knows I'm mature or something, which was cool of him.

      Thanks for hosting the link-up!

  2. I'm not going to try to convince you to read Harry Potter. I know myself I resisted for the longest time, not because of anything my parents said, I was in my 20s when the books came out so even though my parents didn't like for their inclusion of what they call the "occult," I read them anyway. I'm glad I did. However, there are a lot of other good books out there to read...and I get the genre thing. I like other genres too, primarily crime fiction and I rarely stray from it.

    1. I've got a long time ahead of me in my life to read, and I'll read it when I run out of excuses to keep turning it down. Going outside of my genre boundaries is scary but I'll do it for the sake of a renowned good book.

  3. Harry Potter came out when I was already "grown up," however, I have a feeling my mom would have as much to say about it as yours did. And I actually read them and told my daughter she had to wait til high school to read them, so I knew she could be responsible about the magic aspect...not letting it get carried away in her head (I know people involved in that stuff and it's kinda freaky in real life).

    Anyway, my mom couldn't keep up with me as a reader. By age 10 I read triple what she did and knew more books and authors. She told me later that she just crossed her fingers and hoped I was reading okay stuff because she couldn't keep up with me.

    1. I've got some friends into Wicka, who before were Christians or Catholics their entire life. I don't know what caused them to want to be part of the Wicka lifestyle, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had been impacted by the books they were reading. (And I agree that it is freaky in real life).

  4. I wasn't really allowed to read Harry Potter as a child either, and she had reasons that I think were legitimate at the time. Now that I am older and can discern for myself, I don't have a problem with, but I haven't gotten around to it because it's such a long series to dive into! It's a little intimidating! I want to one day though.

    1. Yea, that's another of my reasons I haven't read it yet as well, the books get pretty huge! I can imagine myself getting intimidated halfway through, putting the series down, re-trying it from the start, and the cycle continuing.


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