MuggleNet Academia: Books Inside the Books — About How to Read Books!

David Martin joins Keith Hawk and our two brilliant student guests to discuss ‘Books Inside the Harry Potter Novels,’ a self-referential, mind-bending topic if there ever was one. Is Ms Rowling providing a key to how her readers should be reading (and how they should not be reading) her books inside the plot events of her own books? So it seems! Let me know what you think after listening to this week’s show.


  1. Louise M. Freeman says

    Great show! I am so glad Mugglenet Academia is back!

  2. Speakeral says

    Perhaps the difference between the black hats and the white hats is not how they use books, but how they use knowledge (power). The good guys read and write books because they share knowledge, the bad guys assume that they will have to take the knowledge from the person who has it by force.

  3. Speakeral says

    And yes, it was a great show. I’m glad Academia is bacek!

  4. For all the notes to David’s talk, please check out his Guest Post here: We only got to touch on a few of the high points in David’s presentation!

  5. In the podcast about books today there was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me — it was mentioned that books can be both good and bad, i.e. Gilderoy Lockhart, and that literacy and reading is an indication of good/bad status.

    It is then very significant that Severus Snape is the other person who finds the letter Harry reads in Sirius’ room. You remarked on Harry’s deep reading of the letter, the first real evidence we’ve had of his true development in understanding. I believe it is equally significant that Snape finds the letter, reads it through, and takes part of it with him — the part bearing Lily’s love and her signature. This act, of taking only part of the letter, is a true signifier of Snape’s good and bad dual nature. It’s great, especially in terms of how people want to classify Snape as all good or all bad. Snape both, as indicated by his choice to only take the part of the letter that matters to him. As a character, he turned to good because he lost someone who mattered to him. He devotes his life to serving as a double agent to take down Voldemort — but not for any pure motive or altruism, but because he felt he owed it to the woman he loved. His goodness is very selective, as indicated by his behavior with this letter.

  6. Lana Whited says

    I was just listening to this fascinating episode and kept waiting for some mention of Professor Severus Snape. It finally came toward the end, with discussion of the fact that Snape is not generally inclined to use textbooks but, instead, to write ingredients for Potions classes on the board. Even then, I don’t recall mention of the Potions text so important to the plot of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is, of course, the one annotated by “the half-blood prince.” Did I miss it?

  7. Did you miss it?

    [Sound of hand slapping forehead] No, Lana, we missed it! Great catch!

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