Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix was the fastest-selling book in history.
But why aren’t fantasy books, like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, not only read by many children, but also by a lot adults?
One of the reasons is that adults like to move back to their childhood.
When they read stories like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, they simply become the child again.
Another reason is that this kind of magic is always reassuring, muffling rather than sharpening the problems of everyday life. That’s also what Alice Sebold does in her book The Lovely Bones. She comforts readers against the horror of a vicious murder with a narrator speaking from the afterlife.
It isn’t a substitute for traditional religion, but more than the fantasy for children because of the prophecies in the book.
The very pompous rhetoric in the books gives a religious tone to these fantasies. And this leads to a very typical view of heroism. Frodo must give up the ring and Harry’s mother died to save him.
The idea that true heroism is about pity and love is becoming clearer as we know that the Rowling’s books will only end with some greatest sacrifice from Harry.
It seems to be a religion but it isn’t, because there aren’t churches to channel their authority for instance.
You could say that it is infantile of readers to enjoy them, but may it is very grown-up of those readers to satisfy their infantile desires in children’s books.