March 19, 2013

What Would Harry Potter Read?

That's the idea behind a fun post Jesse Galef did on his blog (which I found via i09).

He was wondering if a guy like him (smart, academic rationalist) was in each of the four Hogwarts houses, what might one of their bookshelves look like?  So he made shelves of books, took pictures and made lists of course, because that's what our kind of folks do, right?  Now his list is pretty high-flown and leans toward the non-fiction as Mr. Galef is a philosopher type.  And once you see the shelves you'll be all like, but Ron and Hermione would have completely different shelves!

Yes, but I don't think it's meant to be definitive.  You can tell by his happy to response to new ideas in the comment section of his blog there.  It was just a thought experiment he had great fun with and of course that's the great thing about lists.  You can't help but start thinking about it and adding to it and it's just fun.

There are some of the things that struck me about this. One was, there are books I've read on all four shelves.  And there are some titles that show up on more than one shelf.  So that just goes to show that people are more complicated that the strict division of the "House" model would indicate.  I mean, I'm sure we all realize that, but this makes it clear.  There can be "good" Slytherins and "bad" Gryffindors (don't forget that Peter Pettigrew was a Gryffindor!) so there's a whole continuum, but the whole "brave," "witty," honest," and "sly" divisions help slant things a bit.

I've always thought I'd be more of a Ravenclaw, but found I'd read more books on the Gryffindor shelf.  I know it means nothing, but there you go.  Plus, this kind of thing gets my wheels spinning so I start wondering, well, what would be different about Hermione's vs. Ron's shelves?  And then I'm off making book shelves for every character in the books...