The Harry Rule – Reading Has Its Rewards Challenge


I decided to sign up for a Harry Potter reading (and watching) challenge in 2012, which caused a slight problem for me — at least in regards to my “Reading Has Its Rewards” Reading Challenge: no re-reads.

Well, since it’s MY challenge, they’re my rules — I can make exceptions. The Harry Potter series has inspired children to read, children who rarely (if ever) read for pleasure. It’s only fitting that I count the books in a challenge where my goal is to donate to a children’s reading program.

With that in mind, I sat down and looked at page totals and how each book would count (points wise). I have all seven in hardback and in paperback. I bought the first three hardbacks in late 1999/early 2000 (I became a fan Christmas 1999). After that, each was added to my collection on its original hardback release date. That means all seven were added to my TBR prior to 2008. All, except Deathly Hallows, has an original copyright date of 2005 or earlier and will count for double points. I will be reading the paperbacks, so I checked the page totals for each book to make sure that I used the right points — not that it matter much with the last four books (I knew those were 500+ pages).

And here’s what I’ve come up with:

The Harry Rule:

  • Books will count toward books read goals (except series catch-up)
  • Books will count toward pages read goals (that’s 4,100 pages!)
  • Dollar amount I will give to First Book for each read: $5.00

However. . .

Points will count if, and only if, I read all 7 books and watch all 8 movies. Just how many points am I talking about? 9,900 points. Below is the breakdown:

  • Sorcerer’s Stone (1997 UK/1998 US) (309 pgs) added Dec 1999: 300 (TBR) + 100 (pages) + 25 (series) = 425 x 2= 850 points
  • Chamber of Secrets (1998 UK/1999 US) (341 pgs) added Jan 2000: 300 (TBR) + 100 (pages) + 50 (series) = 450 x 2= 900 points
  • Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) (435 pgs) added Jan 2000: 300 (TBR) + 300 (pages) + 75 (series) = 675 x 2= 1,350 points
  • Goblet of Fire (2000) (734 pgs) added 2000: 300 (TBR) + 500 (pages) + 100 (series) = 900 x 2= 1,800 points
  • Order of the Phoenix (2003) (870 pgs) added 2003: 300 (TBR) + 500 (pages) + 200 (series) = 1000 x 2= 2,000 points
  • Half-Blood Prince (2005) (652 pgs) added 2005: 300 (TBR) + 500 (pages) + 200 (series) = 1000 x 2= 2,000 points
  • Deathly Hallows (2007) (759 pgs) added 2007: 300 (TBR) + 500 (pages) + 200 (series) = 1,000 points

My reasoning behind this is thus: In order to reach my goals, I will have to read 7 books a month that are at least 375 pages long and be “worth” at least 250 points each. Reading these books and watching the movies will take away from reading all the other books I could be reading in their stead. Two of my reward milestones — 25 books by April 30th and Series Catch-Up — might not be reached if I spend too much time reading/watching Harry Potter. For that reason, I still want them to count toward my goal of 80 books and 30,000 pages. This way, I still feel “rewarded” for reading the books, even if I fail to read all 7 (and watch the movies). The donation increase for the books is an encouragement to read them and make up for possibility of falling short of the 80 book goal. However, I also wanted a “penalty” for failing, since I was making an exception to the re-read rule: their points don’t count until all the books are read and all movies watched. Since the total is nearly half my stated goal, it’s a powerful incentive to complete the challenge!

So, there you have it.  The rules for Quidditch are easier to understand. 😉

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus,

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