I know, I know – this came out forevermany years ago and I just now got around to reading it?
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, in case you seriously live under a rock (I have major deja vu right now, have I already written a post like this?), is a collection of stories that every witch and wizard child grows up hearing. Dumbledore left a copy of Beedle’s original stories to Hermione. She translated them. Yep.
Ok, but in real life – which is actually different from Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling created several very special editions of this collection, each handcrafted and handwritten, to be auctioned off for charity. Only later did she decide to release the stories to Joe on the street. As I remember, The Tales of Beedle the Bard was the Christmas gift last year. Maybe the year before. My memory isn’t that great. But it was big.
So why did I not read it then? I like Harry Potter; why not get a copy for Christmas, or at least put my name on the waiting list at the library?*
I think to some extent I felt that the Harry Potter series was more than complete enough, and Beedle’s tales would be extra information to such an extent that they wouldn’t be interesting. They wouldn’t add to the story but rather distract from it (not detract; I do know a few words, and I just chose them well).
As it turns out, I still feel that way. A little bit. I read the stories to the Romgi while we were driving somewhere. Dumbledore’s commentary may have been longer than the tales themselves. My best insight is that I’m much more interested in the characters of Harry Potter than in their academic writings, regardless of what Rowling might be trying to convey about the characters through their writings. Does that make sense?
But I confess – if I had one of the original handcrafted copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, it would be one of my absolute favorite books.
Tweet: check out Tales of Beedle the Bard for fun stories, Dumbledore’s commentary, and a peek at Rowling’s art – if you feel like it. Or don’t.
* I got great presents for Christmas, ones I like a lot better than this book, and at the time I had some substantial fines at the local library. Yipes.