Being a young adult, I have recently faced a war. Yes, a war. A war in which we all have lost friends and faced serious repercussions. A war which has made us laugh and has made us cry. If you are a young adult too, I am sure that you too have been engaged in this war. In a way you too are a part of this war and you too have had your battles for which you might have stood your ground. You too have picked a side and defended it with all your might. You too have had at least a favorite which you looked up to and when the opponent ridiculed him/her, you got as angry as a cat who has been hungry and then tempted and then given food; only to have it dragged away from reach.

I am talking of the notorious war between Bella and Hermione. Between Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe. The infamous war between Twi-hards and Potterheads. O yes. I am talking about the war between "The Twilight Saga" and the "Harry Potter" series.

It was no less than a war I tell you. I remember that I was exactly of the age of the targeted audience. Everything was okay. Everyone was a friend and then came this war. Okay, honestly speaking, I was too young when the first Harry Potter book came out but I was one of the kids who were of seventeen when the final rung of the series came to us. Everyone had picked up a side after a while and then there was bloodshed.

I lost friends in this war. Literally. There was anew battle everyday and in it's prime there were even lives lost. (A hyperbole, don't take me seriously.) Everyday the guns of Harry's natural skills in his subject of Defense Against The Dark Arts were faced with Edwards piano skills. Fred and George's cheeky jokes were against Jacob's abs. I would be the diplomat stuck in between the two sides saying, "Harry Potter was not the child who was prophesied about and vampires are not brittle." only to lose friends from both sides of the battle.

I am not going to comment which side is better, only to once again engage a war on the internet about this apparently "soft" issue. I am a fresher in the field of writing, who am I to comment on their writing skills? But Stephen King is and has made a good comment on this topic. I am not saying he is correct though.

The topic rose not because of the new Harry Potter film/book but because an incident which happened a few days ago. My cousin, a hardcore fan of the Harry Potter series, wanted to name her new Labrador Snuffles which was the nickname of Sirius Black in the series. Even though you may say it is a matter of brand loyalty, the war between her and my other cousin over the name reminded me of this reading war.

A Reading War, as I have termed it, is the phenomenon in which two books compete against one other through it's fans. As perfectly illustrated by the war of Twi-hards and Potterheads, this is serious business. The following are the characteristics of a Reading War:

  • A Reading War can be judged by the fan following of the books concerned but not by the sale volume of the books. Harry Potter had 7 parts and Twilight had 3 and yet they had a war between them.
  • Diplomats are not counted as soldiers.
  • A Reading War is not confined to the books but also includes the fan following of the characters.
  • Even though the movies help in spreading the word about the book, the fan of the movie is not concerned as a soldier from the series. A soldier has to be a reader of the book.
  • Crazy fans are of the elite ranks.
    • A Crazy Fan is a fan of the extreme category. Someone who gets tattoos, participates in book themed clubs, considers the book to be a reality.
    • A Normal Fan or as I term them, Soldiers, are fans who are loyal enough to read all the books in the series.
  • The War is lead by Generals, who are the author of the books.
  • The War is not necessarily between two books only. It can have more than two books.
  • The conflict between two characters inside the same book is a Civil War and it does not come by as a Reading War. (More on it some other time.)

I heartily believe me to be a peace loving creature. I am not a stoner or I would have termed me a hippy. But these Reading Wars are a necessity in the modern times. It is so because I find the new generation, detached from the joy of reading.

I was always a weird character, I agree. I grew up pretty much like Ed Sheeran did, without a television. I loved reading as a child and therefore I read what was considered as "hip" too. But it was the Reading War of my generation which forced the kids in my age to read and pick a side. Regardless of the reason to read, I think we all will agree now that a Reading War is required to bring a revolution amidst the modern child.

Hope we have one soon enough. By the way, Stephen King said the following:

"Both Rowling and Meyer, they're speaking directly to young people... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn."

I am not saying he is correct though. :P

Published by Adwitiya Dixit