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Power Reads


Zoe Williams minces no words in this hilarious analysis of the “astoundingly unimpressive” results of an opinion poll in which British politicians named The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter as their favorite reads.

The soaraway favourite was The Da Vinci Code. Mention of this book is often suffixed by how many copies it has sold, as if sheer weight of numbers obviates all consideration of how rubbish it is. And it's a bit late to launch into a critique of a work that makes people feel physically sick when they finish it, like a pound of strawberry bonbons, but the question remains – why aren't they embarrassed?

[…]the ubiquitous Harry Potter, a series so infantile that it is, quite literally, a children's book, a work that even the publishers admit that an adult ought to be embarrassed to be caught reading (well, they have a special “adult” edition, with a discreet cover; this is like reading Playboy inside the Economist. Except that it's slightly worse, since if one of these representatives had said “I shall be holidaying with a copy of Playboy hidden inside an Economist”, I would probably vote for that person).

Williams theorizes that the lack of class in the preferences might be because the politicians deliberately dumbed down their list to appear more human and accessible to the average guy on the street (read voter), ending with a bit of advice for the ones that chose Potter: “Children aren't allowed to vote.” Yes, but juveniles are.