The Power Of Harry Potter
As if by magic, virtually all British parents have suddenly picked up the habit of reading to their children. A poll commissioned by UK electricity utility1 Powergen found that Harry Potter, as well as older classics, had created a veritable bedtime reading revolution. Ninety percent of British parents now read to their children, up from only 40 percent in 2000. Powergen claimed the rise was due to the popularity of what it called“ kid-ult2 ” books, which appeal to children and adults alike .“With the current revival of children's classics like the Lord of the Rings3 at the cinema, parents are rediscovering books they read when they were younger or are feeling inspired to read them for the first time, ”a Powergen statement quoted psychologist Aric Sigman as saying.“ Just as both parents and children can enjoy escapism and fantasy4 these stories also raise important issues that they can talk about together. This sharing of ideas and opinions is critical to the emotional and creative development of children. ”
Barry Cunningham still laughs about that moment in 1997, when he told a single mother with a knack for fantasy storytelling to find herself a day job, because writing children's books did not pay.
He could not have known then that his decision to publish a book about a boy wizard would start an international publishing phenomenon, or that within six years the first-time children's book writer in question would be richer than the Queen of England. The“find a day job ” blunder has become part of the legend of Harry Potter, as has Mr Cunningham's role in picking up the book on behalf of Bloomsbury, its publisher in the UK, after other longer-established companies had turned it down.
But the cheerful 51-year-old's story does not end with the career-making move of signing、 J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter's creator. In fact, the former marketing director left Bloomsbury weeks before the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first instalment5 of the boy wizard's adventures. Today, he is running his own boutique children's book publisher —The Chicken House — and, once again, being credited with turning little -known storytellers into bigtime bestsellers.“I did not see any direct financial benefits ( from signing J. K. Rowling) but it has given me a huge reputation — and the intangible thing is the confidence it gave me in my own judgment. ”
Word of mouth about his eye for talent even prompted executives at Scholastic, the largest publisher of children's books in the world, to approach Mr Cunningham in 2001 after reading in a trade publication that the man who discovered Harry was looking for a distributor for his new publishing company. “We thought greatly of his talent and we knew his taste. We felt he had a sense for looking for new voices ( combined with ) a commercial sense, ”says Barbara Marcus, the president of Scholastic children's books and distribution.
“ It's odd to say a 50-year-old man knows what a 13-year-old wants to read, but I do, ”says Mr Cunningham.
Ⅰ. Translate the followin g Chin ese e xp res sio ns into En glish e quiva le nts acco rding to the passage:
1. 由于, 因为
2. 复活, 重生, 重新出现
3. 经典作品, 古典作品
Ⅱ. Questions :
1. Which country buy the most gold to make jewelry?
2. What are“reserved currencies”?
Ⅰ. 1. due to 2. revival 3. classic 4 . poll
Ⅱ. 1. Lord of the Rings 2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
如同中了魔法一般, 几乎所有的英国家长都突然捡起了念书给孩子听的习惯。英国电力公司委托组织的一次调查发现,《哈里·波特》系列以及一些更早的经典著作已经掀起了一场真正的睡前阅读革命: 现在有90% 的英国家长念书给孩子听, 而在2000年这一比例只有40% 。调查认为这种增长是由于所谓的“大小人”书的流行, 这样的书对大人和孩子有同样的吸引力。“ 随着现时像《指环王》这样的儿童经典著作在电影院中的复兴, 家长们对自己儿时读过的书籍产生了新的兴趣, 或者说是第一次有了去读它们的愿望,”调查的一份声明中援引心理学家埃里克·西格曼的话说,“正如家长和孩子都可以从空想和幻想中得到乐趣一样, 这些小说也为家长和孩子提出了可以一起讨论的重要问题。与家长分享意见和看法对孩子情感和创造力的发展是至关重要的。”
提起1997年那件事时, 巴里·坎宁安依然觉得好笑。当时, 他劝一位一心要写幻想故事的单身母亲找一份日常工作, 因为写儿童书的收入甚微。
那时他并不知道, 他决定出版那本关于巫术男孩的书竟会在国际出版界创造一个奇迹。他也没料到, 6年时间内, 这位首次出儿童书且受争议的作者竟比英国女王还富有。“找份工作”这句蠢话成了《哈利·波特》传奇的一部分。在一些历史更悠久的出版社拒绝出版该书后, 坎宁安先生代表英国出版商布卢姆斯伯里买下该书的出版权, 这也成为此传奇的一部分。
对生性开朗的51岁的坎宁安先生而言, 签下《哈利·波特》作者J. K.罗琳绝非事业的尾声。事实上, 在巫术男孩系列冒险小说第一部《哈利·波特与魔法石》出版前数周,他辞去布卢姆斯伯里营销总监一职,离开了出版社。如今, 他经营自己创办的“小鸡书屋”———一间精品儿童书籍出版社。他继续帮助默默无闻的作者成为畅销书作者, 广受人们的赞誉。“( 签下罗琳) 并没有给我带来任何直接的经济利益, 但这使我名声大噪, 并且还有一个无形的益处: 我对自己的判断力有了信心。”
坎宁安先生慧眼识才的能力就此传开。甚至在2001年, 世界上最大的儿童书出版商学究出版社的高级职员在业界出版物上读到一则消息:发现哈利·波特的人正为自己的新出版社寻找分销商, 随即便与他联系。学究出版社儿童出版及分销总裁芭芭拉·马库斯说:“ 我们看中他的才能, 并且了解他的品味。我们觉得, 他有发现新人的能力, 同时又有商业意识。”