Becoming Ron Weasley: Bibliophobe #MNBHP
Are you crazy?” said Ron. “It could be dangerous….Some of the books the Ministry’s confiscated—Dad’s told me—there was one that burned your eyes out. And everyone who read Sonnets of a Sorcerer spoke in limericks for the rest of their lives. And some old witch in Bath had a book that you could never stop reading! You just had to wander around with your nose in it, trying to do everything one-handed. And—”
Harry and Ron stumble upon Tom Riddle’s diary in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Harry’s first response is to pick it up—logical, right? Not to Ron. He’s been in the wizarding world long enough to know not to trust a—dun, dun, duuunn—book!
Then there is Hermione who trusts implicitly in books. Print it on paper, bind it up and she believes it. (Unless Rita Skeeter’s the author.) In their second year, Hermione trusts everything Lockhart says he did in his books. She is scandalized to find out he is a fraud. Then, in their sixth year, she is let down when her Potion’s book gives her directions that are not up to par with Prince’s handwritten scribbles in Harry’s book.
While Ron could be more appreciative of books, I think he has the right approach. Books can be dangerous. Hitler penned Mein Kampf while in prison which led to the genocide of millions of people. Could Hitler have single-handedly killed that many lives? No, he needed followers. How did he get them? By putting his ideas into a book.
Words are powerful and thus must be approached with extreme caution, especially when they are printed so they can be read over and over and over again. It is important for us to guard our minds. Not to be closed-minded, but to be cautious about whose opinions and whose truths we allow to shape the way we think.
Love books and reading, but have a healthy respect for their power. When you read anything—books, articles, this post—ask yourself: What is the author telling me? Does what they’re saying go against my values and morals? Are they telling me to believe or do something that I feel in my heart is wrong?
For this challenge it is important to know your standards so you have a measuring stick by which to discern new thoughts and ideas as they are presented to you. For some, that baseline is the Bible (and there are many varying interpretations of the Bible so that can mean something different to everyone). For others it is what they have been taught by parents or grandparents growing up. Whatever “it” is for you, whatever your baseline is, make sure you know it well so you’ll be able to discern the good books from the dangerous books.
How do you know a book is trustworthy? Share your answer with us using #MNBHP.
Next Week: Becoming Ernie Macmillan: Foot Eater