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Do people read literature in Harry Potter? Fiction books are rarely mentioned in the series, and none of the characters seem to read novels. We understand that a majority of teenage students aren’t prone to pick up Chaucer just for the fun of it, but you would think a bookworm like Hermione would occasionally peruse Dickens, especially since other forms of entertainment, such as television and computers, aren’t common in the magical world.

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    Just had a thought, so clicked a little bit. It could be a false alarm in the head but, the OP "Ben" & the 1st answer to this question by "Benjie Miller", the two accounts appear to be run by same person. Both have answered each others question & a/c created at the same time. As I said, might be a false alarm. – KharoBangdo May 28 '14 at 9:23
  • @KharoBangdo It is or shall be looked into, suspicions arose after the series of questions they both posted. – CandiedMango May 28 '14 at 11:56
  • @Simon This is a different question to the on marked as a duplicate. This deals with examples of wizarding fiction in the Harry Potter Universe, whereas the other is looking at one scene from Prisoner of Azkaban in particular. – Dr R Dizzle May 28 '14 at 14:25
  • @dr r dizzle I did not say it was a duplicate at any point. I posted that as a comment as I didn't think it was answer worthy and just felt it was a good joke. In any case that scene is only in the films and not in the books so not Canon . – CandiedMango May 28 '14 at 14:27
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The most straightforward example of pleasure reading shows up in Chamber of Secrets:

Ron’s school spellbooks were stacked untidily in a corner, next to a pile of comics which all seemed to feature The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle. Ron’s magic wand was lying on top of a fish tank full of frogspawn on the windowsill, next to his fat grey rat, Scabbers, who was snoozing in a patch of sun.

Chamber of Secrets - page 35 - Bloomsbury -- chapter three, The Burrow

Wizards generally may not read Muggle literature -- aside from Dumbledore -- but they do seem to read about Muggles.

"Hope springs eternal", quotes Dumbledore in Tales of Beedle the Bard.

To which J.K. Rowling notes:

[This quotation demonstrates that Albus Dumbledore was not only exceptionally well read in wizarding terms, but also that he was familiar with the writings of Muggle poet Alexander Pope. JKR]

Tales of Beedle the Bard - Bloomsbury -- The Tale of the Two Brothers

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    Admittedly... he wasn't just a wizard. He was Dumbledore! He also likes socks and had a map of London Subway scar. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 11 '15 at 16:01
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Harry Potter himself has been known to read "Quidditch Through the Ages" by Kennilworthy Whisp.

And at least one wizard has read "A Brief History of Time", by Stephen Hawking.

A wizard in the Leaky Cauldron, reading "A Brief History of Time"

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    Ah yes, the good old nameless wizard that does wandless magic while reading Stephen Hawking. – MrLemon May 28 '14 at 9:08
  • Is that Guy Pierce?!? – Monty129 Jun 5 '14 at 16:13
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    @Monty129 that's Ian Brown from The Stone Roses. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Brown – Moogle Sep 17 '14 at 8:44
  • Hold it. So, in Harry Potter-verse, Newt Scamander wrote A Brief History of Time and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? He kinds puts the "dumb" in "Dumbledore", that guy. – skytreader Jul 16 '16 at 11:47
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    :)) just a little "shared universe theory". Eddie Redmayne stars in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film. Redmayne also portrayed Stephen Hawking in a biopic. QED. – skytreader Jul 17 '16 at 11:38
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In Flourish and Blotts (during the Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire films) we see several books that might be read for fun

How to Tame Tigers
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This book is seen in the 'Elf-and-Safety' section, so presumably it's a self-help book rather than a literal book about taming tigers

Household Stories from the Collection of the Brothers Grimm
enter image description here

Moronic Muggles
A Children's Anthology of Monsters
Wanderings of a tree in the Alps

enter image description here

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It's certain in canon that there is wizard literature - think of Gilderoy Lockart, who made a living writing books, so obviously they are bought and read... And I think Ron mentions that his mum is reading romantic wizarding love novels, but I don't recall where...

But I don't think that there is canon evidence that wizards read the muggle literature - it's possible, but maybe unlikely as the wizard community tries to separate from the muggle society. Muggleborns might be another case, depending on their parent's they might get introduced to muggle literature and might like it - but that's all speculative.

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  • Magical children, at least read The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

    “Oh come on! All the old kids’ stories are supposed to be Beedle’s, aren’t they? ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’...‘The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’...‘Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’...”

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Certain wizards or witches (hint: Dolores Umbridge) may read Beatrix Bloxam's Toadstool Tales instead:

    It was summed up best, perhaps, by Beatrix Bloxam (1794-1910), author of the infamous Toadstool Tales. Mrs Bloxam believed that The Tales of Beedle the Bard were damaging to children because of what she called “their unhealthy preoccupation with the most horrid subjects, such as death, disease, bloodshed, wicked magic, unwholesome characters and bodily effusions and eruptions of the most disgusting kind”.

    Mrs Bloxam took a variety of old stories, including several of Beedle’s, and rewrote them according to her ideals, which she expressed as “filling the pure minds of our little angels with healthy, happy thoughts, keeping their sweet slumber free of wicked dreams and protecting the precious flower of their innocence”.

    The Tales of Beedle the Bard

  • Gilderoy Lockhart's books, while based on (someone else's) true stories were nonetheless heavily fictionalized. They seemed to be general in the style of adventure novels, featuring Lockhart himself, and were of course hugely popular.

  • As mentioned in another answer, Ron read a comic called The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle.

  • As indicated in a picture from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the film version), there may be a wizarding novel called Cassandra and Her Cat Gustavus.

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