The Magic Of Our Imaginations

The Early Show, Harry Potter book cover, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5, Deluxe Edition) by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPr Scholastic Paperbacks

Weekly commentary by Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.


Asked why she liked "Harry Potter" so much, a young woman told "The New York Times," `Because these books hold your attention in a way that other books just can't.'

I think the reason why is because they set the reader's imagination free, and that seldom happens anymore. That's the real magic in these books about magic. There's no force on Earth more powerful or pleasurable than our imaginations. That's why Old Testament miracles never seem to come off in the movies. Such things are just more real if imagined than seen.

I loved to read as a child, which probably led to too much daydreaming. But I wonder if generations raised on television even have a chance to exercise their imaginations the way that I did. For them, there's no need to dream. It's all there on the screen; no work required to get it; no imagination needed.

Is that what's taking the romance out of our lives, why so many young people take such a humorless, literal view of life? I think we were better off when we had more time to dream.

Speaking of dreams, the way these "Harry Potter" books are selling, I plan to call my next book "Bob the Wizard," and I already know one trick. Watch.

(Snaps fingers; video of his empty chair)

See? It's magic.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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