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There is an interesting discussion of Severus Snape, over on Tor.com. It does, better than I’ve done here, to show that reading and thinking matters, so much more than just saying whether a novel is good or bad. The premise of the blog post, written by Emily Asher-Perrin, is simple: we know about the sacrifice that Snape makes in the Harry Potter novels. However, the portrayal of Snape as a paragon of unrequited, pure (i.e. Platonic) love might have been a step too far in rehabilitating his image. Ms. Asher-Perrin pulls pieces of evidence from the novels to show that Snape is selfish and childish, both in his conception of love and the way he deals with students, including Harry Potter. I thought point was well made, has relevance to the real world, and is accessible to fandom but also to casual readers. The act of discussing the character of Snape demonstrates why reading, even fiction, matters.

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