Originally Posted by DiapDealer
Love it, hate it, or just plain don't care... I don't believe HP has contributed in any way to a "wider spectrum of fantasy available." Brought more young readers to the fantasy genre? Certainly. No doubt about it. And that's no small achievement. But it didn't do anything to increase or affect the variety of fantasy available in the genre. All the various fantasy tropes and subgenres were pretty much the same post-HP as they were pre-HP. No new ground broken.
So while it may seem annoying to some that things that are popular tend to automatically get dissed... I find it equally annoying when things that are popular get attributed with lofty achievements beyond their popularity. Isn't it enough that you enjoyed it? It should be.
Very nicely put.
IMO popularity is no measure of greatness, or even competence; witness the inordinate number of awful television shows, movies, books, magazines, YouTube videos, etc. Popularity generally is a good measure of how popular something is, and that's about it. Teenagers and younger are immensely conscious of peer acceptance and will follow the trend of almost anything whether it be clothes, music, or, wait for it...books.
I think JK Rowling is a writer of moderate quality, she certainly isn't awful, but IMO she isn't superlative, hence "mediocre." I'm not a "hater" but then again I'm not a "fanboy."