Books and Writing Essays Hogwarts
Canon discussion / Essays




Updates by Michelle Worley

The Booklist

Every year Hogwarts students receive book lists in the post, telling them which textbooks they will require for the year. First years get the longest list, presumably because some of the books last them the whole seven-year course of their study. Here is a list of all the books on lists, mentioned in the narrative, and deduced:

  • The Standard Book of Spells, Grades One through Seven, by Miranda Goshawk (one each year)
  • A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot (first year) (This one MUST be thick, I expect it looks like the Nuremberg Chronicle, only with much smaller print. I wonder how Harry managed to grab it from the cupboard so quickly!)
  • Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling (first year)
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch (first year)
  • Intermediate Transfiguration (author unknown) (third year)
  • One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore (first year)
  • Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger (first year) (I bet this is DRAUGHTS in the U.K.)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (first year) (I own this one!)
  • The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection (first year) by Quentin Trimble (If Mad-Eye Moody had written this book, it’d probably be reaallly thin and only consist of two words!)
  • The Monster Book of Monsters (author unknown) (third year)
  • Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky (third year)
  • Numerology and Gramatica (author unknown)
  • Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles (third year) by Wilhelm Wigworthy
  • All those darn Lockhart books: Break with a BansheeGadding with GhoulsHolidays with HagsTravels with Trolls (wouldn’t want to be in a small car with one of those; how DID Lockhart do it?? Drive with the windows down?), Voyages with VampiresWanderings with WerewolvesYear with the Yeti
  • Defensive Magical Theory by Wilbert Slinkhard (fifth year)
  • Confronting the Faceless (sixth year)
  • And of course we must include Hogwarts, A History, even though it’s on no one’s booklist (aka A REVISED History of Hogwarts, or A Highly Biased and SELECTIVE History of Hogwarts, Which Glosses Over the Nastier Aspects of the School)Clas

Uses of Books

Clearly, several of these books are used in more than one class. The obvious relation between Potions and Herbology suggests that One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi will be used in both classes, as does Harry’s thought of the book under Snape’s questions in PS8Magical Theory would likely serve all classes, even Trelawney’s, though I haven’t seen her using it. The Standard Book of Spells I assume is a Charms book, but I can see it being used in other classes as well. (I can’t imagine what kind of shelf you’d build to hold all seven; those books probably give a lot of torque.)

Teachers, depending on their predilections, seem to use the books as reference books in classes that are mostly labs—with History of Magic being the least lab-like. Students are expected to read their textbooks over the summer break, and before they come to school; second years and up are given essay assignments to finish over the summer months. Unlike the students I’ve taught, Hogwarts students don’t appear to have bibliotecaphobia; they head to the library to find supporting materials on their own steam, and they are successful. Hermione may be the biggest library rat of Harry’s year, but she’s not alone in her initiative; none of them balk for lack of knowing where to start; they just go there and start searching. They certainly turn up more than my students do on the average.

As Fantastic Beasts shows, students write in their books—and since they own them, why not? They use them for pillows (like Hermione in PA15); they use them as threats (I certainly would; it would give “throw the book at him” a whole new meaning). They mend them (Ginny, GF10) or let them fall apart (Ron, FB); they lug them about (how DOES Hermione do that? but then, I did it in high school); they probably eat while using them and brush the crumbs out of the gutters; they load their trunks with them; and now and then they even consult them. Probably they keep them all their life, like Muggle English majors do—or nursing students.

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