Students at Hogwarts never knew how good they had it. While Muggles everywhere have to try to remember various parts of a cell for biology and struggle through Pythagoras’s Theorem in maths (which, so far, has still not helped us at all in our real lives), these learner-wizards were discovering how to make things float, reading up on magical defence, brewing potions and turning objects into cooler objects. And the most annoying thing about this situation? They complained about it! Incessantly!
While Hermione (and maybe Ernie Macmillan) were the key exceptions, most Hogwarts students seemed to think that studying their school textbooks was a drag. We couldn’t disagree more. After all, how amazing would it be to pore over their reading list? Here are the books Muggles everywhere would surely love to read…
Note: we’ve tried to stick to the Hogwarts curriculum, which sadly means no books that can’t stop screaming from the Restricted Section or Ron’s favourite, Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.
Although Harry and Ron always gave the impression that they’d rather sample fine mouldy cuisine together at Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party every night rather than read a page of Hogwarts: A History, it has saved them in more than one sticky situation. From the titbits we’ve heard via Hermione, the vast history of the castle sounds fascinating AND helpful. Maybe if the boys had tried to read it they wouldn’t have suggested ‘Apparating’ EVERY TIME they wondered how someone got in or out of the castle grounds!
Ron was fascinated, but Hermione interrupted them. ‘Aren’t you two ever going to read Hogwarts: A History?’
‘What’s the point? ’said Ron. ‘You know it off by heart, we can just ask you.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
We know that Gilderoy Lockhart was a total charlatan, but he said himself that the experiences recounted in his books were taken from other witches and wizards, and so his many adventures actually happened! He was just more of a biographer, rather than an autobiographer. Wait, why are we defending him?
Anyway, as such, Muggles everywhere would love to read about an encounter with a legitimate vampire. Or a ghoul. Or a banshee. Whatever took Gilderoy’s fancy at the time. Also, just consider all of the surely hilarious embellishments from the golden-haired winner of Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile award. It might not be non-fiction, but it’s probably very entertaining fiction. Wait, we’re defending him again?
We’re not quite over the lack of gratitude shown by those ungrateful young witches and wizards who didn’t appreciate this tome’s ingenuity. It’s less a book and more like having a pet! A hostile and bloodthirsty pet! It’s fair to say that Muggles would enjoy learning about all the various monsters they never knew existed – well, assuming they knew to stroke the book down the spine first. But we like to think we would’ve figured it out anyway. We’ve met cats, after all.
‘Oh, how silly we’ve all been!’ Malfoy sneered. ‘We should have stroked them! Why didn’t we guess!’
‘I... I thought they were funny,’ Hagrid said uncertainly to Hermione.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Taking Muggle Studies would obviously be an easy ‘O’ for any Muggle, but just imagine how funny it would be for Muggles to be told about their own lives via a witch or wizard. Would they have got anything right? And while we’re thinking about it, how was this book even written? Were Muggles even consulted? And what would wizarding authors make of our Muggle world and Muggle traditions? Would it be like when David Attenborough commentates on a nature documentary? Or would they think our breakthroughs in technology and beyond were pretty impressive? We’re guessing it’s more likely to be the former.
Divination might be a load of (mostly) hogwash, but Muggles wouldn’t know that. In fact, our culture is fascinated with fortune-tellers, tarot cards and starsigns. It would be pretty incredible to flick through this text to find out more about reading crystal balls, charting stars and deciphering tea leaves from a wizarding perspective. Harry and Ron definitely didn’t appreciate Professor Trelawney’s inner eye.
‘Here you are,’ said the manager, who had climbed a set of steps to take down a thick, black-bound book. ‘Unfogging the Future. Very good guide to all your basic fortune-telling methods – palmistry, crystal balls, bird entrails…’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
When Buckbeak is put on trial for attacking Malfoy, Harry, Ron and Hermione become resident Hippogriff exports in the Hogwarts library looking through books books that might help them figure out how to get Buckbeak off the hook. Alright, it’s a bit of a niche one, but the fact that ‘Hippogriff Psychology’ is even a thing is amazing, and we want in!
But preferably the Half-Blood Prince’s anotated version, of course. It’s not like we’ll be making life-changing potions any time soon, but we’d do anything for a glimpse at Snape’s scribbles.
The only reason Harry remembered anything from this book was because Snape humiliated him in his first year with the bezoar – which he later used to save Ron’s life. Imagine how handy it would have been if he’d actually read the whole thing! It would definitely come in handy for Muggles as well. We have fungus too, guys.
Harry forced himself to keep looking straight into those cold eyes. He had looked through his books at the Dursleys’, but did Snape expect him to remember everything in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi?’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone