In the Washington Post, Lynton Weeks talks about the vast historical import of the Rowling books:
Harry Potter has changed the world.
You just can’t say that about many books. You’ve got the Bible, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Copernicus wrote something or other. So did Newton and Malthus, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Darwin.
Oh, sure, Newton, Darwin, Socrates, and J.K. Rowling. A guy named Rousseau once wrote a book that some say inspired the French Revolution, and some say delayed it, but who was that lousy hack next to Rowling?