Sunday, July 22, 2007

9:11 PM

Friday night Eric and I made ourselves comfortable in Borders, him with his Aristotle, me with my yarn. We were waiting to purchase the final installment of the Harry Potter series.

My goal was to finish it before returning to work Monday. The primary reason for this is because I have issues with spoilers. I can't even fully enjoy trailers for movies I know we will see; the images stay in my head so that while watching the movie months later, I recognize scenes from the preview and can predict the upcoming dialogue or action scene. Should I learn information about this final book -- will Harry survive? Is Snape truly evil? -- I couldn't fully engage and my enjoyment would be lessened.

My problem was compounded when we ran into a couple high-school students we know, both avid fans. One in particular wanted to discuss certain things he had read online leading up to the release; he'd even looked at what purported to be the leaked book. When conversation steered this way, I slipped in my earphones and departed with my sock, knitting as I wandered around. Since we knew the high-school students from the church youth group we volunteer in, I knew I should now finish before Sunday or chance having details spoiled.

So I wandered with my sock. Trust me, I was not one to draw any attention with my double-pointed needles, as there were far more interesting sights in every direction (one brave man dressed as Hedwig, the owl). My sock only attracted fellow knitters, which allowed for some pleasant diversions throughout the night as they noted my progress (several inches were gained as I patiently waited).

Borders' PA system was broken, so it was difficult to learn how to proceed once midnight came and the variously colored wristbands were to organize; we were to later learn one of their registers had broken down as well, diverting the attention of staff. At 12:40 AM, with no clear end in sight, we bolted for Wal-Mart and secured a copy as soon as we entered the store.

At 1 AM, I was found curled up in my room with the book (Eric had to drive friends to the airport at about 4 AM, so we elected to remain awake until he returned).

Fortunately, I'm a quick reader. By Saturday evening, I had attended a Shakespeare event "Shakescenes," slept 4 1/2 hours, eaten complete meals, and read all 759 pages.

Certainly this book has been greatly hyped and anticipation was high, yet my reception to it was positive. I felt what needed to happen did happen, but so as not to diverge details, you should read it yourself or talk with me in person. I stifled specifics from Eric (no small feat), but had a chance to hash it out with the above-mentioned high schooler this morning.

I encountered this series later than most, discovering it after half of the books has been published, so I don't think I'll suffer the bereavement of those who have followed it from the beginning, especially those who can trace their childhood with the books. Nevertheless, I look forward to rereading the series down the road...likely at a more measured pace.

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