Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holy Harry Potter (36 hours and counting)

The world isn’t ending but Harry Potter is.(And if you haven’t figured that out yet, what rock are you living under? Seriously.) That great book phenomenon comes to an end this Friday at midnight when the world finds out whether Snape is good or evil, which 2 major characters die, and most importantly, whether Harry lives or dies. Will good vanquish evil like it usually does? There will be unanswered questions, there always are, but I hope that most are satisfied. I just want to read a good book.
Yes, I have read the news reports about all the spoilers but I’ve tried to keep myself from reading them. I accidentally heard something on the radio but I don’t know if it was one of the real or fake spoilers and I don’t care to find out. Whoever posted them has way too much time on their hands anyway. I know people pay big money for something like this and there are the few that will do anything to find out what happens, but part of the hype is waiting and finding out with everyone else what happens. Boo and hiss on those people who are trying to spoil it for everyone. Most people don’t really want to know right now. Really. We can wait.
I am a Harry Potter fan. I really just fell into it in college when I was home on break and a neighbor said here, read this book. (I baby-sat for them and we exchanged books once they realized what a book nerd I was. The dad introduced me to Douglas Adams too, something for which I will be eternally grateful.) I don’t care if these books were meant for kids. They are very well written and draw you into the story. You can imagine yourself as part of their world. I think that’s one of the biggest draws of the story. Plus the attention to detail is incredible. Yes, it’s a trendy thing in some ways but it really is a worthwhile series. I’d read it if it weren’t popular.
I will be at the midnight release party at my local Barnes and Noble. (The closest store to minimize time not reading.) I want my copy as soon as possible so I can start reading. (Yes, I am one of those fans. I don’t care.) I probably won’t stay up all night reading but I do plan to spend all Saturday reading. I won’t go immediately to last page. I’ve never done that and don’t plan to. Plus the last page doesn’t always completely give away the ending anyway. I’ll probably end up posting something about it this weekend, so if you are a slow reader or waiting, I’d watch out. I’ll note major spoilers and all that but if you are in any way connected to the world, you’ll probably know by then anyway.
It’s nice that this series has promoted reading and has sold record numbers of books, but literacy is still down. People just aren’t reading like they used to. Library hours have declined and their use is really now more for computers than books. It’s sad. I got special permission to start checking out more adult books when I was 9 or 10 because I had already gone through the children’s area. I feel sad for those kids who will never understand the thrill of reading and imagination. It’s about creating a fantasy world with your own pictures, not one that someone else has given you. (The movies about books do spoil that somewhat, though I will say that the movie HP looks a lot like how I imagined him.) I hope that the kids reading Harry Potter continue reading in any way possible.


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