Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Only 60 Hours ... and Counting

My mind is reeling with anticipation such as I've rarely experienced. In two days and twelve hours (or so), the seventh and final installment of our beloved Harry Potter series will be on sale. After rereading the first five books over the last couple of months, this week I'm finishing rereading the sixth book so that I'm fully up-to-speed and ready to start Deathly Hallows when it arrives in our post office box on Saturday. At least, I'm desperately HOPING it will appear in our box; the last time we ordered online with Barnes and Noble, Half-Blood Prince was indeed in our box on the very release date. But E, however, is not content to wait until Saturday morning to open Deathly Hallows and read the first words.

Her plan is as follows: On Friday morning, Keith will leave for work a half-hour early and drop her off at B&N around 9:30 AM, half an hour after they start giving out wristbands that will place her in the line on a first-come-first-served basis. Then she'll browse through the store, purchasing a few more books on HP like the poster book from the films that she had her eye on the other day. When my morning church service is finished, I'll pick her up at B&N around 10:30 AM and we'll head home to rest up. E, dressed as a Hogwarts student, along with myself and possibly T will return to the store around 9-10 PM and enjoy the costume contests and festivities at B&N, and they'll start lining us up at 11 PM to actually purchase the books which go on sale precisely at midnight. E will purchase her reserved copy and home we'll go. (I don't envy those poor bookstore clerks; in my ten years working in bookstores, there was NOTHING like this that required staying up all night to sell books!) I imagine she'll stay up all night reading this last book and keep reading into Saturday, and she'll definitely finish it before I do, perhaps before I even get my hot little hands on my own copy. Our plan is to stay offline and away from all TV and radio coverage until we've both finished the book because we don't the ending spoiled for us (and she's not allowed to blab or even tell T until I'm DONE!).

So that's how rabid fans of these books are. And really, when one considers that literary history is in the making, I think participating in the hoopla over the seventh book is not a bad idea at all. We all want to be part of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's wonderful fight against evil, and banding together for this last book release is a great way to share in an event that I think kids will tell their grandkids about. Can you imagine standing in line for the final Lord of the Rings book? Or for the final Chronicles of Narnia installment? The Harry Potter books will definitely possess a similarly beloved place in children's literature, and most deservedly so.

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