Monday, July 9, 2007

Don't Die, Harry Potter!

What will you be doing in 12 days? If you’re a reader like me, you’ll be devouring the last in the series about the great boy and girl wizards. (Hermione's my favorite!)

The first time I ever heard the words “Harry Potter,” I assumed it was a nerdy fantasy series for kids. The person who told me he was reading them with his kids struck me as the sort who was obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons when he was younger. This was way before Harry hit the big time. I’m not a fantasy/sci-fi sort of person, and in fact, will run screaming the other way. The only sci-fi books I’ve read were written by L’Engle, LeGuin, or Atwood, or involve time travel.

I have to thank my English mother-in-law for introducing me to HP. After my first miscarriage in 1999, I was lying in bed feeling depressed and she brought me the book and convinced me to give it a try. It was just the sort of distraction I needed, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Yes, I know there are better-written books out there, but JK Rowling sure tells a great story with memorable characters. I’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming Movie #5 and Book #7. Could our family's fascination with HP have anything to do with the fact that Chris has countless times been told that he looks like Harry? He even acquired a real scar on his forehead to complete the look!

Our little Harry Potter--circa 2003

My DH is convinced that Harry is going to die. Isn't that uplifting? It reminds me of seeing “The Piano” with him, when he declared at the end of the movie that it would have been better if the protagonist had drowned instead of being rescued when she threw herself overboard. The tragedian in me sees his point, but the overwhelming optimist in me likes a good happy ending.

Today, the NYT published five op-ed perspectives on the ending of HP. Will he die, or won’t he? (Clearly, one of the writers has been channeling my DH.) Will Hermione demolish them all? Will Harry do Letterman?

Because we are flying out to Hawaii on July 21 (work for me), we have already engineered a book purchase plan. Our local bookstore Annie Bloom’s will issue numbered tickets on Friday morning, which will indicate the order of the books being released at midnight. We plan to be there bright and early to pick up a ticket, and Mike and Chris will join the revelers at midnight and pick up our copy. Who will get to read it on the airplane? We might have to take turns!

In the old days, when our family tradition was to read the book slowly, together, before it turned into Mom and Dad staying up and reading at all hours of the night so we could find out what happens...

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