The Texture Of Things

By Way of an Apology,
“Essay on Harry Potter” continued

August 21st, 2007

Go read this post first. It’s, like, Part One, or something.

Also, if you are trying to avoid spoilers, this post is safe. The previous one is not.

Somewhere in the middle of book 6, I tried to go to bed because it was late and I had to work the next day, and let me just say right here that I know what a mistake that was. I was young and foolish. I laid in bed forEVER trying to settle down and go to sleep, and that is not ever a problem I suffer from – just ask HG.

For instance, a typical bedtime conversation…
HG: ” ‘Night honey.”
Me: ” ‘Night. Hey. What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?”
HG: “Hot, slight chance of rain in the p.m. I think I’m gonna — ”
Me: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :snork: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So the next day I began plotting how and when to get my copy of Deathly Hallows. I simply couldn’t consume these books fast enough and knowing that there was another one waiting for me was eating me from the inside out.

It was some days before I could steal a minute at lunch (okay, 30) to go to the bookstore and buy it. I don’t know how to explain this part, and I think I probably don’t have to dwell too long on the purchase other than to say that I have grown some empathy about the frenzy. From the moment I had a plan to buy the book, I felt slightly panicked. The buzz grew in my ears as I got closer to carrying out the purchase, as I found my way through the bookstore, until I had a copy in my hands*.

I about died that there was a line at the checkout, and I quite literally wanted to throw up when the most efficient cashier left the registers right as I should have been called next. That is how bad it was. I felt queasy to be so close to it, but not swallowed by it yet. It was almost illegal to want something this much.

Of course, you know I read the first two chapters in my car before heading back to work, right?

I apologize for every time I scoffed at the hardcore fans for re-reading the first 6 books before the release of this book, for the release parties, for the lines and the wristbands and the waiting up all night for it. For me, I merely had to find a copy (oddly, it was not as easy as heading up to my local grocery store), but for those who read the books on time – egad, my heart goes out to you all. You are stronger people than I am, to wait almost patiently for so long for the conclusion to the story. I cannot imagine what that was like.

My experience, on the other hand, is something more like what future readers will have – an entire series waiting for them, one after another, until the very end – and that was a downright juicy reading experience, for those last 3 books. I hope the tot and her generation will enjoy it this much.

This is coming from a woman who had a stack of essays to grade and DH to read when the power went out last weekend. So, we lit candles and hunkered down for a long night of no power, and what did I do? Did I grade a few papers by candlelight? No. Don’t be ridiculous. I read Harry Potter all night. We put the tot to bed, HG went to bed, the power came back on at 11:50 p.m., and upon his return to bed, HG asked me, “Coming to bed?”

I replied, “In 250 pages.”

He thought I was kidding. I was not kidding. And at 2:30 a.m. I finally drifted in to bed, and unlike the night I chose bed over finishing book 6, I laid there quietly happy for about 10 minutes before achieving :snork:.

It was a restful night’s sleep.

*Confession: I am a cheapskate. This is why I don’t buy hardcover books – they cost too much. So, the fact I was buying this in hardcover rather than a) waiting for paperback or b) waiting for a copy at the library is testimony to how affected I was. I mean, I stood there in the store with that little voice in my head saying, “Oh great! The sticker says 30% off! Wait. What do hardcovers go for these – Holy Sweet Mother of Bob $34.99?! Who the crunchy hell pays that kind of money for a book?!” But it was barely audible over the “Harry. Potter. Must. Read. Harry. Potter.” And you know which voice won out.


  1. Summer says

    In reference to your asterisked postscript… I’ve been buying the HP books in paperback, too, and as much as I wanted to read Deathly Hallows right away, I couldn’t bring myself to order it in hardback. Those books need to match, dammit! I sent an urgent email out to 200 of my friends (okay, it’s a neighborhood family e-list I started) asking if anyone would lend me a copy when they finished it. Had it on the Wednesday after release, had it finished less than 24 hours later. My literary obsessions a village, you know.

    August 21st, 2007 | #

  2. Steph says

    “Harry Potter! Harry Potter! HUNH!”

    August 21st, 2007 | #

  3. coffeypot says

    Like everyone else in the world, I had to have the last HP book. But I refused to pay the $25 to $30 needed to purchase the book. So the day AFTER the book went on sale, I happened to stop by the Wal Mart store for something, and there in the middle of the floor, like a K-Mart Blue Light Special, was a pallet full of the newest HP books, and it was only $16. I, too, do not like hardback books – unless they are full of pictures – but I had to have it. Then, yesterday I stopped by the Kroger store to pick up some bread and fruit, and there the book was on sale for $9. Talk about depreciation!

    Incidentally, I read were J.K is writing a new detective, crime book. I look forward to reading that, too. But I will wait for the paperback version this time – unless there are a lot of pictures in it.

    August 21st, 2007 | #

  4. KLee says

    I, like most everyone else here, prefer the paperbacks. Like you, amy — I can’t really pay $35 for a freaking book. Harry Potter is the ONLY exception. I prefer the paperbacks because I take a whole assload of them at a time to my neighborhood paperback trader (or trade them with friends) and for very little money, I get new books.

    I only paid $18-something for my HP7 at BooksAMillion, because I have a BAM Club card. Plus, when I got it, I also got a nifty purple book light as a “free” gift. It helped GREATLY to have prepurchased it. I did not prepurchase when HP6 came out, and I regretted that. The line for HP6 snaked all OVER our local Barnes and Noble, and I was at the end of it. The line for HP7 snaked all over, too, but at least I was like number 7 in line, and I was out of the door and in my car by 12:04. I also apparently made it on the news. (I was later told this, since I never saw that footage.)

    August 21st, 2007 | #

  5. admin says

    Summer – THANK YOU for understanding that the books need to match! I thought I was the only one.

    Coffeypot – I couldn’t find it at my local Meijer even. I went a bajillion places before resorting to the official bookstore. But I’m happy for you that you also enjoy picture books. Them’s good readin’.

    KLee – how you got any sleep the night you got the book, I’ll never know.

    Steph – Snape. Snape. Severus Snape.


    August 22nd, 2007 | #

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