Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

We arrived back in Carlisle at about 11:00 pm on Friday night. We had to stop in town and get a few things like milk, bread, pet food etc. . . . I noticed that all the display units were up for the last Harry Potter book. Looking at my watch I saw that the book was due to be placed on the supermarket shelves at midnight.

We were MUCH too tired for me to even suggest that we hang around for me to get the book. I had to be back in Carlisle in the morning to spring Polly from the kennels. I could pick up my copy of the book then.

I started reading the Harry Potter books to George when he was very small. The first book, the Philosopher's Stone was a bed time story that I picked up at a local bookshop. What would become enormous publicity for the series was only in the rumbling stages back then. I can't even remember how many of the series had even been published at this point. If I remember correctly, there were three books already out and not even a whisper of any movie.

I would read a couple of chapters to George at night before bedtime. I was a fan from the very first moment I cracked the first book open. I read to George until he started to fall asleep. After tucking him in, I put the book under my arm and went to continue reading in the living room. I had to have two book marks, one to mark the place in the book where I was for George, and one book mark for me. If I remember correctly, I managed to rip through the first three books before I had finished reading The Philosopher's Stone to George.

I had told my family that years ago, I had the same round glasses that are described as worn by Harry in the book. Sadly, I have never had any proof of this until recently.
This is an actual photo of me circa 1969 wearing my soon to be very popular (a few decades down the road) Harry Potter look. I even have the green eyes and brown, unkempt hair. In this photo, my father is teaching me to play cribbage.

When the Prisoner of Azkaban came out, I had to get two copies. One for middle son Sean and one for me. This kept the peace and prevented both of us from having to be selfless and SHARE the book. I have helped increase Ms Rowling's fortune considerably by buying multiple copies of each of her books. I have also purchased them on tape and CD for listening in the car.

In this last book, I am sure that I will be purchasing it on CD when it comes available. The voice of Stephen Fry is such a tonic. I swear I could listen to him read the phone book. I wonder if he gets an advanced copy so that he can start recordings early.

Saturday morning, I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and a few other items that we forgot the night before, got processed through the check out and went off to get my dog.

Before I go any further, I would like to state that I rarely buy books from the supermarket. I don't think it is a good idea to do this AS A RULE. It puts a terrible strain on our local book stores. I am sorry Carlisle and Dumfries booksellers. I feel I cheated on you by doing this, but I'll make it up to you. I promise.

I got back to the house with the book and the dog. After unpacking the other purchases and throwing another load of holiday laundry into the washing machine, I got a mug of tea and settled in to our comfy sofa and cracked open the book.

I'd like to thank my family for not pestering me while I read. The Man of the Place even let the big stereo in the front room remain silent. Now THAT'S love! I drifted off to sleep a couple of times yesterday as I plowed through the story. It wasn't due to any dullness in the text, we just had a very busy day yesterday. I was obviously very tired.

Stopping from time to time to reload the washing machine or fix food for the family were the only big breaks I had in my reading. The book even came into the bathroom with me when I had my bath. The last thing I remember yesterday is reading the book in bed. I must have fallen asleep with it on my chest because when I awoke this morning, my reading light was off and the book was on Henry's bedside table.

This morning I spent time taking clothes on and off the clothesline while getting to the very exciting end of the book. Sorry, there will be NO spoilers or hints from me about the content of the book. I will say that I enjoyed reading the book and indeed the entire Harry Potter series.

Thanks JK. My sisters, my brother (picking his nose) and I salute you!
This photo was taken on the ferry from Bayview Wisconsin to Madeline Island, one of our favourite family camping spots years ago.

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