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Harry Potter–the Event & Reading It

Saturday, July 21, 2007


No spoilers, I promise.

After some friends warned me that I might need to arrive early to get a number that would determine my place in line, I bit the bullet and went down to B&N at 7:00 Friday evening. Because I had to stand in line about thirty minutes just to get up to the table outside the door to get a wristband (orange for those of us who had pre-reserved our copies, blue for those who didn’t), and hearing people talk about how much trouble they had with parking and getting back into the store later in the evening “last time,” I made the decision to just stay there for the entire length of time instead of returning home or doing other shopping in the area.

I made my way through the crowd to the very quiet Christian fiction aisle and picked up Terri Blackstock’s Last Light, which, I believe, someone recommended in a comment here on the blog. After a little more than an hour of book browsing and picking up a few other titles to look at to see if I might be interested in reading them, and found an empty table in the cafe area. I sat there and read until about 10:30 (after reading about the first one-third of Last Light) when I finally got up to figure out where I needed to be to have a decent shot of getting my book as close to midnight as I could. I ran into a few people I know from church and stood with them in what eventually became a line. We were two Bargain Books rows back from the cashier’s station. I finally got to the front and got my book at 12:38 a.m. While waiting at the head of the line, I asked the employee standing there (who’d been directing people to the appropriate lines outside earlier, walking around with a clicker/counter) if they knew a rough estimate of how many people where there. He said when he turned the clicker over to someone else at 9:30, there were already 1,800 people there—based on the steady stream of people he saw coming in after that, he figured there were probably at least 2,000-2,200 people there. And this is not a overly large B&N. There were people everywhere.

Since I hadn’t taken the time to get something to eat before going, I stopped at Jack-in-the-Box on the way home for food (was able to read the first page and a half waiting at the window), then came straight home and, after changing into PJs, started reading. I stopped around 3 a.m. only because I kept dozing off and rereading the same page without really comprehending anything on it. So I decided to sleep. Woke up around 9 a.m., made coffee, eggs, and bacon, and immediately started reading again. With only a few breaks to get up and move my stiff, sore body, I finished reading it at 7:00 p.m. tonight. I went through about a dozen tissues while reading. She didn’t pull any punches, but it has a deeply satisfying ending.

As far as the predictions I made before reading it—well, with some of them, I was right on the money. With others, I got a couple of elements correct but missed others, and with a few, I was just way off base.

I’m so glad I went last night and experienced this much excitement over a book. And not just any book—a genre fiction/popular fiction novel!

I’ll be getting the unabridged audio version from Amazon some time this week, so I’ll spend the next couple of weeks listening to it and catching all of the little details I know I missed because I tend to skim in my anxiousness to know what happens next when reading a new book.

  1. Carol Collett permalink
    Sunday, July 22, 2007 8:11 am

    Got my copy in the mail yesterday-I’d pre-ordered from Amazon. I’m only on page 33 due to some other planned activites. I’m not one to read the last chapter of the book first, but I have to confess, I was tempted. I doubt I’ll finish it today, but for sure within the next 48 hours.
    I just love all the hoopla over a children’s fantasy book!


  2. Sunday, July 22, 2007 12:25 pm

    So since I’m not a part of teh frenzy…and I don’t mind knowing–Did she kill off Harry? You could email me the response 😀



  3. Sunday, July 22, 2007 7:15 pm

    There were several times throughout the reading of the book that I was sorely tempted to read the last chapter—but I resisted temptation. Actually, when I first started reading, I kept my eyes averted from the TABLE OF CONTENTS because I didn’t want to get any clue from the chapter titles of what might be coming!


  4. Carol Collett permalink
    Monday, July 23, 2007 7:39 am

    Okay, so I did finish yesterday-just couldn’t put it down. I had to know the end and I just have a fundamental opposition to reading the end without reading everything in between. Kaye, you’re right, the end was very satisfying.


  5. Monday, July 23, 2007 12:14 pm

    Waltzed into Wal-mart Saturday afternoon about 4. Was afraid they were all gone because there was a big empty hole with all the promotional signs around it. Sighed and picked up a few other items. Planned to head over to Books-a-Million. On way to cashier, saw a huge display with plenty of books. Yeah! Got one and didn’t have to make a second stop.

    My son and I–because we’ve read every HP book together–got through the first six chapters. We’re both dying for more but we only read when it’s convenient for both of us. So it takes us longer but it’s ultimately more gratifying.


  6. Tuesday, July 24, 2007 1:14 am

    Hee hee–

    I reserved a library copy some months ago and got a call from them Saturday morning around 10:30 saying I could come get it whenever. definitely the way to go.

    Jay likes buying the paperbacks, s we are able to read now w/o having to buy.


  7. luvbooks7 permalink
    Sunday, July 29, 2007 7:38 pm

    Was the Blackstock book any good? Someone else recommended her to me, haven’t read anything by her…..I’ve put the book on my wish list.
    I did a bigger order online so my copy of HP will be here one of these days.



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