I ordered my book from Port Book and News in Port Angeles last week, for two reasons. One, I wanted to support a local bookstore this time (although Amazon is technically local). Two, it would keep the book out of my hot little grasp until AFTER the wedding. This means I can focus on my upcoming nuptials without distraction, and when I do get to read the book, I won't be simultaneously worrying about whether my dress is too shiny, or if people like the food, or how someone saying something about vows is interrupting me.
I want to take my TIME with the book. I am fully capable of doing the overnight speed-read, but where's the fun? This is the last Potter ever.
I love the Harry Potter phenomenon in that it's made people voraciously excited about reading. Nobody holds John Grisham midnight release parties, after all. I also love that it crosses age lines...there's about an 80 year age span across the HP readers I know.
Nancy Pearl made an interesting point that Harry Potter readers of the future will likely not have the love for the books that this generation did, with good reason; the maturity level of the books is too variable. Young kids that start the first book will find that the series gets pretty dark pretty fast, and may choose not to continue. Older readers that can handle the later books may lose interest while starting with the first. Only this generation has been able to mature as the books did. It's an interesting conundrum.
Anyway, I went to the Harry Potter release party last night at Third Place Books. It was unbelievable...I have NEVER seen Third Place so crowded. There was almost NO parking at LFP mall, and costumed HP fans probably numbered nearly a thousand. We had Dobbys and Dumbledores, Professors and students. There were trivia contests, face painting, raffles, games, tea-leaf reading (I am to expect good fortune in one week), and even a little corner for "magical knitting."
Jason and Ilana quickly paid for their books and got a voucher ticket. I wandered about and looked at all the stalls and people. A magic show started about 45 minutes before midnight, with a wizard demonstrating the use of magic wands, dragon training devices, magical boxes, and finally conjured a copy of book 7 at exactly 12:01, starting the mad scramble.
The line to get the book (distributed from the used book counter) was so long and convoluted that the Third Place manager had to interrupt the magic show and desperately beg people to stop getting in the line, as it was choking off the whole store. I positioned myself near the book counter to watch people getting their books.
This was the best part of the evening. Older folks ran up to the counter just as fast as their grandkids did. High school students danced up to the line. Girls squealed, boys squealed. Every 7th or 8th person took a deep whiff of the pages and went "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh." People leaped and twirled. Moms grimly hoisted their copies well above the grasps of their children. Bookless friends mugged their well-endowed peers. People frantically turned to the last page to see the page count, and if the last word of the book was what the hype said it was (it was not). It was great fun.
Then we went home, I attempted to lock myself in the bathroom with Jason's book, had a brief altercation with the towel rack and my spine, and went to bed.