Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Harry Potter

Although I do write on this site, I've never actually consider myself to be a writer. I'm more of a layman autobiographer if I look at what I spend my time writing about, and I'm ok with that. Someday, I can only hope that something that I've written will make them as happy as the Harry Potter books have made me feel.

On Saturday afternoon, I was a very unhappy man. I looked at the email from Amazon that announced that I was due to get my copy of Harry Potter on Saturday, via UPS. The problem with this was the fact that UPS doesn't deliver on Saturday. Needless to say, I was fit to be tied. I was home taking care of Gaby and while my daughter almost constantly makes me smile, she couldn't do anything at that moment to make me feel better about the fact that I was going to have to wait for a few days to find out how things were going to change for Harry as he approached his 16th birthday.

While Gaby was taking a nap, I even went to the extreme measure of weeding the plants in front of the house. It was 95 degrees outside and the sun was beating down on the front of the house, but I didn't care. I had to distract myself.

After sweating profusely for an hour or so, I came back into the house to find Gaby still asleep in her swing and I began to think of the angry email that I was going to send to Amazon for denying me the pleasure of reading the book.

Sarah had been sleeping all day, as she had to work later that evening, so I had no one to complain to and quite frankly Gaby isn't a sympathetic ear at this point. So, when Sarah woke up, I had her watch the little one for a while and I walked the quarter-mile journey down to our mailbox.

"Well, I ordered a new game the other day... perhaps that will be here and that will make me feel better," I thought to myself. It was all about excuses. I didn't really want to admit the fact that I wasn't going to be able to read Mrs. Rowling's newest book, and that this inconvenience could actually bother me this much.

Then when I arrived at the mailbox I found that the book was indeed there. I took it, as well as the unimportant other items that happened to be there, and ran back up to the house, smiling all the way.

When I got back into the house I carefully opened the container that was shielding the book from damage that could have been done during shipping and then set it on my nightstand. I then informed Sarah that the book had indeed arrived and she smiled and said, "That's nice."

Then the book sat.

I had been waiting all day for my chance to read it, but now that I had it, I did not want to start it. Why? I had avoided reading any websites that would have made any mention of the book, as I didn't want to have any part of my reading spoiled by hearing about what was contained within it's pages, but now that I had the book, I couldn't read it?

It's now 3 days later and I have completed only 5 chapters in the book. Never before have I read a book where I have given so much attention to ever sentence, with so much focus on what secrets might be hidden in each turn of phrase. While I'm not one of the people that would have waited in line at midnight to buy the book, I'm just as big of an addict as the rest of them. Why only 5 chapters in 3 days? I just don't want the book to end.

In my entire life I've never read a book, or in this case, a series of books that I've enjoyed as much as I do these. In the weeks leading up to the release of the 6th book, I re-read the first five books again, for the 4th time. Each time I've read them, I've found something more to enjoy. I've found characters to be more nuanced than I had noticed in a previous reading. I found that there were large hints towards the future story that I had completely overlooked. I found myself spending a good deal of time thinking about the backgrounds of characters and wondering why certain people have never been mentioned, Harry's Godmother for one.

But above all else, I found that I was happy while reading these books.

With some luck, I'll finish this latest book in the next week or so and will be able to let the story unfold before me without any outside entity spoiling the finish for me.

I've heard that these books are meant for children, and that's a good thing, as I've never stopped being one and these books allow me to continue to do so.