I read the last page at 3:39 a.m. today. I told my husband I was going to stop reading when he headed to bed at 12:30 a.m., but then I realized I’d reached the The Battle of Hogwarts and, really, how could you possibly go to bed not knowing who would live or die? And, if I left the best part until morning, the children would do everything in their power to prevent me from reading, as they had done so valiantly all weekend: placing their chubby little hands over the pages I was trying to read, hiding the book under their beds. So I forged on, not moving from my spot for another three hours. I was getting a little hot and thirsty sitting there, but it seemed inappropriate to go make myself comfortable when Harry and his friends were in mortal danger. And then by page 666, when we’re learning Snape’s backstory, I was all choked up and couldn’t possibly stop reading. And there was always the fear that come Monday morning, I’d be unable to read my Google home page headlines without someone or some publication revealing how it all turns out in the end. Sure enough, Monday morning’s Baltimore Sun came with a full review of the book revealing the ending and most of the plot twists. Of course, I had known I’d wanted to read these reviews, and now I could, thanks to my husband who bravely held off the children trying to break into the bedroom where I stole an extra few hours of sleep this morning.
It’s good my 9-year-old and I didn’t go to the midnight event at the Bel Air Barnes & Noble when the books went on sale. One BANV reader commented the crowds were so thick, it would have been a long wait not only to get the book, but simply to get into the Barnes & Noble. My son and I went that next morning right after his guitar lesson. The books were still held behind the checkout counter, and there was a line, but it moved quickly. The books sat in little piles at the feet of each cashier and we had to sign a register saying we had retrieved the book we ordered. With 8.3 million books sold in the first 24 hours after it was released at midnight July 21, I imagine they should soon be quite easy to obtain just about anywhere. And soon, most of the world will likely know how the story finally ends. Barnes & Noble (620 Marketplace Dr., Bel Air) has even scheduled an after party for 7 p.m. Aug. 10 (RSVP at 410-638-7023 or sign up at the store’s information desk) where fans can gather to discuss the book, figuring by that time there won’t be a Muggle alive who doesn’t know how the story ends. Unless you claim to be, like Aunt Petunia, completely uninterested in this sort of thing. But then, even she ….
If anyone has any thoughts they want to share on the book, go ahead and email me at email@example.com. I won’t post any more about it here for awhile so as not to ruin it for those readers who prefer a good night’s sleep to a marathon Potter fest.