Saturday, July 09, 2005

Potter Frenzy

One week from today I will have a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in my hot little hands.

I debated the various ways of obtaining said copy. With Book 5 (The Order of the Phoenix) I decided at the very last minute to waltz over to my local Borders Bookstore at midnight to join in the fun. Come to find out they'd initiated a ticketing system to keep things nice and orderly. Depending on if you'd pre-ordered a copy and how early you'd arrived at the store, you were issued a colored ticket with a number on it. Then, at midnight, an announcer began calling out ticket colors and number ranges to come to the back of the store and get a book ("Yellow Tickets numbered 500 through 600 can now get your copy."). Since I hadn't preordered and I'd arrived at the store sometime around 11:30, I was issued a black ticket with an obscenely high number and had to wait until nearly the end to get a book. Thankfully the store had all cashiers on hand and the mile-long lines to pay moved as swiftly as possible. I think I managed to make it home by 1:30.

It was a lot of fun. I went by myself and found another book I'd been wanting to read and curled up in a chair to wait until my ticket was called, a bonus for Borders because I walked out of the store with HP plus my time-killer book. The atmosphere was like that of a carnival, and no one felt like a big geek for being out at midnight simply to buy a silly kids book because we were all there for the same reason.

At least I felt somewhat more normal than many in that I didn't crack open my copy until I got home. Many, many people stood in the cash-wrap line reading as if they'd been starving to death and couldn't wait a single second more to find out what Harry had been up to.

Since I had such a great time, I've decided to go the midnight route again this release. I toyed with ordering via Amazon or Barnes and Noble but decided I didn't want to be at the mercy of the delivery systems. Not that I would suffer unduly if I had to wait until Monday or Tuesday to get my copy, just that I'm the type who wants what she wants when she wants it. As in now.

The only thing I'm doing differently is that I've actually preordered a copy. I've decided not to go back to Borders but rather to Barnes and Noble since I have a membership card which will garner me another 10% off the cover price. Only problem here is that the B&N closest to me has the tiniest parking lot which is hard to get into on a normal day and will be impossible on Friday night. I'm assuming the B&N management will have the problem solved with traffic cops helping us patrons cross the major six-lane road that runs between the store and the shopping mall across the street where we will find ample parking at midnight.

I haven't decided if I want to take my daughter. She's only seven and she hasn't read any of the HP books yet. She's still too young. I won't let her watch the movies both because I think she'd be a bit frightened by them and because I'd prefer her to read the books first. Keeping her up until midnight isn't a big deal since it's summer vacation. It might be fun to have her along and maybe she's old enough to form a memory of the experience. I assume that by the time HP #7 is ready she'll have started reading the series and will be as excited as I will be.

In preparation for next week, yesterday I started re-reading HP: atOotP. It's the only one of the HP books I've only read once, and that was when it came out two summers ago. I've honestly forgotten what happened other than I remember which key character died and I remember that Harry got on my nerves more than once because he's become an especially whiney and self-centered teenager. I forgive him this because, well, a lot of teenagers are whiney and self-centered. As much as he annoyed me, I have to give J.K. props for allowing her character to grow up, even though it causes him and us readers some pain.

And speaking of J.K., if there is any writer out there that I both envy like crazy and feel sorry for most it's J.K. Rowling. Her success is the stuff of writers' dreams. But the amount of pressure on this woman has to be unfathomable. The entire world is waiting with its collective breath held to see what she's written next. Will it live up to the hype and the expectations of what's come before? Will we all regret staying up until the wee hours to get the book as soon as humanly possible? Talk about stress.

And by midnight next Saturday the majority of HP fans will be asking the same question: So when's HP #7 coming out?


Caro said...

For OotP, we wandered over on Saturday morning and picked up my copy -- which I promptly devoured in twelve hours. This time, we're doing the midnight run because Friday will mark the end of my first full week of work as an actual associate instead of a temp. Until the first paycheck comes in (the last temp paycheck has to last two weeks instead of one), we can't do anything large, we decided this would be a nice little celebration.

My calendar for next Saturday is clear and the husband knows he's probably going to have to take care of dinner until I come up for air. :)

MaryF said...

I've done the midnight thing twice now, and probably will do it again this year. It's

Tess Harrison said...

I know exactly what you mean. I can't wait for next Saturday. I did the midnight thing at B&N last year. My husband has already told me if I do it this year I do it alone. I told him fine by me. It was a blast though.