Look, everyone. I know you think it’s stupid that I’m moving heaven and earth to celebrate the release of a hardback book. I know you’ve got parties and events going on next July that you’d really like to have me attend. Summers are shorter now, and each weekend of July is crammed with experiences we want to live out before school starts again.
To you this is “just another book” or “one of those silly children’s books”. I don’t know how firmly I can express to you ALL that this is my Rachel. I have waited seven years for this day.
I read my first Harry Potter books in July of 2000. Back then there were only four of them, but they were the only bright spot in what proved to be an outright hideous time of my life. When you have a job that literally drives you to the brink of a nervous breakdown and a boss who literally locks you in your office after work hours to verbally AND physically abuse you for more than 45 minutes it is necessary to take joy in simple pleasures. Like the Harry Potter books.
We all knew that there would only be seven written. And we’ve all talked endlessly about that seventh book. We knew once upon a time that the last word of all the stories was going to be “scar”. Long hours of discussion have been had about that one word alone. What does it mean? Does Harry die? Lose his powers? Have his memory wiped and removed from the magical world?
I’ve stood in line for hours on two occasions as I waited for books 5 and 6. I’ve had my face painted and taken quizzes and made a magic wand out of pipecleaners. All of this appealed greatly to my inner nine-year-old. I still have a flat black rock in the shadow boxes in my dining room wall. It was a prize that was meant to be a “sorcerer’s stone” a la the first book. It’s never spewed Elixer of Life, but every time I walk by it I get a bit cheerier. No, I don’t live longer but I live better.
So yeah. My very first priority on July 20, 2007 is going to be standing in line at a bookstore for my copy. My very first priority on July 21, 2007 is going to be reading that book.
It may seem silly to you, but it’s a VERY BIG DEAL to me. Perhaps the biggest deal. It’s every Superbowl ever played, every election ever held. You all will just have to be understanding.