Jul 17, 2005

Harry Potter

Let me get this straight from the begining.
I had the new Harry Potter in my hands at 14 minutes after midnight. There was no long hours of waiting in a bookstore, I reserved a copy at a store which was beyond organized. Quarter to twelve I walked in, went to the counter and paid for my books. including the Potter. I had been handed a letter as I walked in the door ( I was a "L"), I went out for a smoke and waited maybe five minutes for midnight. I casualy walked into the store and got in line. At twenty minutes after the hour I was driving home. No Fuss No Muss.

And now.....The rest of the story...

I went to get the new book with one of my best friends, Richard. Richard's wife said as w were leaving, "Have fun dorks!". We just smiled. Richard explained to her how we had costumes hidden in the car and would be changing in the parking lot before entering the store.
We didn't really do this.....

Ruth kept referring to this as our attempt at male bonding. It's not. We both wanted the book, and why not go and enjoy the show?

And it was a show.There were hundreds of people in the store. And they were all there to buy books. Children dressed up and excited. This was cool.
Twenty something goth's excited and dressed up, this was weird.
Adults excited and dressed up, this was sad.
It's not sad they were excited, but I do think there is an age when you should consider the fact that dressing up in costumes is for kids, leave it to them.
However it was also very cool because the store we went to had someone come in to read to the kids. A local celebrity who was in Buffy The Vampire Slayer series and for us older folks, ANIMAL HOUSE. That's right ladies and gentlemen, Neidermeyer was there and reading Harry Potter aloud. Mark Metcalf owns a local eatery in Mequon, just north of Milwaukee and he was on hand. I could not help mself an immediatly start to say very loudly" IS THAT A QUIDDITCH PIN ON YOUR UNIFORM??!!!". Some of the older muggles actually got it and laughed. This led Richard to start with lines from the Twisted Sister vidoes...

It was very cool to see whole families come out with copies of the book. All of them happy and excited.I loved seeing this many people excited about reading. We have a whole generation who considers reading something you do on a monitor. And the fact that people are making it a family event is great.

So to anyone who feels the need to rip on Harry Potter or JK Rowling I say this: Get over yourself. JK Rowling deserves every penny she makes. Why? Because she has made reading somethig kids want to do again. She has made it cool. She also has entire families reading together and discussing books. And when they finish the Potter book, many are looking for other books to read as a family. This is where the next generation of mystery fans could be coming from.

So enough of this bullshit about the book needs some editing, it's too long, it isn't as good as the last one, will it be an enduring classic.... Shut up already. It's entertainment. It's fun. It's adventure. They aren't supposed to change your life or your diet or philosphy in all things. They are supposed to entertain. They are supposed to be fun.

And they they are entertaining and they are fun.

And the best part is JK Rowling has a lot of people reading again.


Mary said...

I wasn't able to get to any of the events in our area because of conflicting plans. But on my way home at nearly midnight I stopped at one of the local Barnes and Nobles to get some pictures of the folks waiting in line. My favorite bit was the two guys standing on the median strip on Broadway holding up a big sign that said Harry Potter sold at Tower Records. This is the shop across the street and of course no one was lined up there.

I think a lot of people went out at midnight to buy the books in order to share in the event. As you said, its a bit of a bonding experience. And its a lot of fun to boot.

Guyot said...

Being the only person I know has never read ANY of the Potter books, I still applaud and agree with your post.

Now, here's a question...

Is there another author out there whose book you would go stand on line at midnight to own?

Or is it just the whole event as opposed to the book?


Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

I might go to get a book at midnight if I had to wait two years between them by Leee Child, John Connolly, Ken Bruen or any number of other authors.

But a big part of it is the event they make out of it. It's just fun to see peole excited about books.

John Schramm said...

My sentiments exactly. I read a couple of negative reviews of the new Harry book. To heck with them, I say. Rock on, Jon!

And I wish I could have been there. I love ANIMAL HOUSE, and the Twisted Sister videos. Neidermeyer!!!!

JimB said...

While I aggree with you about the "potter appeal" a columnist in my Sunday paper pointed out that among the crowds waiting for the book at her local store, there were Children, teenage girls and adults - with virtually no teenage boys. She mentioned that as she and her duaghter were heading to the park next day to start reading the book, they were confronted bya couple of teenage boys and sneered and spat at for having a copy of the book.Looks like there's one area where JK hasn't conquered all yet...

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...


That's weird. Here in the Milwaukee area I saw a fair amount of teenage boys buying the book.

Of course when I was that age I would have been too cool to read it.

Being a teenager is something I would never repeat...