Saturday, July 21, 2007

End Of An Era

I have just finished my Harry Potter novel I received at exactly 11:01 AM at the bookstore right next to the city library (which, I must say, has a good selection of thrillers and comedy).

It took me approximately thirteen hours, give or take, though I had the blessed book within my hands for about fifteen hours, but one must minus the simple things of eating and taking the quiet rest of making a decorative piece for a key chain.

As for the ending, I won't be the disgusting masses of puss as everyone else and tell the ending, but will only reveal the fact that I was half right. There was just a little more added to the matter.

As it was, allow me to show one my nice day:

Wake up at 7:30 AM. Think it too early to wake up, considering spent time laughing with neighbors until 1:00 AM that same morning as they continually knocked on door to keep me awake. Set alarm for 7:45 AM.

Wake up at 7:40 AM and think it is too early to wake up at 7:45 AM so set clock for 8:00 AM.

Wake up at 7:46 AM and decided that 8:30 wouldn't be so bad. Set alarm accordingly.

Wake up at 8:55 AM, wondering why the hell my alarm didn't go off and mutter increasingly darker curses under breath as I undress, wrap a towel around me and stagger towards showers with needed equipment for so.

After quickest shower of life, still muttering dark curses under breath as sees the time to be 9:11 AM, wish wistfully time to shave legs and gets over fact as shoves self into pants that don't fit, in which more curses are uttered for the damn drying machine that decided to shrink the pants that fit too loosely the day before.

Finally, 9:22 AM and am out the door with everything that is needed and walking briskly toward bus stop, even though bus isn't waiting. Nods in happiness until sees that, indeed, buses on weekends change time and won't be coming until 10:15. Proceed to eat breakfast muttering ways to slaughter a bus scheduler, as wanted to, originally, be there two hours ahead of time and wait in line like the nerd one is.

9:45 AM, am finished with breakfast and has decided to say goodbyes to everyone and wait by bus station, in hopes that it, in fact will come early. Say, 10:00 AM? Go to room quickly to retrieve MP3 player, then sit on bus stop, listening to music and drawing in sketch book, glancing up every two seconds in hopes for public transportation system.

Check MP3 player and it says 4:03 PM. Blink, then do math in head from what time would be here now. Is off by an hour. Do more math. Figure MP3 player was never told of daylights savings time, and assumes it is also off by ten minutes or so more. Begins to draw self with Harry Potter book, looking serene, but has bubble overhead that has self freaking out in happiness.

Check MP3 player again, and this time it says 4:23 PM, in which case check public transportation papers to find that had read the wrong time and bus would not arrive until 10:35 AM. Consider doing more than pouting and investing time in finding person with car. Decide that in the time that would take, bus would have arrived and would be on way.

MP3 player says 4:48 PM. Have already drawn picture of self near to tears with bubble over head that shows a bus with a lot of question marks around it, then a bubble coming from that to show cute boy from book shop holding my copy of Harry Potter and has a flame drawn with a question mark in his speech bubble. Wish self had just stayed overnight in front of store.

Bus arrives and, according to "bus time," is only a minute late, which either confirms great suspicion of MP3 player, or just means that public transportation has designed a way to screw with minds in more ways than one. Sit on bus and plan in head of how quickly with walk to bookstore by city library by means of football. Am grateful to know there are no other stops and leave bus in frantic hurry, knowing it was already close to time--there will be a large line and I'm at the end.

I coach myself through entire walk session; just because I'm not first does not mean that I will not get a copy. After all, have reserved copy. I repeat this over and over in hopes will believe, and as coming into store, see five different people walk into same store with same vigilance. Speed process up by sneaking by two people who stare at each other in the politeness of who would go in first (awfully nice of them).

Get inside and see long line and sigh. Inevitable, but will at least get copy, as I see many boxes built along side wall. Have come to terms with kids age of thirteen or so bouncing around like sugar on sugar high, repeating over and over to oneself that I, too, was once like these children, and probably still am. Woman kindly asks me if I reserved my copy, and I give last name. She sends me to another line with paper.

Am first in line and only eleven minutes to go. Cute Bookstore Boy has another Cute Bookstore Boy next to him as we laugh at children counting down minutes. Old man next to me is nerdier than expected and keeps making Harry Potter jokes.

Before know it, Cute Bookstore Boy 1 is opening the first box as countdown comes to an end and is quick to take out my copy and hand it to me. I give exact change while Cute Bookstore Boy 2 wraps book in elegant paper. Cute Bookstore Boy 1 gives me receipt. I give them heartfelt thanks and leave store with first copy of book sold, while the children get pictures taken for newspaper.

So, I had a streak of luck and got what I wanted even though it all was against me. It stunk a little for traveling time, because of a few errands to run, but then I was basically reading it from sitting on the bus until two in the AM.

It's odd to know that something I grew up with has officially ended. And I say ended because I don't enjoy the movies as much as the books (different species, really). I received the first Harry Potter novel on my Twelfth birthday from my Grandmother. My mother read it to me out loud, and though I always begged her to read more (for I tended to always read quickly and straight through), we managed to read only one chapter a night.

I can't remember how I knew for the second novel, but we were on a camping trip and I begged and pleaded with parentals that I had to pick it up, so we stopped at some sort of K-Mart facility. My mother tried to persuade me to wait until we were home to read the novel, but I refused, immediately reading it as we travelled in our RV towards Florida. When we stopped for the night, everyone forced me to turn my light out so they could sleep, but I was so close to the ending, I couldn't stop (those of you who read Chamber of Secrets can understand why one can't stop by that certain point of no return...). I kept them up, read with tension in my body, then finished with a sigh and said we could go to sleep.

The third novel was a nightmare. My brother was in baseball and in the middle of a tournament. As much as I begged and pleaded and begged and pleaded, they would have nothing of getting up early to the stores and lose sleep because we were already having to get up at indecent hours the next day to get to where his next game was at. I pouted, which was a big deal because I really liked to watch baseball at that age, for it was still my Kirby Puckett days. They surprised me that night, saying they got it through an Internet facility (Amazon, I believe), and that it'd be in the mail for me the next day, guaranteed. I didn't receive it until five that evening, two hours after that game had ended. To make up lost time, I didn't sleep until wee morning hours, then, when got up, spent rest of day reading.

The fourth, whole family agreed that we would never buy book from internet again and brother took interest in novels. Had to lend novels, reluctantly, and he ended up buying his own paperback versions as I was protecting the novels I read over eight times already with it's own bulletproof vest: me. Am now confused if made them take me to midnight opening or just early in morning. As it is, had novel and was made favorite of all, as was largest and contained much of wizarding world. Also, made a little more PG-13 than rest, more scary and exciting. The novels were growing with me.

The fifth novel, I was in California. I was in stage of staying late up on internet speaking with friends through Instant Messaging. I woke up around nine to Great Aunt prodding me and showing me blue cover. I sat up straight and was more than pleased, considering had thought would have to wait for novel. Am now feeling slightly guilty at fact of possibly not having quality time with Aunt and Uncle, though had done best to only read late into night and wee mornings.

Sixth book took much longer. Had first real job and was sort of living away from parents, as we were moving to new place. Had placed reserve on book in only book store in freaking town, but for a decent price. Immediate family went to see Harry Potter movie, then immediately went to wait at "Harry Potter Party," which, must say was bust. Brother bought copy as well, knowing I wasn't letting copy go until read, and we were living in separate areas at time. Not caring for job, read all night, but book was large, so had to read during breaks and finally finish that next night.

And, finally, our seventh. Am in New Zealand, twenty years old. Was debating on how to receive novel, considering differences in covers. Buy here, overly priced, or for cheaper, but wait at least up to ten days? When decision made, store on campus not taking reserves for that special night, decide to make town effort and reserve at bookstore glanced through before by city library. Cute Bookstore Boy exclaims excitement for book and we share a small moment, just like millions of other people as they reserve their books at the same time. Leave with smile on face, larger than a clothing hanger.

The book itself was amazingly different, and not because I'm in a different country (or, I should say, not limited to). I did end up crying multiple times, but at the end, just a huge smile. I intend to use book as Boots, my lovely stuffed kitten I left at home in fear of losing her in country. It's good to see my characters for a last time, and, hopefully, only time. It's good to put them to rest, because, in all reality, it was time. With the movies and all, it was time.

And it was glorious.

Random Fact: The average reading speed is 200 – 250 words a minute in non-technical material – roughly 2 minutes per page. In technical material, the average reading rate is approx 50 – 75 words a minute – roughly 5 – 6 minutes per page.

1 comment:

Lipton's White Tea with Raspberry said...

How many die? I need to know in that vague way.