When my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I’d pre-ordered on Amazon back in February, didn’t arrive first thing Saturday morning, I waited as patiently as the situation allowed.
I chewed an entire pack of gum.
I finally cleaned out my gym bag.
I avoided turning on the television or surfing the web for fear of discovering leaked spoilers.
I made myself a fancy portabella mushroom omelet with finely sliced onions and grated cheese.
I ate the omelet rather robotically and couldn’t tell you what it tasted like.
I flipped through last week’s The New Yorker.
I tried to take a nap.
I got up ten minutes later, finding that I could no longer bear the wait. So, off I went to my local ShopRite, where the books were being sold at the courtesy counter. When I made it back home, I sprinted (yes: sprinted) down the hallway to my apartment. Running in, I stripped out of my dress, threw on my pajamas and, turning my back on the remarkably beautiful Saturday outside, I climbed into bed with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
And I read.
I read this book just as I’d read the six that came before it: voraciously, compulsively, losing complete sense of time and space as the words, the pages, the book, everything, seemed to evaporate and I immediately fell headlong into the magical world of wizards and witches. I had learned a long time ago that any attempts to extract myself from this world for chores and conversations were fuitle. This weekend was all about the book.
So I read.
I read and read and read, taking only short breaks to hydrate or shove a handful of nuts into my mouth.
At times I wanted to slow down and savor this last adventure but this, too, was an exercise in futility—a lesson I’d learned from the book’s predecessors—and so I continued to read like a woman possessed.
I finally finished the book early on Sunday afternoon. My reading, my consumption of this final installment in the Harry Potter series was bittersweet--both utterly satisfying and utterly heartbreaking. Hats off to JK Rowling: not only has she firmly ensconced herself in the library of classic children and fantasy literature, but she allowed me to relive, that moment when I, as a little girl, first discovered the sheer, unadulterated magic of books. And that, my friends, is truly magical.