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[Editor’s Note: OK, we really don’t have an editor (yes, there is an argument to made that maybe we should). I just wanted to add that I’m trying like hell not to spoil this book for anyone, so if you don’t want to know what happens in this book DON’T READ AFTER THE JUMP! If you’ve read the book or don’t care to have the ending ruined, feel free to read on.]

I didn’t wait in line to buy my book at midnight this past Friday, in magical costume, with signs expressing my Potterfilia. On the other hand, I also didn’t pre-order at Amazon – because they couldn’t guarantee delivery until 7pm which would have meant a loss of too many prime reading hours. Instead I drove to my favorite independent book store and paid (gasp) full price, eschewing all the various sales and discounts. I imagined that Harry would have been proud of me standing up for the little guy.

Once I got there things went a little funny. The store’s subdued reaction to this release (maybe they were exhausted from their partying the night before?) was mirrored by my own. Though they had huge stacks of pre-orders behind the desk, there was no front window display (they had gratuitous ones for book five and six). I actually had to go into the children’s section and look for it. I did find it (one of three copies strewn upon various surfaces) but I reached for it with little excitement this time, finally fully realizing that, good or bad, this was the end.

Upon arrival home I paced from room to room, carrying it without opening it, feeling its heft and gathering the courage I didn’t know I would need. I knew once I began that I would read until I was finished. I am hard core in that respect; I would finish by Monday. Beyond small breaks to catch my breath, eat a snack or stretch my legs, I didn’t stop. Really, I couldn’t stop. The action starts on page one and doesn’t let up for 748 pages. I read it on the 15 minute ride to my parents’ house for dinner. Had I somehow found a way to walk the dog or shower and read the same time, I would have done it.

Unfortunately life did interrupt such an ambitious reading session. I’m not a kid on summer vacation who can stay up all night if I want to. Last night, after various fits and spurts and more than two hours past my normal bedtime, I finally closed the book. I sat silently for a few moments. Probing myself for any emotional injures, I realized I was left with a hollow feeling of sorrow which had nothing to do with the various deaths within the pages. Have no doubts about this -there were many deaths (two before page 80), some of them shocking, others heartbreaking and one in particular which brought tears to my eyes.

My sorrow was really for the answered questions (and yes, they are all answered).

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This blog would be remiss if one of us didn’t at least mention Harry Potter, so here’s a brief note. Harry and J.K. have weathered some harsh criticisms over the years (and it’s been a decade, can you believe it?  If you were eleven like Harry when you read book one, you can read Deathly Hallows at a bar!) but I for one am willing to forgive practically everything (I say practically because I don’t know what is in store for the finale. I hope and pray J.K. will not let us down).  I unabashedly adore Harry Potter and turn a conscious blind eye and ear to such criticisms.

I spent the majority of last night ignoring my dirty house, my pets and Tim so I could finish Harry Potter.  In preparation for the newest book I used to read the entire series, something that is near impossible nowadays with the number of books and their inordinate length (oh yeah and my lack of time).  So this time I settled for a Half Blood Prince re-read.   I’m glad I did.  I estimate that I’ve read about 200 books since this book came out two years ago (and yeah, I bought it the first day and read it the next day!).  It’s hard to keep stories straight when they’re so involved (although one of the criticisms that J.K. recieves is that she offers clues to past stories in each of her books. I say THANK YOU, since I’m an old lady with a failing memory lately – not a vibrant 10 year old with nothing else to worry about. I need the help). 

Now I’m ready. 

Or am I?  Despite my excitement, it’s still hard to believe that the next book is the last book. 

Jessica’s Reading

Jesse’s Reading

Jesse and Jessica are Both Reading

Devin’s Reading