I’ve read each of the Harry Potter books no less than 5 times. Some, like Goblet of Fire, I’ve read at least 10 times. And when I say “read” – I mean physically held the book in my hands and turned the pages. I’ve done Midnight release events for all since Goblet of Fire, although I didn’t actually leave with one in my hands that first night because I didn’t know I had to pre-order. I just showed up at midnight by myself to get the book. Once I realized I wouldn’t get one, I left and returned when the store opened the next morning. The last three – however – I pre-ordered and drug LilZ along with me. I think the most hysterical picture I have on flickr tagged with Harry Potter is this one. I remember ORDERING LilZ to take the picture as the transaction occurred for the last book. You know, because I wanted to capture that moment for posterity.
For the record? I only have like 2 photos of MrZ and I together at our Wedding Reception. Those moments were evidently not as important.
I have all of the books on CD. I can’t tell you how often I’ve listened to each of them because it’s too often to recall. I also would sometimes skip parts I didn’t like (Not because they were bad, but because they upset me in some way. Like when Harry searches out Nearly Headless Nick in Book 5 desperate to find Sirius as a ghost.) so I didn’t always listen to the stories all the way through. Some time last year I finally imported all of the CDs into iTunes and now can listen to the books on my iPhone. Here’s the kicker: I actually made a running playlist out of my favorite parts of Book 7 to get me through my last half-marathon. YES…you heard me correctly. I listened to random and disconnected tracks of Jim Dale reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when I ran a 13.1 mile event – and I liked it.
I really enjoy listening to the books on walks and such with the dogs so I started from book 1 when we bought the house and decided to not skip too many parts and try to really listen all the way through. I do this about once a year (that’s how often I listen to these books) – I try to “read” them cover to cover. And it’s funny – after reading and hearing these books SO MANY TIMES, I still discover things I didn’t catch before. Sometimes I’m guilty of skimming scenes I don’t feel are “important” or tuning out if I think I know them well enough. This time around? Two things new I have caught so far:
- In one of the early books a suit of armor laughs at Neville when he falls. I don’t think I realized they had personalities, I just know they were ordered to fight to defend Hogwarts in book 7. But the fact that they could react on their own to a situation? I didn’t realize.
- In book 6 when Slughorn introduces the love potion, before Harry realizes it’s a love potion, he makes note of smelling a flower he thought he had smelt at the Burrow before. And then, after the class is over, he mentions smelling it again in the hall before Ginny walks up. He doesn’t make the connection in the book (he hadn’t quite realized his feelings at that point yet) but knowing what I know it was cute to discover that.
I’ve been thinking about Harry Potter a lot as we gear up for the last movie. It has been such a big part of my life, and I’m sure it always will be. But I wonder, how different will it be for Nikki and Wes? To enjoy it…after the fact. I’m so glad E has been the perfect age throughout all of this to really allow us to enjoy it together. He re-read the books (the old-fashioned way) cover-to-cover recently too, to prep for the final movies. We take this Harry Potter stuff very seriously, you know. And we’re about at the end of the anticipation part of it all. We’ll always enjoy reading the books and watching the movies, and I’m sure I’ll have the books memorized by the time I die. But that anticipation part – the excitement of the upcoming book/movie release? That’s less than a year from being completely over. And that makes me a little sad.