I Haven’t Talked About This In Awhile…

Zoot and LilZ HP and the Chamber of Secrets

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.

The moment I had been waiting for

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.

Tonks and Prof. Sprout
Me (a curly-headed Tonks) and Professor Sprout

19 Comments

  • Monica

    I’m a little sad that the anticipation bit is almost over, too. You are lucky that E grew up along with the HP books/movies and you guys enjoyed it together. My son is 6 and we are in the middle of the first book right now. I am reading it to him (and my husband) at family story time every night. I have been so excited to share HP with my son! He likes it ok but not as much as I thought he would. Dang it.

  • cagey (Kelli Oliver George)

    I thought of you at Sparklecorn this year! There was a cardboard Snape this year, which was my favorite.

    I am going through a re-read myself right now – and that is what I adore about the re-reads – hitting all of those nuances and little asides that were missed in previous go-throughs. Rowling really did her work and created such full, rich stories with few holes.

    The fact that my kids won’t have that “anticipation” factor, also seems a little odd for me.

  • Lane C

    I am listening to the books for the first time and they are fantastic!! Jim Dale is amazing. I forgot how funny the first book is and how much foreshadowing is there but absolutely none of it makes sense until the end. I am currently listening to the Goblet of Fire. Now when Cedric is mention I always image Robert Patterson. lol.

  • Katherine

    Awesome mandrake.

    Right now, I’m caught suffering in anticipation for the release of the last Hunger Games book in 14 days 15 hours and 11 minutes. Oh, juvenile and young adult fiction, why must you do this to us? It’s another extremely readable series. Also, there will be movies.

  • Lisa

    I’m due on November 19th and the fact that I might not make it to this midnight showing is depressing me more than I would like to admit.

    I keep saying that I doubt I’ll have gone into labor by then, and if I haven’t, I will haul my giant preggo self down to the movie theater, but I doubt I’ll really feel like it. 🙁

  • Susan

    I recently got an iPad and love reading on it, but I was so bummed to find out that there aren’t digital versions of the books available. I had visions of rereading the books on it. I hope JKR releases the books for ereaders someday. From what I read online, she’s not a fan of that format.

  • Michelle

    I’ve read the books several times and like you, I’m lucky enough to have a son who enjoyed them just as much. Chis is nearly 18 now and I was afraid he wouldn’t be as excited to see the last movie but I was wrong. Like me, he can’t wait for the last movie. The fact that it’s two parts is driving me crazy but I’ve read it’s in 3D so I’m excited about that. I’m also VERY sad that it’s coming to an end. Part of me really wishes she would write a series of books following Harry’s son. I think that would be awesome!

  • bessie.viola

    Oh, how I LOVE this post. I so get all of this. I have loved Harry Potter, every moment of it. I love the movies, the books – all of it. I’ve enjoyed it with my mom and my little sister, and I can’t believe it’s coming to an end either. It’s been so much a part of my life – so much anticipation – for so long that I think I’ll be a little bit bereft when it’s over.

    I recently started re-reading them as well, and I can’t believe I’m doing it in anticipation of the beginning of the end!

  • Jessica

    I just re-read all the books last month! I was even starting to dream about it, I spent so much time in that world! I noticed at the end of Goblet of Fire that Harry does not see the thestrals when he gets on the carriages after seeing Cedric die. It’s not until OFTP that he can see them. I was a little sad about that!

  • Mary

    I’ve read each of the books at least 10 times too, but I listened to them all recently and there were so many new things that I missed while reading. Listening to them was awesome actually. I may have to listen to them all again before the movie comes out.

  • Janet

    Like you, I’ve read and reread these books and listened to them many, many times…while The Half-Blood Prince was my favorite book, it was my least favorite movie (it’s about Snape, not kids kissing…sigh…). Anyway, hope the last movie is better!

  • Sarah

    I commonly worry that Henry wont get to love them the way I have because he will lose the anticipation. And I will read them to him when he is young, so they will just be something he has always known. He hears them in the car all the time now, and he is only 15 months old!

    I love how you love HP. It’s nice to know there are other people as crazy about it as I am 🙂

  • Kathleen

    I’m contemplating buying the lego wii game enough as it is, thanks…

    I can never read the books right before the movie or I get soo mad when they just get it wrong (things like the incident with the Burrow in the last movie). But I’m right there with you on the mixed anticipation/sadness.

  • Wulfa

    I also read through HP at least once a year and as a Barnes & Noble employee worked the last two midnight release parties. I think because I’m such a part of the book world I worked through my sadness of the series being done when Deathly Hallows was released. The movies have been a fun extension and I’m hoping to get to the midnight premier, but I already know the end. If that makes sense:)

  • G

    I get that losing the anticipation is a bit of a downer, but as someone who came late to the Buffy party, I can tell you that there was nothing more satisfying than being able to sit down and watch as many episodes in a row as I wanted. I don’t think people are any less excited to read Tolkien now because the books aren’t new, and I think the same goes for HP.

    You may not be able to share the anticipation of a new book with them, but you can share the excitement of reading it to them, or talking about the books after they themselves have read them, plus have a HP marathon on once all movies are out on dvd 😀

  • AlisonC

    I can’t decide if splitting the last book into two movies is a good thing or not?

    On one hand extra movie.

    On the other I just know part7 will stop at a really exciting part and I might explode with frustration at the wait! Already way over excited about part7

  • Jen

    I am the same way with the HP rereads…love it. Actually never tried listening to them…great idea! Also, I highly recommend reading the entire series in reverse sometime (book 7 all the way back to book 1)…you catch a lot of those hints and such that you’ve never noticed before.

  • Shawna

    The final credits were rolling on Half Blood Prince when I started reading this entry. Spooky!

    I cannot wait for the last two movies, but I know I too will be sad that there aren’t any more to anticipate after that.