Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter 7 Wrapup (NO Spoilers)

posted by John Blanco @ 3:07 PM


The weekend of motionless reading is at an end and I've finished Harry Potter 7. Thankfully! My muscles are all tight and my eyes hurt, but it was all worth it -- a wonderful, wonderful book to end a wonderful series.

I won't talk about the book -- seems pointless and spoiling -- but I will post about our night obtaining it. :-)

A couple months ago, Michele and I went to Borders to reserve a copy of the book. We got a cool "Is Snape Friend or Foe?" ticker with it and we were happy. (I got the FRIEND sticker because that's what I anticipated.) The odd thing was that Borders didn't want we did not pre-pay.

And so we waited til July 20th.

Harry Potter night was gonna be so fun! We couldn't wait for the book. We had a change of heart and decided to try to pre-order a second book earlier in the week but Borders wasn't taking pre-orders anymore. We hoped we could stll find a copy, perhaps Saturday morning, so we can read at the same time.

(When book 5 came out Michele and I got one book and took turns. For book 6, we got two copies and sold the extra one a couple days later after we'd both finished reading.)

Borders was hosting a release night Ball for the book. Michele and I were excited to go and we got in the mood. Cedric and I dressed up as Harry...

...and then Cedric spit up a bit on his shirt. DOH! ;-) We did a quick wash and then we were ready to go. We dressed up the stroller with Harry Potter stuffed animals and the three of us went to Borders with at least a thousand other Potterphiles celebrating.

The scene was nuts. People were all over, and it was hard to get around because Borders decided not to move any of their shelves. In one corner was a large gathering of Potterphiles who were passing a mic around giving their theory on if Snape is friend or foe. (This was a big marketing question to generate hype for the book.)

Michele and I listened in a bit and a lot of people were oogling over Cedric as they walked by. ("Aww, look at the little Harry!") We only saw one other baby there the whole night.

Michele was feeling really thirsty, so we went to the connected Seattle's Best and the one was insane. Nix that plan. We went back and forth several times, not quite sure what to do -- everything was so crowded and the stroller really limited our movements. About a half hour later, we noticed they were giving out clored bracelets and we realized that we needed to have one! (We had a pre-order slip, but you had to get the bracelet.) We got a neon green one.

A short while later, we decided to ditch the stroller. It was nice to go back outside. Oi! We put everything back in the car and came back olding Cedric. By this point, there had to be abou 2,000 people stuffe inside the Borders. It was blazing hot, and there just wasn't much room to enjoy anything. Oh well, when's the book coming??

As midnight approached, the announcements started coming. The lines would form on either side of the store, along the tape on the ground. If you had a purple bracelet, start lining up...Uggg, who knows what color we would have had if we had gotten ours sooner. Then, the next color...silver!

UGGG. The lines that were forming was huge. Glints of purple and silver everywhere, and Borders was super-packed. And hot...did I mention it was hot? :-)

As midnight approached, the next color: blue! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Would they even have books by the time we got on line? We weren't sure.

Midnight came, the books were officially on sale! How exciting!!!! NOT. Several colors had still gone unannounced and the uncertainy in at least HALF the customers in the store really dampened the mood. And then that realization:


Oh my god. There were literally HUNDREDS of people on line, and we weren't even on line yet, and how long would each transaction take? A couple minutes? They even had the gall to announce to have their "You don't get a discount with these" Borders cards ready. WHAT ABOUT HAVING EXACT CHANGE READY?

Well, we decided to just get in line anyway. It had been 20 minutes since they announced a color and it was getting silly. We waiting in line and were next to a small group of people that we chatted with while waiting. They were all younger (hey now, there were plenty of real life adults, just not in this part of the line!). One girl was, like, overly giving. She kept saying she wanted to buy a book to bring to Goodwill and how Borders is such a great company because they give to charity and...ukkk...made this cynic sick. :-) It didn't help that she kept calling out saying "Does anyone here have a blue bracelet? If you do, you can go ahead of us!" Seriously, not sure how her boyfriend puts up with that all the time.

It was freakin' 12:10, we were MILES from the register, they STILL had not called any new colors (including green), it was 95 degrees in the store, and we were thirsty and miserable. How's that for ya??

One of the girls on line then gets a call from her boyfriend -- a girl who reminded us both of our friend Amanda, honestly. He was waiting to get a book at King Soopers and whoever got the book was going to call the other. Well, he had it. So, she left. The charity girl asked for her bracelet so they could buy that book for Goodwill. Then, she decided to give it to another family who had a different color bracelet. Did I mention this girl was retarded? (Actually, I'm not sure why I didn't ask for it since we wanted two books...see, I only thought of it now...that's how hot it was.)

At about 12:25 or so, Michele and I had admitted to ourselves that this was going to take forever. We talked about just leaving and coming back tomorrow. According to Borders, they would hold all books until Saturday night for anyone with a pre-order. We could just come back in the morning. Even if we waited, we wouldn't get our books until AT LEAST 2:30 AM or so, and we'd likely go right back to sleep anyway.

But it just seemed unnatural. We had to get the book. It would be a huge waste not to.

Then, we came up with an idea. Michele said we could try King Soopers. There was one close by. I was holding Cedric and I said that she should go really quick and if there was a short line, get the book. If not, hurry right back. It was odd -- we were risking Cedric getting hungry and his milk not being anywhere nearby. We didn't have our cell phones either. But, I didn't want Michele standing there holding, that's what we did...

Michele booked it out of there by herself and I waited with the group. The line started to move ever so slightly -- people picked up the slack. It was torturous. I entertained myself by seeing if they could guess Cedric's name...since he is partly named after a Harry Potter character (Cedric Diggory). I also had a fun moment where I asked them if they had seen Keith Olbermann that day. They looked at me like I was talking parseltongue! (Ha!) I told them all about Keith's prediction on the ending to the book (In a nutshell -- Harry is told he has to die to kill Voldermort, but Snape says there is another way and he lives, but loses his magical powers.) I thought it was an ingenious ending. (Hint: This wasn't the ending.)

The line had moved not all that much when I was standing there with Cedric leaning on the bookshelf trying to ease my aching back -- and I saw Michele walking in to the store. My first thought was she didn't get the book cause it was 12:45 and she seemed to be back pretty fast.

But, that look on her face. That speed to her walk...

She looked up and saw me waaaaaaaaay back there on the line and makes the hand gesture to come her way. WHAT?! SHE GOT IT?! I hold up my hand and two fingers to ask if she got two books. She nods and makes the hand gesture to come on.


I said adieu to our line mates and ran off. :-)

Michele's story was that she got to King Soopers. Nobody was there. She looked and saw a woman stocking the shelves with their Harry Potter inventory. She went over and the woman gave her two books and she went and paid (no line again) and that was it!!!!

We were so very, very happy. :-D There were people that were going to be waiting on line at Borders til 3 in the morning more than likely. And to think, just a few blocks away, at King Soopers, there were stacks of books just waiting there.

The moral of the story is not to pre-order with Borders. They suck at it! If they allowed people to pre-pay, giving out the books woulda been EASY! Tattered Cover did the pre-orders two years ago for book 6 and we were out of the store in SECONDS! (Exchanging a certificate for a book -- no other transactions needed.)


We got home at 1 AM, I read the first couple chapters aloud for Michele and then I read a couple more before going to sleep. Michele and I read on and off all day yesterday, though I was reading more because she had to feed the baby and such.

I finished the book today at a little before 4 PM. It was a brilliant end to such a long saga, and I applaud J.K. Rowling loudly. :-) What a writer! Michele still has a while to go, but she's just gotten in to the long climax, so she will enjoy.

And with that, I'll try to do something constructive with the last 5 hours of the weekend. Ciao!


Blogger cellothug said...

I haven't even bought mine yet, whereas other years I got it the first day possible....I think because once I read it, it's over, and there are no more to look forward to! Hence, the re-reading of the series before taking the plunge...

Though if Rowling changes her mind and writes an 8th book, I'll definitely keep your advice in mind. :)

8:02 PM  

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