This past weekend I made a monumental achievement: I finally finished the last Harry Potter. I have been publicly ridiculed and teased by nerds and non-nerds alike for not finishing the final book RIGHT THIS MINUTE.
Sure, I expected the ridicule from those not familiar with the otherwordly delights of the HP, but by my fellow boknerds?!
“Haha! You aren’t even DONE yet? I was done mine in six hours!!!”
Yes, good for you. I am wondering if you took time to, oh, I don’t know, EAT?
And before someone comments on how THEY too read HP really quickly, I don’t blame you, it was a FANTASTIC last book.
Reading the last book has been very important to me, and not for entirely nerdy reasons. I have been reading these books since I was seventeen, which seems like eons ago. I’ve gone through some of my biggest life changes during the past seven years, and I’ve taken the crew from Hogwarts along on that journey with me.
I was pretty depressed when I started reading Harry Potter, and after the first few pages I just couldn’t bring myself to put the books down until I had read each one that was available at the time (the first four, I believe). These books took me to another place when I was really down. They became an escape, and escape that reminded me of the wonder I experienced as a small kid who believed that really, anything was possible. That being said, I also made many attempts in vain to walk off the arm of my mom’s sofa with my eyes closed because Loony Tunes had taught me that if I didn’t look down, gravity would cease to exist and I would be able to walk on air. I am likely not the first kid to try this.
These books made me want to start reading again, and made me realize how much I was missing by not opening myself to everything that literature has to offer. They inspired me, and they even went with me on into college where I finally realized how smart I was. They came with me to school, and even to the first movie.
Harry Potter truly captures a very important section of my life, and I really felt like I owed it to this final work of art to truly give it the time and careful read that it deserved. I relished every page, I drank in for one last time all of the wonder I felt when I first envisioned Harry seeing Hogwarts. Yes, I had to stop in the middle to unpack my new life in a new city, and yes that greatly slowed me down. I also am an adult, and needed to tend to things like my dogs and my job, and sometimes even bathing.
I took great care to avoid television the entire time I was reading the final enstallment, as to avoid spoiling the end of the series for myself. This was of great concern to me. To take so many years to get through all of these wonderful stories, I couldn’t imagine what a sobbing mess I would have turned into if anyone had spoiled the final book for me.
I’m glad I took so long. I laughed, I cried, and I squealed with delight. I ran my fingers carefully across each page, feeling like it was finally the right time for me to pull an all-nighter and finish the series. When I was done, I really felt like I had done the book justice, and I placed it back on my bookshelf with the others.
There will be nothing quite like these books, and what they have meant to me, and that is why it has taken me so long to read the last installment. It was an inspiring read, and closed things in a way that I wouldn’t have done any differently.
Whether you liked the book or not, I think it’s how they’ve affected us that is what counts. I’m happy to say that these books inspired me, and I look forward to one day sharing them with my own children.