Well, I did it. I finished the last Harry Potter and I can't believe it's really over. I seriously might have to start over again with the first book so I can feel like it's still out there.
Jeff asked if I've ever loved any other books so much and I was a little offended. I mean, of course I have! It's just that I've never loved a book at the same time a gajillion other people were loving the same book, you know? Nor have I ever been so timely in loving books; usually I have to hear about 27 recommendations before I actually go out and get a book. And I never buy hardbacks! But once I read The Sorcerer's Stone, I was hooked and knew I needed to be one of the first in line for the next installment. And I love the Harry books because they're so clever and so fictional, whereas most fiction could be someone's reality. Does that make sense? Take, for instance, The Grapes of Wrath - one of my all-time favorite books - a fictional story set in a very real time and place. What little Science Fiction I've read has always seemed very gloom and doom about the future and that holds no charm for me. Many other books I've read and enjoyed leave me with a sense of "what if that actually happened to someone?" and "that could totally actually happen", which then leaves me with a bit of worry for the characters or anyone whose life truly takes those turns.
But magic, magic, is inherently charming. No offense if you believe otherwise, but I am certain that Hogwarts, thestrals, centaurs, ogres, Diagon Alley, Goblins at Gringotts, sorting hats, apparating and disapparating, the Floo Network, portkeys, hexes and curses, quidditch, designer broomsticks, a secret snake language, invisibility cloaks, marauder's maps, pictures that move and portraits that talk do not actually exist. It is a fantastically creative world in which readers can lose themselves without ever having to wonder, "could it be so?" because no, it could not. And therefore, though I spent the last 72 hours absolutely lost in the world of Harry Potter, there's something very relaxing about knowing that it's completely and totally made-up. That's not to say that the stories of individual characters don't stick with me, because they do, but I'm not left wondering if anyone in the world right now is having to fight off the Death Eaters with a borrowed wand. Catch my drift?
And in case you can't tell, I thought this one was REALLY GOOD and I think you should all go read it so we can discuss it at our leisure! Who's with me?