The Final Countdown

18 Jul 2007, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in food

Yes, the time is nigh. Less than 3 days remain until we learn the fate of someone who, for many of us, has been a decade-long companion. I’m speaking, of course, of my dear Harry Potter (or, in the words of my favorite black-haired, sneering professor, “Poh-TAH!”). After summers of endless speculation, re-reading and discussion, some note-taking, and even questions about the food at Hogwarts, mere hours remain until we get to the end. The END.

I have cleared my calendar from midnight, July 20th through noon, July 21st, and woe unto the person who attempts to disturb me in between. My normal reading rate is about 80 pages per hour, so that should give me ample time to finish. During that time, my cell phone will be shut off, the laptop will be powered down, and nothing else in the world matters. Nothing. Even Chef Mark has been banned from my universe for that span of hours. I will, however, have water and snacks nearby for sustenance — perhaps some treacle tarts and butterbeer. :)

Of course, I’m torn between flying through the book and savoring every word — such is the spell J.K. Rowling has cast on me as a devoted reader. What I find so remarkable, aside from the personal pleasure I’ve derived from these stories, is the transcendental quality of what the Harry Potter series has done for reading as a leisure activity. When in history has a mass of readers around the world anticipated a book with such fervor? To see children waiting at midnight for a book is something that makes my soul smile, because these books challenge the imagination, refuel the spirit, and teach some magnificent lessons about friendship, integrity and, in the words of Rowling, doing what is right instead of what is easy. May those lessons make a profound impression upon all who have embraced the little boy with the lightning-shaped scar.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for an adventure that has made me laugh, cry, curse, get a wand (Snape’s, incidentally), and wish for the existence of such a wonderful place as Hogwarts. I am sad that our journey together is coming to a close, and my gratitude for the joy you have brought to my life is almost impossible to put into words. When I am finally able to build my dream house — I’ve already developed the plan in my head — there is a space for a Gryffindor lounge. And my office might just have a pensieve.

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