Monday, May 24, 2010

Bibliophiles Delight

Today I'm working from home. Sitting with my laptop on the porch, eating a plum, listening to "For Once in My Life" and "Why do Fools Fall in Love" drift outside from the stereo playing inside, and working on a long over-due newsletter. Days like this, are what keep me sane. I love that it's summer. I love my work. I love my porch. I love plums. Man, I love plums. I don't love certain circumstances in my life right now-- death will do that to you. Give you a tidy little rain cloud with enough fury and downfall to soak you thoroughly. But going through the motions can help keep you functioning.

I finally finished the Harry Potter series. I guess I shouldn't say finally-- when I bemoaned how long it took me to read the 7 book series (2 months), people reacted with incredulous remarks of how that was not a long time to take. I guess it just felt like it. I loved the books so much, always wanted to read them (I liked them the way you do when a book is just delicious. You think about it when you can't read it and nothing brings you more satisfaction than to finally unlatch your brain and crawl in the story at the end of the day...sigh. Is this just me? It can't be.), and considering how easy the first several books in the series were, it just felt like forever. A measly nothing compared to some friends of mine who, from H.P. onset, had to wait a year between each book. Sometimes more-- one friend took 8 years to complete the series due to the epidemic we Bibliophile's refer to as "release waiting".

I loved this book best of all. It showed Harry's dark and light, with more balance than the previous books. Harry was what you wanted and expected him to be. A friend whose personality you knew well and could predict. That was the other fun part of Deathly Hallows, being able to predict with authority different mysteries along the way, just from your absorption in each character and the different spells and places and names that seemed alive-- you know your magic if you've made it this far. JKR is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Every little detail is important. Everything. In a way that leaves no stone unturned, but not in a irritating fashion. It's concise. It grabs you and it feels real.

The last 100 pages were almost agonizing in their emotional force. The book was immediately on a whole different level than all the editions before. I am talking 2nd. page into the book, it was darker and more intense-- a higher level of writing, a deeper level of what you knew was coming from the beginning. A terrible cost. Even JKR's vocabulary choices. It's elevated and therefor all the more impacting. Voldemort comes into his full stride, completing his ultimate symbolism of the dark side of man and the spirit, and it is terrifying. These characters that you feel you know are in life or death situations for over 700 pages. It's utterly gripping.

I felt like I had said goodbye to an old friend at the end. That's always a good thing for a reader.

Yeah, it's a young adult story. Clearly. But it has a wonderful message and unbelievably inspiring characters and situations that teach lessons that all ages could do well to heed.

I treasure my books. If you've been to my house, you know this. If you went in my room as a kid or teenager, you'd know this. My life has been surrounded with books. Rarely loaned and often cleaned, they fill my home. I have Harry Potter sitting beneath my fireplace, in the center of my living room. Just to make sure I can keep an eye on them.

"Would I?" asked Dumbledore heavily. "I am not so sure. I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find their own surprise that they wear it well."


  1. (1) I wish I had a porch on which to enjoy this beautiful day. I wouldn't mind a plum either.

    (2) No, you're not the only one who dreams of a book all day long, impatiently waiting for the moment when you can cuddle up with that new love.

    (3) I think I might take up the Potter series next. I've never gotten into it much, but I think it's time to explore the beautiful darkness of them. As I was reading this, I thought, "I should ask her if I can borrow them," but I see you're like me with the whole book borrowing thing (aka it rarely happens) ;-) I think I'll just start my collection now...

    Love you and hope you're beginning to heal....ever so slowly.

  2. Darling, as an avid book lover such as myself, who I know would treat it at if it were her own, I see no problem or anxiety in loaning to you. Feel free! :) But you will want to own them. I have a feeling.

    And thank you. I love you.