End of an Era

July 24, 2007 at 2:14 am 13 comments

Because I like to finish what I start, at midnight on Friday I was at the book store with my daughter picking up the final book in the Harry Potter series.  I finished reading it Sunday afternoon and rest assured there are no spoilers here…the book was important to me for entirely different reasons than those shared by most of the world. 

I’ve written before of my favorite work mate, Doug.  One of the things we had in common was books and he’s who got me hooked on Harry Potter.  Doug was on my mind frequently as I finished this last book in a long series.  I couldn’t help thinking about how much he would have loved some aspects of this book and hated some others.  That made it a kind of melancholy read, because I would have liked to have been talking about these things with him instead of just guessing. 

We used to debate just what it was that made these books the phenomena they are, after all there are literally warehouses filled with imaginative, enjoyable books out there.  There was no hype when the first book FIRST came out.  It was recommended to Doug by our local librarian. Everyone was talking about it.  Finding a copy of that first book at the libary was pure luck and miracle it was so popular with kids and adults. 

For me, the original appeal was seeing something written for kids that wasn’t all sunshine and light or abuse and pity.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the author’s story was engaging and relatable to struggling writers everywhere.  Bravo J.K. – you broke through. 


Entry filed under: Books.

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim_Id  |  July 24, 2007 at 4:02 am

    I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, but I have heard good things about them. One was from a writer friend of mine who sang their praises as being one of the books that you can read with your children and both of you enjoy them on different levels. It was a tradition for him to stand in line with his daughter to purchase a copy as each was released. She is now 17 and she opted to stand in line to purchase the final book in the series with her boyfriend. So my friend felt a bit melancholy about the end of an era as well.

  • 2. Mr. Fabulous  |  July 24, 2007 at 4:26 am

    I have not read any of them either, so the whole phenomenon kind of passed me by, but I am for anything that gets people reading.

  • 3. hayden  |  July 24, 2007 at 7:16 am

    I, too, did a pass on it. I suspect I’d love them. To me, the worst thing about writing fiction is that reading it stops me from writing. If writing wasn’t so incredibly much fun I’d never be able to stop reading fiction.


    Maybe someday I’ll be able to do both.

  • 4. Delmonti (Dave)  |  July 24, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I’m the first to admit that books dont play a massive role in my entertainment schedule.
    I did attempt to read the first HP book, didnt get very far tho’ as I lost the will to live.

  • 5. Jon M  |  July 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Love the books read them all with my kids. I wonder if the phenomenom was partly because it hit a demographic of tail-end ‘babyboomers’ with early teenage kids wanting to share something? Who knows, they are great stories and enjoyable to read but as you rightly point out, there are tons of brilliant books out there that sink every day.

    Guess we’ll never know but I’ve admired the way Jk Rowling has dealt with the celebrity ‘thing’ and kept to her priinciples.

    Personally, I’d lose all sense of decorum if I’d had such success! 🙂

  • 6. Velvet Sacks  |  July 24, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    I ordered HP No. 7 online and can’t wait for it to get here. I’ve loved this whole series of books. As much as I look forward to reading this one, I feel sad that it’s the last. J.K. Rowling’s gift is her incredible imagination. She created a fictional “parallel world” and made it so real that millions of people worldwide would visit there if they could. What a ride it’s been!

    In a way I envy those who haven’t yet read the Harry Potter books. To start with the first one and read all the way to the last, without the long waits in between, would be a wonderful adventure.

  • 7. katcampbell  |  July 24, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Tim – They are books you can read and discuss with your children, what a gift JK has.

    Mr. Fab – You should read them, they’re fast reads and many of the characters are cheeky and full of wit.

    Hayden – You would love them. Because of my editing job, I’m forced to read many books, most of which are not good. THAT bogs down my writing, but a good piece of fiction inspires me to get to the computer and create.

    Dave – Try again, your daughter is at the perfect age to start reading them with you.

    Jon – Funny you say that! My writing partner and I feel the same way, that there’s this gap between reading to your kids and reading with your kids. Something worth investigating for a blog topic.

    Velvet – So true, it is a melancholy read knowing its the last. Next year I’ll probably read them all again straight through, pick up the things that I missed.

  • 8. Mimi  |  July 25, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Wow! You finished that book quick, and I have seen how thick it is!

    Hope you are having a good summer:)

  • 9. colleen  |  July 25, 2007 at 2:35 am

    That so many were reading it at the same time caused it to be a cultural phenomena. I’m on a lag system out here in the country. Just finished The Secret Life of Bees and am stuck in the time He-man and Hobbits (which reflects the age of my sons).

  • 10. jackiesgarden  |  July 25, 2007 at 7:49 am

    I just can’t get into fantasy – but, someday, may try it again. Just not now. 🙂 Glad you fans all enjoyed it, though.

  • 11. Diesel  |  July 25, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I read the first one and enjoyed it (certainly more than Eragon 🙂 ), but felt no strong urge to read the rest of them. It certainly became a phenomenon. I wonder if we’ll ever see anything like it again.

  • 12. Catch  |  July 25, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I have never read any of the Harry Potter books, but I have heard so much about them that I just might have to start reading them!!!

  • 13. Linda  |  July 27, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I love Harry Potter. I am at the beach right now on vacation and have had the time to read it. I was sort of sad thinking about this being the last book as I was reading it. As they say, “all good things must come to an end.”


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