Monday, July 30, 2007

My Weekend With Harry Potter

Last week I decided to jump on the bandwagon and begin reading the Harry Potter books. Yes, I realize the bandwagon left a long time ago.

I almost brought the first book with me to Hawaii back in January, but I worried about bringing a book that would most likely suck me into the plot while I was vacationing with my family. I could imagine my desire to bail on time with the family so that I could keep reading the gripping storyline...and so I didn't bring it.

Rob has listened to all the books on CD but, unwilling to wait for #7 to be available on audio book from the library, and also unwilling to pay $45 for a new audio book, he bought #7 in book form and read it early last week. I guess there was something about knowing the series was over prompted me to start on my own HP journey, and Rob commented that he was a little jealous of what I was about to do; read the series from beginning to end with no waiting for the next book to be released. I agreed that it would be pretty cool. I requested the book from the library (our branch's copy was checked out and I had to get it on inter-library loan) and picked it up Friday.

And finished it Friday night.

Saturday morning, I zipped back to the library to pick up book #2. Book #3 wasn't in, otherwise I would have picked it up as well.

Because I finished book #2 Saturday night.

Sunday morning I called the mom of one of E1's friends who had mentioned they had some of the books. She located #1, #2, and #3, but couldn't find #4 even though she thought she had it. I took #3 home, assuring her that I could get #4 from the library on Monday.

I'm lucky they still had it on the shelf. The only other books listed as available at our branch were the audio books.

And I finished book #3 Sunday night.

I picked up book #4 today and I swear J.K. Rowling laughed at any thoughts flitting through my mind about finishing THAT book in one day. It's just as well; I'm getting tired of trying to find my next fix and this should hold me over for a while.

I'm completely enjoying the series. It's like seeing the movie in your head, but getting enhanced details and more thorough explanations. I've seen all the movies so far, and I've been blissfully unaware of any parts of the book that were omitted. It's just been a continuing storyline with no interruption for me. After seeing Order of the Phoenix a while back, Rob was speculating on parts of the movie that he felt didn't covey thoroughly from the book to the screen. Without knowing all the details that he did, I thought the movies have done a decent job of carrying certain threads through the movies and he was surprised at some of the things that, having been hardly mentioned in the movies, I had still been able to notice.

A teensy part of me wonders if I should stop reading after #5 and wait to see the movies first. I know! Completely backwards! However, I can't imagine stopping when the next book is only a library request away so that probably won't happen. Reading. Potter. Can't. Stop.

In other bookish news, E1 is zipping through the Little House series this summer. She picked up These Happy Golden Years today, and while she was there, I convinced her to grab The First Four Years as well.

Once she's done she wants to move on to Potter.


Glenda said...

They suck ya in, don't they!

In my oh-so-knowledgeable opinion (wink), you can tell Rowling was fine-tuning her writing chops in the first three or four books. I think the books get better with each subsequent book in the series, with #7 being my most favorite out of them all. There wasn't anything I *didn't* like about it.

I saw the first two or three movies before I started reading the books, and there really is no comparison between the two (books vs. film). Although I did see the fourth movie, I only watched it once and found that even tho I have the dvd of it at home I simply have no interest in watching it again. I'd thought about seeing Order of the Phoenix at the theater, but when push came to shove I realized I didn't have an interest in seeing it, so imagine I won't see it or the films for #6 and #7.

I did end up buying all 7 books in hardback, and have re-read all of them (except 7, which I finished too recently to do a re-read already). I figure I'll do a re-read of books 4 or 5 forward some time next year.

I'll be curious, after you finish to series, to hear if you think E1 would like the last couple books in the series -- if they won't be too dark for her.

Lisa said...

Holy cow. YOU GO GIRL. (I know, Sorry. So 90's. But still. Really. YOU GO GIRL.)

Ali said...

Hooray for you! I'm so glad you're enjoying the series. Definitely don't wait for the movies to come out before reading 6 and 7. Personally I enjoyed the 5th movie far more for having read the book than I would have otherwise.

Rebecca said...

I'm asking this in all seriousness and aware that people might beat me for asking it, but why are they so good? I'm a huge reader and frequently finish books in one day... but the Harry Potter thing has never really appealed to me. And I've seen (some of) the movies. I'm so curious.

Nancy @ World Wide Rolves said...

Rebecca, they just are! Heh, informative, eh?

I once heard someone describe the series as science fiction, but it's not. It's fantasy, but it's based on a lot of realism, which I think is why it's so easy for the reader to buy in to the story line.

Rowling is an excellent writer, so much that you get a vivid picture of what is unfolding. The characters are personable, and there are those that you love, those you love to hate, and still others who join in to make a great supporing cast.

The first book is quite short, comparitavely, and two and three are no longer than a novel. With all those bats flying around your deck to get you in the mood, you should probably give it a read. ;o)

Rebecca said...

hehehe... maybe you're right-- the bat's are here for a reason!

Glenda said...

Rebecca, you can't really compare the books and the movies. The movies just barely touch the tip of the iceberg of the books -- I mean, there's only so much that can put squeezed into a couple hours' screentime for each book. I've found the movies far less interesting and engrossing than the books. The characters are fantastically-fleshed out in the books. The only positive the movies have done for me is put actual faces to each of the characters' names. The movies really do have some brilliant actors and actresses, especially in the adult roles.

Daisy said...

I re-read the entire series before #7 came out. I own them all except #4, so I vorrowed that one from the library. Re-reading is fun in itself; I get to review all the foreshadowing that JK Rowling did. She's a master. Oh, yes, we have the whole series in Braille for my son, who is blind. The boxes take up a ton of space, but I won't give them up.

Becky said...

Wow, Nancy, I read this post LAUGHING the whole time...

To think you read them back to back to back to back...JEALOUS!!

I can remember when/where I was reading each book. I read the first 3 when I had just one toddler in Germany.

Book #4 came out when I lived in Ft Knox, KY. I had a 1 yr old and a 3 yr old. My husband was TDY pushing units out to go to war. I got the kids up super early, dragged them to the store, came home, made a fort out of the living room and spent the entire day reading on the floor with 2 kids crawling all over me.

Book #5 came out when I lived in SC. Husband to read in bed ALL DAY LONG.

Book #6 came out when we lived in Hawaii...we had just moved here. I ignored my family again and stayed in bed all day.

This time, I woke the kids up early, bribed them with Jamba Juice for breakfast, came home and read as much as I could before my kids started to complain. Then, I took them to the beach, parked myself in a chair at the water's edge and let them play for 3 hours!

I believe the reason they are so popular is that they are just REALLY well written. It is amazing to see how the story started in the first book is still connected to the seventh book. You don't find that very often...