- Gotten married
- earned a BS
- had 2 children
- spent a year mind-blowingly poor
- Got my first, second and third "real" jobs
- moved 3-4 times
- best manned my brother's wedding
- bought two houses
The first Harry Potter I ever read was the Book4, chapter one , (with a bit of the second chapter thrown in) -where Voldemort kills that old man and Harry wakes up after having dreamed it.
After that went to the library intending to get book 1. They only had book2 at the time, so I got that. After reading a few chapters, I had to introduce Trent(my brother)- who was 11 at the time-to it. (Trent has basically remained Harry Potter's age ever since) He very quickly became a ravenous reader. Shortly thereafter, my mom also became a huge fan. Me, Trent, our mom and our two other siblings, Todd and Ashley, spent hours and hours reading the first four books aloud to each other. This lasted for weeks... Soon, my girlfriend Liz and Renae and Bruce all got sucked in.
Reading out loud on Trents floor, laughing hysterically, and completely and utterly caught up in these stories- switching out readers, when we started losing our voices... Memories to take to the grave! (pardon me for waxing waxy) Trying to do Hagrid's accent... Trying to read the Yule Ball sequence, but dieing of laughter- "Wangoballwime?" Great stuff. The hours of speculation in between books. Make that years!
Anyhow... Last year Liz and I read the last book in shifts all day Saturday and Sunday- until we were both down to the last four chapters. Those we wound up reading together- not out loud, but sitting side by side in bed, for, what- an hour and a half?- each reading silently, waiting in suspense for the other to finish up so we could turn the page. It was the perfect way to end the series for me and Liz. We finished the book around midnight and just looked at each other and said: "WOW".
So its a classic. Better than Lord of the Rings. Better than Star Wars. (Star Wars has nothing on HP for suprizes and plot twists!) Better than Narnia. Totally unprecidented. JK Rowling is a once in a century genius. To write for that long, with that level of "world integrity" and plot foresight, and to have it be unbelieveably entertaining and engaging (sure Les Mis or War and Peace are long and complex, but, seriously, how addictive are they? How many kids enjoy them?)-- when has anything like it ever been done before? Amazing. Better than The Guide. Better than kicking Hitler in the groin. Better than being hurled into the depths of the sun. Better than starving to death.
I recently read on JKR's website on that she has written a short (800 words) prequel to HP that is being published for charity as part of a collection of short stories by famous people. Will be needing to read that naturally.