17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, February 02, 2007

July 21, 2007

Yesterday, I received emails from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Borders all informing me that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released for sale on July 21, 2007. Yipee! I am very excited for the final installment. Although, I think it will be sad too--no more books to look forward to. And no more speculation on what will happen next. For the record, I think Snape will redeem himself in this book. I believe this for the simple reason that Dumbledore always had reason to trust him. We never found out why, but I suspect that we will in Deathly Hallows.

With the three emails, each imploring me to pre-order from them, with a guaranteed delivery on the 21st, I thought back to the way we have gotten the last three books.

Book 4 was released in the summer of 2000. We were staying overnight with two kids from a ward family. J was 7 (I think), but was quite the boy wonder reader, and he had already read books 1-3. So, AJ took him to the Barnes and Noble in Princeton and they waited in line until midnight, coming home with a book each.

Book 5 was released in the summer of 2003 when we were living in NYC. We must have had a babysitter staying with MJ, but I can't remember who it was. We went to a Barnes and Noble on the upper west side to also try to obtain a just past midnight copy, but by the time we got there, the line stretched from the top floor of the store, down the stairs, and out the door, all the way up the block. It seemed it would be quite a wait, and dubious whether we would ever be able to lay our hands on our own copy, so we gave up and went home. I was so mad. The next day, I went to a Barnes and Noble on the east side, and they had scads, so I got one there. It was raining, and I walked up the street, found a Subway, and camped out there reading the first few chapters while eating a sandwich. Later, I heard from a lot of friends that they had gotten their copies from Amazon or B&N the first thing the morning it was released, and I kicked myself for not going that route.

Fast forward to the summer of 2005. We were in Pittsburgh, and I had decided to order a copy rather than battle crowds. I watched and watched for the UPS truck that morning, but it didn't come. When I was at the post office in my neighborhood in Squirrel Hill, I jealously looked at a woman in line reading a copy of the Half Blood Prince, then walked up the street to the B&N there. There was a huge stack of books, and the crowds were thin! Ugh--Foiled again. I think the delivered copy arrived at 4 or so that afternoon.

We are in another place now, so I have no idea what it will be like here at the B&N at midnight. I don't know when I can expect a package delivered, if in the morning, the afternoon, or when. Yes, those extra few hours matter to me! I know it's silly, but oh, how I love laying hands on a new volume of Harry Potter and devouring it in short order. I want to be one of those who is reading it the first moment it is available.

This summer, in a long distance move and with lots of painting to do , I discovered the audio recordings by Jim Dale. I listened books 1-6 and I adore them. When we were in NYC, we could have gone to a B&N to hear him read Chapter 1 of The Order of the Phoenix. We didn't, and I now regret it.

While there are already 1701 people with their names on a waiting list at the library for the book, they haven't opened up a file for the audiobook. Should I read the book, and then just wait for a while to listen to the audio? Should I try to read and then listen directly after? Or...hmm. What about listening first??? That would take me back to my childhood when I eagerly awaited the next chapter of the book my mom was reading out loud to us first. I would almost certainly have to fork over the $50 or so bucks to get it on CD, because I know I wouldn't be able to wait to get a copy from the library. It would be awesome, though, to be the first one to check out a library copy of the audio book. But, how could I finagle that? Ahh! The sweet anticipation.


  • Michelle, I really appreciate this post! I too got all of those emails and started thinking back to my experiences with the first 6 books. I won't go through them all in detail (but I loved reading yours!) but my highlights are - 1-3 on audiobook (love Jim Dale!) borrowed from the bookstore I was working at, hosting a midnight party for book 4 at that bookstore. By book 5, I was working for Scholastic (who publishes the books) and they give a copy to each employee, which is really nice. BUT, I was out on maternity leave and so I ordered a copy. It arrived the morning of the 21st (the release date) and I was lying in bed reading it that night when my water broke! I took it to the hospital with me and finished it while nursing my newborn son. A very special memory. And I arrived home to a second copy - Scholastic had sent one home to me, which I thought was incredibly nice of them. Anyway, book 6 I ordered as well, had it shipped to my parents in VT where we were staying while waiting to move into our new home.

    Thanks for giving me a place to share my memories!
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/02/2007 07:33:00 AM  

  • I preordered #4, which had me on pins and needles all day. I had a newborn, though, so really felt we couldn't battle crowds.

    #5, though, we went all out. We went to the Barnes and Noble at 7pm, and partied with the whole crowd there. They had face painting, HP tatoos, story time, fun stuff. My kid, who was closer to 3 by then, loved it. We put a HP cape on him, and drew in a lightning bolt on his head. B&N were passing out glasses, and boy, did he look cute! They handed out numbers to line up at midnight as soon as you walked through the door, first come, first serve. Since we were there early (not as early as some!), I got my copy at about 12:15. I stayed up all night reading it. DH is a forgiving man. My problem was, though, that at 7:00am, nobody else in my family had finished it yet (WHAT? You are only on page 300? Who can I talk to this about!? MUST. TALK. ABOUT. DUMBLEDORE!!!)so it's not always the best thing to be done first. But if you've never done the party thing at B&N, you gotta try it. Just this once :)

    I'm not sure what we'll do this year. The party was fun, but I don't know if I can stay up all night again :) And I echo the sentiment that even though I'm excited to finally have all the answers, it's bittersweet that it's the end.

    Can't wait!
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 2/02/2007 07:52:00 AM  

  • I pre-ordered number 6 on Amazon - it showed up in the mail the day it was released. No waiting in line (I was home finishing number 5), it was there and waiting.

    I will do that again....no doubt.
    posted by Anonymous Amy at 2/02/2007 08:05:00 AM  

  • I have always preordered them from Amazon. It works out fine, but I'm like you, those extra hours drive me crazy. book 6 didn't get delivered until 3:00 p.m.! I almost went and got a copy somewhere else just to start reading.

    This year I might do the party thing, or else go to Costco the second it opens, since Costco always has a ton, and the lines aren't as bad.

    I can't wait. I simply can't. but I guess I'll have to.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 2/02/2007 08:23:00 AM  

  • Where in Queens do you (or did you) live? I used to be in the Astoria Ward (2005)
    posted by Anonymous ambar at 2/02/2007 08:28:00 AM  

  • Hey Ambar - all the contributors (listed on the front page) are or were in the Astoria ward at some point or another, so you probably know at least a few of us. I left in June 2005, so we may or may not have overlapped.
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/02/2007 10:00:00 AM  

  • Ambar with Victoria and Jon-Jon? My 4-year old still talks about Victoria. We miss you! come back! ~Kristy Glass
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/02/2007 10:03:00 AM  

  • Michelle (sorry about the Astoria Ward/Ambar threadjack)....to threadjack even more....when are you going to start reading HP to your 5-year-old? I tried the first chapter of the first book recently with my soon-to-be-5-year-old and it held her attention, but not sure if she got it.

    On to the post.
    Have no recollection of 1-3.

    #4 I preodered from Borders on Michigan Ave. in Chicago, and at midnight, picked it up, was reading it 5 minutes later in the cab home. Since I pre-ordered, I got to jump the line which was SO LONG especially b/c of the librarian convention that was in town.

    The last two I got in the morning from amazon. I plan on going through amazon again, but since it's the last one, maybe I will go to a bookstore party.

    Here is my other HP story. I read the blue book in 3 days, so I sort of planned on the same pace with this past one. I started it right before a trip to Boston, and at the same time I was doing THE ARTIST'S WAY program. I was about 25 pages into the book, when the AW required that I go on a reading strike for 7 full days. This could not have come at a worse time...I had been waiting YEARS to read THIS particular book, and now I had to wait. It made that challenge ALL the more excruciating...but I did it. And I was glad in th end b/c I enjoyed it for LONGER than 3 days.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/02/2007 10:08:00 AM  

  • So, when #4 came out, I was renting out my basement to a great couple. The husband downstairs had pre-ordered from amazon while I had pre-oredered from b&n. While he was at work THE DAY BEFORE the release day, HIS BOOK ARRIVED!! I almost died. I actually called him at the senate office where he was working (the only time I ever did that) and asked if he cared if I opened it!!! I had read 5 chapters by the time he got home. My book didn't arrive until 3pm the next day (the actual release date). It was almost harder to wait after I'd started!!
    posted by Blogger Corinne at 2/02/2007 11:10:00 AM  

  • Marian--I wish I would have been on the cutting edge of discovering HP. I read the first three books long after they were published in rapid succession. Very cool that you got to be so involved with book 4. Did book 5 come out in May? I thought they were all in the summer.

    Heather--Wow! That's hard core to stay up all night reading it.

    Wiz--I was thinking of ordering a book as a back-up. Then trying to get one at midnight. If that didn't work, maybe my Amazon book would come first thing in the morning. If it did work, well, then, I could just take back one of the books to the store. And if both of those plans failed, well, then I could try to find one first thing in the morning and then return the Amazon copy whenever it came...

    Ambar--we were never is the Astoria ward. It was only a branch while we were there from 2002-2004.

    kage--I'm not sure about when to start reading it to her. In a way, I would love for her to read them on her own so that she could experience them first hand. And also, I would have a hard time reading them to hear after listening to Jim Dale read. Maybe on a car trip, we'll get the first book on audio and see if it holds her attention. I think that the first couple are ok for younger kids, but the later ones get dark. And why did they ban you from reading for a week? That's harsh. Were you supposed to substitute it with writing?

    And Corinne--what a story. Do you know if it was a fluke that he got the Amazon copy early??? That changes all my calculations...
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 2/02/2007 11:57:00 AM  

  • I have to say I'm not as hard core as all y'all. I have read and thouroughly enjoyed all the books, but I haven't pulled any all-nighters or waited anxiously for the postman. I do love any reason to have a party, so maybe I'll have to consider B&N this year just for the experience of it all.

    Kage, I also starting reading the first book to Princess this past year - mostly because we finished all the other chapter books I had lying around and this was all I had left one night. I had a very similar response as you. Beyond that, it was a hard book for me to read aloud with the names and the accents. And then when I added in the future "darkness" of the story, I decided to give up on it. Princess didn't seem to mind moving on to another book as well. I think I will wait and let her read it on her own when she gets older.

    I also just received the all the HP books in audio form. After hearing all the rave reviews, I might have to start listening to them again!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 2/02/2007 02:26:00 PM  

  • michelle,"why did they ban you from reading for a week?" the idea was to fill your head with your own thoughts instead of someone elses. Kind of like stream of consciousnes....and cutting through all our sort of crappy thoughts to get to our dreams, passions, and desires.

    carrie, yeah I felt like I wanted to read the whole thing in a British accent...and realized that we most likely wouldn't read beyond say the first one....I think I will stick with Mr. Poppers Penguins...which we are reading right now.

    Oh, and I also had an idea...I think I am going to re read them all leading up to July...one per month. Anybody in?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/02/2007 04:00:00 PM  

  • Kage, that is a fabulous idea! I'm in !
    posted by Blogger Mrs. M at 2/02/2007 04:11:00 PM  

  • I always do at least the preceeding book before a new one comes out, but a re-read of them all seems appropriate since this is the grand finale. Count me in! I'd better get going on #1 then...
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/02/2007 08:07:00 PM  

  • I got through the first three chapters with my 5 year old...so far, so since there are only 17 chapters, I am going to try hard to read it aloud to her this month.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 2/08/2007 04:07:00 AM  

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