Monday, July 16, 2007

The End is Near -- Robin

By now, we all know that the final installment of the Harry Potter series will make its debut at midnight on Friday. (And if you didn’t know that, then…well, you must actually be a rock, not just living under one.)

I don’t have anything hugely profound to add about this, other than to share a conversation I had earlier today at a coffee shop with my dear friend, Jay. (You all know him, right?)

He asked me if I wanted to volunteer with him at Barnes & Noble on Friday.

“No,” I said politely as I scarfed down his cookie.

“Okay, then you should at least come to the bookstore that night,” he said as he slid the remainder of his cookie into his backpack.

I tried to explain that my husband has to work that night, that I have a five-year-old to take care of, that I have dishes and laundry to do, and that if I thought of any more excuses, I would let him know what they were.

Jay then proceeded to explain to me that Friday night is no ordinary night. It’s a historical night. It’s the beginning of the end of something magical that happened…and it happened to a children’s book writer. (Jay continued his lecture, despite me eyeballing the cookie belonging to the guy next to us.) He said that being there for the moment when kids (and adults!) get their hands on their last Harry Potter book will be like no moment we'll get to experience ever again. He reminded me that, as a children’s author, and out of respect for all that is good about children’s literature, I need to be there. It is my duty.

Of course, I saluted him. Then I told him he had something on his shirt and snatched the cookie from his backpack.

As I was running away from him, I thought, You know, maybe he’s right. It is my duty. I can come up with excuses another day. I should be present for the event that represents everything good and right about children’s literature!

So thanks for the lecture, Jay. But seriously, you did have something on your shirt.

What about you all? Will you be at a bookstore on Friday night?

- Robin

13 comments:

literaticat said...

Yes, grudgingly. But it will be pure work!

Colorado Writer said...

What if it is all hype and there's another HP book after all? Barbra Streisand keeps saying she's retiring, but keeps on doing concerts! And midnight is way past my bedtime.

Oh maybe.

Emily Jiang said...

I'm planning on dropping by my local independent, just to see first hand all the crowds. Last time the lines were out the door and almost around the block.

Emily, who just found out her HP alter ego!

Becky Levine said...

We'll be flying into Calgary on Friday. So one of our quests on Saturday is to snag a copy of HP #& with a Canadian cover!

Then do battle over who gets to read it first. :)

cynjay said...

Unfortunately, the HP gene in my family skipped a generation and landed in my son. While I am totally agog at what J.K. has accomplished, HP is still fantasy and I still don't like fantasy.

I think this must be what my best (Jewish) friend feels like at Christmas. I might take my kid though...

Kelly Fineman said...

I will be at a book store, for sure. I'm deciding between two (I ordered two copies, one from each store -- now I have to pick a place to party).

Laini Taylor said...

YES! I'll be at the amazing wonderful Powell's Books here in Portland, with a 9-year-old, an 11-year-old, and another 35-year-old. And we're going to see Order of the Phoenix first. Harry, we salute you. I've never gone to a "Potter Night" and I DO feel like this is totally a historic occasion and I wouldn't miss it for anything -- even though we ARE driving to California the next day! Hope you have fun!

SilberBook-Blog said...

Yes indeedy! I happen to be in Boston on a mini-vacation thing and we are going to be in cambridge where they are turning Harvard Square in Hogwarts Square.

Big fun is expected - or big thunderstorms - either way - magic.

alan

Rilla said...

I'm all for hype and mass hysteria over a good fantasy book...that said...I like to write for kids, not jostle huge crowds of kids to get my grubby paws on a book they are kind enough to deliver to my door...I think I'll stay home, hang out with Laini's Dreamdark faeries and dress up my cats instead...the black one looks really cute with a lightning jag on his forehead ;)

Disco Mermaids said...

Honestly, it doesn't matter if you're a fan o' fantasy. And it's not about getting the book. It's about the magic, baby!

When the fifth book came out, I was working one of the non-stop registers at a bookstore. Children actually starting shaking and crying when their fingers touched the book. Amazing!

And it ain't gonna happen again. Don't miss it.

- Jay

Rilla said...

You make a compelling case, Jay. It would be nice to see kids cry over a book...;)

Linda D. (sbk) said...

I'll be taking my kids, but we've been told by our local Chapters that they can't guarantee there will be enough books if we didn't pre-order. And stupidly, we didn't think we'd need to pre-order. So now my excitement for the day has turned into sheer panic.

Don Tate II said...

20 years from now, you'll wish you had been there! It is an event, and I'd probably go, too, if I didn't have to work. I'd go just to say I'd been once, I'm not a Potter fan.