8th grade...Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hits the world. One of my "nerdy" friends immediately reads it--then recommends it to me. Having only met books I didn't like in English class, I grabbed it from the school library. There it begins. I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when it came out, and POSSIBLY Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (but I honestly can't remember). Then I got "too cool" and didn't read any more of the HP series.
I saw one of the movies in theaters (and actually fell asleep...it was a late show) and I've caught I think up to the third on ABC Family. The ABC Fam marathon hit the day Mark deployed to Afghanistan. I was glad for the series of super long movies to keep my mind off of what had happened and the fact that I didn't have to choose what to watch for a few hours. I liked them, but never got into the frenzy.
Enter last month. HP is finally coming to ebooks. I don't have Amazon Prime (useless for Alaskan residents, as they don't include us in their free shipping options) so I couldn't get them for free with the lending library, BUT I do have an Anchorage Public Library card and have been using their ListenAlaska site to borrow books for my Kindle. Hold after hold, I finished the series last night. I know it was after 2am when I finally went to sleep, but I had to finish. I laughed, I cried, I laughed through the tears. J.K. Rowling has been blessed with a gift for words. More than a few nights I would think to myself "Curses for such good writing...I can't stop now!" and "Just one more chapter!" (that inevitably turned into at least 3, if not the rest of the book). J.K. Rowling, as has been said by many others, you are my childhood, even if I waited til I was a 20-something to finish it.
Now, for the movies. I'm hoping the library can help me out again, since we've canceled our Netflix membership. In a way, I'm glad I waited until now. My want of instant gratification can be appeased. I don't have to wait a year between a movie (and especially the 7th & 8th...I don't know where the story was split, but I can only imagine it was one heck of a wait!!). The bad part of it is that I'm going to want to watch them all back-to-back!
I finished the book with a smile. I could rest easy with the knowledge that Harry and his friends were happy and enjoying a normal wizarding life. Now like the rest of the HP world, I wish the stories could continue forever, but I understand that all good things must come to an end. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get down to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida...