As of last night, I officially finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. An interesting feat in and of itself, considering the book was released here in the US nearly two months ago.
When it comes to Harry Potter, I got in the habit, starting with the fourth book, of rereading the preceding books before allowing myself to read the newest one. What started as a neat answer to how one book could be shared among so many brothers without too much squabbling has since become a traditional habit that I enjoy. It's fun to reread the old books, refreshing my memory on all the past events, and seeing Harry Potter from a bird's eye view, knowing what's to come and relishing the journey Harry Potter takes.
The day Deathly Hallows was released, I bought the book. But I had not yet begun to read any of the previous ones early enough to allow myself to start the new one right away. In fact, I wasn't even close to being able to read any of the Harry Potters. My first goal was to finish reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series. The Dark Tower series also comprises seven books, and when Deathly Hallows was released, I was only finishing up the fifth installment. To force myself to put on hold that brilliant saga whilst stopping to read Harry Potter made no sense to me. So I continued, and finished the Dark Tower series in just under three weeks.
Of course, once finished with the Tower series, I had to start back with the first Harry Potter and also reread the entire series. I reread each and every one of them, and in the space of about one month, I completed the series.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is nothing short of amazing. I admire JK Rowling's skill at weaving together a story, and especially her commitment to her characters and her story. To say the least, she does not disappoint.
Okay, enough about all that. While it seems like a harmless and easy task, what I have just done was anything but. Because not only did I not want to read the seventh book until I had reread the other six... I really didn't want to hear even the slightest mention of the book in my presence. Even if all someone said was: "In the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter is in it." I didn't want to hear it.
In this day and age of the internet and loud cell phone conversations in public places, it's not exactly easy to avoid mention of the book, especially considering its popularity. For instance, while walking into the grocery store one day, I overheard two people having a very deep and philosophical conversation. As soon as I heard the word "Snape," I cast the pair a wide-eyed glance and nearly broke into a run in my haste to not hear what they were saying. Sheesh. At the very least, they could have done a simple Muffliato charm so that I couldn't hear what they were saying.
At long last, however, I no longer have to worry. I've read the book. No longer do I need to awkwardly stop conversations about it; instead, I can join in the conversation and try to sound smart. It's a wonderful feeling.