One more day, kiddos!

Well, for me that is. I won’t be getting my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight tonight like all you crazy people. I will wait until Saturday morning, when I will sashay my ass into Target and smugly pluck it off the very full shelves. There won’t be a shortage. Believe me. Hell, last time you could get the books in grocery stores.

Things are nutso around here, though. At the local library, the 40 copies of the Deathly Hallows have 203 people waiting for them, the audio version has 91 holds, and the large print has 20. Sheesh. There are also nine million parties going on tonight, people are already lining up to get their copy of the book, and I even saw this bumper sticker on a passing car last night:

(Psst…if you think that’s kinda funny, read the comic strip that it came from)

I wonder what J.K. Rowling thinks of all this. Really, how would you feel if something you had made up caused this much of an uproar? Happy and proud, sure. But if it were me, I might feel a tiny bit guilty and a lot incredulous. “Can you believe it?” I would likely say to the blub, “They bought into all this crap! And what’s better, they’re paying me for it! Morons!”

Yes, well. Count me in as one of the morons. I have read the entire series multiple times. And every time I do, I try to figure out why these books are so popular. Let’s face it, J.K. Rowling is not the best writer on the planet. Technically, I mean. I am not wowed by her similes, not blown over by her use of textures, and her descriptions tend to be mundane. I think I would grade her writing skills as merely passable, although she has improved noticeably since Book 1. As for her plot devices, those I would grade a bit higher, but there are still some holes. She makes mistakes. As I’ve noticed on this last read of the Half-Blood Prince, she tries to explain some of these away, but many fall a bit flat. So what is it? What makes nearly every child in the developed world longing to read her books?

It’s the characters. J.K. Rowling has the uncanny ability to create people you would want to know. I’ve found myself, more than once, wishing I could go to Hogwarts, not just because it would kick ass to be a witch, but because of the camaraderie, the jokes, the friends. Picking up one of these books is like hanging out with your best buds. And of course, as the series progresses, you become interested in the fates of your friends, and start rooting for them. Do I care what happens to Harry at the end of book 7? Damn skippy, I do! That’s J.K. Rowling’s genius right there. That’s why she deserves to be the multi-multi-multi millionaire that she is. She creates people to love. A damn fine talent, if you ask me. I wish I had it.

I suppose I could spend the rest of this entry regaling you with my predictions of the final book in the series, but why bother? I wouldn’t want to read that kind of thing. Besides, if you do, you can pop over to Mugglenet and get more than enough of that. As for now, I’m just hanging on my couch with a beer and my knitting, trying to finish book 6 before tomorrow.

the view from here

Like the sock? That’s the first one. I’ve copied Kat’s, in Panda cotton. It’s soft and nice. I heart it. I’m about halfway through the second, hoping to finish it tonight in my marathon listening session.

Don’t expect to see me Sunday or Monday. I’ve got reading to do.