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June 23, 2003: And while we're on the subject of heavy things...

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A few weeks ago we broke down and preordered The Book, figuring that with everything else going on in our lives, we didn't know if we'd be able to make the release date party. The shipping notice arrived Friday afternoon, and Saturday when we returned from lunch there was a note in our mailbox indicating that the mailman had tried to deliver a package. Why he didn't just leave it in the little lock boxes right next to the mailboxes-on-a-stick like he does with every other package we receive I have no idea, but the whole point of me telling you this is that our copy ended up sitting at the post office, unavailable to us until 8:30 this morning.

Yesterday afternoon after we finished the happy fun that is dirt hauling, we ended up meeting my parents for lunch. Coincidently, they'd just picked up their copy (and in fact lunch plans were made because my mom called me and started reading out of the first chapter, amid my wails of protest because I didn't have mine yet). And then as we stood in the parking lot outside IHOP (because chocolate chip pancakes are good for muscle pain, I swear) in order to give them back their shovel, they very nicely gave us their copy of the book so we could read it until we got ours. This was certainly above and beyond any parental duty, or the bounds of love because I will freely admit right here that there is no way I would have handed over *my* copy before I had a chance to read it.

But I digress. We got in the car and I decided to heck with my usual issue with the way reading in the car makes me a bit queasy; I immediately opened it up and starting reading the first page aloud. And then when we got home I fell into a chair and commenced reading in earnest.

It took me about four hours to get through the book and by the end I think I surpassed even my own records for speed-reading. And the instant I set it down on the table and announced I was done, Richard snatched it up, fell into a chair right next to me, and was immediately lost to the world. I queried as to dinner plans, he grunted, and I gleefully ordered pizza and finally read The Outlanders across the table from him because I knew he wasn't going to emerge for any sort of dinnertime conversation. He finished it last night, of course, which is wonderful because the minute I finished the last page I was dying to talk to someone about it and I left him alone as much as I could (except to occasionally ask where he was so I could see how close he was to the end) in order to avoid giving away any of the surprises.

Anyway. I liked it. I liked it a lot better than the 4th book, actually. Petulant angsty Harry was a bit annoying, in a way, but he's growing up and dealing with normal teenage things. I felt at times overwhelmed by how very much was going on in the book - all the little subplots and such - but I didn't feel like it was too long. With the fourth book (Goblet of Fire), I felt as if Rowling had really dragged out some sections and thrown in all sorts of filler and the book was far longer than it should have been; with Order of the Phoenix I wanted it to be longer because I felt like there was almost too much going on and nothing got explained as fully as I would have liked. But some things were explained and now I just hope that it doesn't take her nearly as long to write the next two books because I am far too impatient when it comes to Harry Potter.

I picked up our 'real' copy this morning before work and found great amusement in the fact that they had made a very special packaging box just for all the Harry Potter books that were shipped all over the world this weekend. This evening we dropped it off with my parents, figuring the least we could do was give them our brand new fresh-out-of-the-box pristine copy.

It's a good book. I'm not sure it's the best of the series, but it's still quite good. Even Azzie thought it was marvelous. And I ask you would this cute little face lie?

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