Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter

Yeah, of course I was in the bookstore on July 16th, but I couldn't do it. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to buy the new Harry Potter book.

Let me correct myself: I was in two different bookstores. HP was in both stores, but I wasn't even tempted.

Why? Sometimes I don't understand the dark workings of my bookwormy little brain, so this is the place where I go to brood.

I read the other five HP books last year and enjoyed them mightily. I was pleased as punch in December when J.K. Rowling posted the happy news that she'd finished HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I admire J.K. Rowling. She, too, was an EFL teacher once upon a time. I've been following the frenzy on TV. I've gotten irritated when people have posted spoilers. So why didn't I just buy the book?

Shanghai was in the bookstore at the same time I was. She was carrying two copies of the book: One for herself, and one for a friend.

This is what did tempt me: I saw the shipping boxes that the book came in. They were white and green, labeled with the title of the book and the instructions not to open the box until July 16th. When I saw those boxes piled in a corner at the back of the bookstore, I wanted one immediately. They looked like excellent collector's items. In the end, I walked out with something really different: A biography of Howard Hughes. WTF???????????

Because practically everyone else in the whole frickin' English-speaking world wanted that book on that particular day, it made me not want it.

All the madness and hoopla over the publication and selling of a book gladdens my heart, but I just can't bring myself to queue up with everyone else.

So, at the bottom of it all, if I feel cold about purchasing this book, does this mean that I'm not the truly-madly-deeply booklover that I thought I was? Does the misanthrope within me trump the book hound? Am I exhibiting bizarre book snob behavior, bristling at being "told" that I must run, not walk to the store immediately and buy this book?

What made Saturday any different than any other day? Why didn't I go into my "Lost Weekend" mode and fall on the damned thing the moment I saw it on display?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Perhaps, being a book lover, you feel that you can't have the same private relationship with this book that you normally would since it is everywhere and everyone knows about it. I suspect when all the hoo-ha calms down, you'll want to buy it and make it yours.

Make any sense?