Tag Archives: reading

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry.

Last night I saw the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

There it was, the second half of the seventh book unfolding in front of me and then slipping away like a wisp of magic leaving a broken wand. With every event that happened on screen, I was that much closer to being done with Harry Potter forever.

Harry has been my friend for over ten years. I started reading his stories  in a Denny’s, where I would go to be alone during my lunch breaks. The real world just melted away as I snuggled up for a few chapters each afternoon. Once, a woman dashed over to my booth and tapped me on the shoulder, snapping me out of Hogwarts and back to the diner. Looking a little embarrassed, she asked, “Are you reading those, too? Aren’t they amazing?”

When the movies started, I loved sharing the fun with friends by dressing up and generally acting insane. Have you read John Scalzi’s blog about just how unique these films have been?

Yes, I'm a Hufflepuff.

To prepare for the theatrical release of one of the best of the series, my mom and I bought an audio version of Prisoner of Azkaban and listened to it together every day, remembering our favorite parts of that great story.

My brother accompanied me on a road trip to my grad school one summer, and in the hotel he hooked up a PlayStation and put in a Harry Potter game. I had fallen asleep critiquing manuscripts for class when he woke me up with a loud, “ALRIGHT!” My eyes flew open, and there he stood next to the television, one arm behind his back like a General instructing his troops, the game on pause. He pointed at the screen dramatically, tapping locations on the game map. “We have Prefects HERE, HERE, and HERE!”

Now that the books and movies are complete, we’re done. I look back on those years of joy that surrounded Harry Potter, and I know I’m really going to miss it. Of course we’ll have fun in other ways, but there’s nothing quite like sitting around with your friends and family late at night, adamantly defending Snape’s innocence to the one person who admits to being on the fence.

🙂  Oh, Snape. You’re so dreamy. Sirius, too.  /swoon

So, let me take this moment to make a desperate plea to JK Rowling:

Please write more! How about the story of Dumbledore vs. Grindelwald? Or seven books about the Marauders? We can’t really be expected to get by without any Wizarding World fiction ever again, can we? Can we???

Okay. We’ll see how that works.  🙂

In the meantime, though, what do we do? It’s easy enough to say, “Here’s a great book to read if you love Harry Potter!” but somehow I wonder whether anything can really touch the magic that Hogwarts brought to our lives.

The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando

Are you a fan who misses the Wizarding World? How are you coping? What are you reading now to get by?  🙂

What do you <3 or hate about novels?

Every form of fiction has its benefits and its drawbacks. I’d like to explore each kind one at a time. Let’s begin with novels! I’ll start with a couple of thoughts.

Novels

Benefits:

  • They interface with your imagination.  🙂  You get no pictures (or few, usually), and you aren’t actually involved in the story, but you get to take what you read and make it real for you. This is why often people are disappointed by film versions of their favorite novels. No other person can accurately recreate the magic that happened in your own mind when you read a good book.
  • You can read them any time — as long as you’re free of distractions.
  • Other benefits?

Drawbacks:

  • They can’t show you anything that you can’t imagine. If the author fails to explain approximately how large the monster is, then the reader either has to make that part up or feel lost.
  • It can be difficult to enjoy reading when there are noisy people nearby.
  • Other drawbacks?

What else?

Who Needs Libraries?

In addition to the ton of other things I do, I also volunteer at my local library for a kids’ reading enrichment program.

For one hour after school, children from kindergarten to about third grade come for directed reading enrichment activities – and afterward they get to select a book to take home and keep forever. It’s pretty cool.

This regular time I spend assisting the library has me thinking about all of the library closures I read about more and more these days. It distresses me to think such places may begin to vanish.

In addition to providing free book loans to the community, libraries offer much more: computer and Internet access, assistance with filling out various documents, guidance for research, and free courses, groups, and activities for people of all ages (such as the enrichment program where I volunteer).

The ones who will suffer the most from a closed library are the people on tight budgets who need free access to valuable information. The rest of the community will eventually suffer, as well.

Let’s see. Is there anyone in the following cities who might make good use of a public library?

Camden, New Jersey

Seattle, Washington

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Charlotte, North Carolina

Boston, Massachusetts

… there are so many more.

What can be done? Is this an inevitable change that will require communities to somehow adjust? Or is the general public gravely misunderstanding the important role that libraries play in maintaining literacy, both digital and otherwise? What is the future of libraries?

Marching to the Cliffs of Moher

Welcome to March! I like this month. In Florida, it’s a bit windy and chilly, but still comfortable enough to have a nice time outside in the sun. Perfect weather.

To me, March means St. Patrick’s Day, and the second anniversary of my trip to Ireland. Two years ago, my family and I spent a little over a week traveling the most beautiful country in the world, and I will never forget a moment of it.

It was bitterly cold, but one of the best times of my life. I can’t wait to go back one day!

Here in Florida, the weather is much nicer, though the land isn’t as green.

However, just because the weather’s perfect doesn’t mean my schedule is! I’m up to my ears in things to do, but I just had to pop on here to say hello. 🙂 Hope everyone’s reading something great and being happy.

What does March mean to you?