“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy.”
I bought all of my Harry Potters at small independent bookstores instead of Amazon. I found the book release parties an amazing affirmation that books can stimulate as much anticipation as movies, just like back in the day before video killed the radio star, when crowds of people would wait at the docks for the latest Sherlock Holmes to arrive by boat, pushing and shoving in their excitement, some people falling into the water and drowning. The first fans (fan being short for ‘fanatic’) were literary, though at the time the upper class would never deign to call any book so appealing to the masses as literature. We know better now, the power and importance of stories.
The last Harry Potter has a special resonance for me, a living reminder how books can connect us, how books and the people who read them can and do change the world, all the time, often in wholly unexpected ways.
We are talking on the phone when you remind me, today is National Book Day. Until that point, our conversation was like every other conversation in a political campaign – a juggling act of two topics being touched upon and seven more in the air above our heads – but even so, at that moment I know you’re remembering the same thing I am: driving down Divisadero St. at one in the morning, having just picked up our copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows at the midnight release party at an independent bookstore in the Marina district of San Francisco. We stood in the car holding our books out the moon roof and hollering Harrrrrryyyyyyy Poooootteeeerrrrrrrrrr! at the strands of late-night pedestrians littering the sidewalks, and getting more than a few drunken Harrrryyyy Pooootttteeer!!! cheers in return, thrilling you.
Thank you for my book, you say to me…
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