11:30 PM (Half hour before book launch)
I got to the Chapters in downtown Vancouver with plenty of time to spare before the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series was released. Already lines snaked their way across the three floors of the store. People who had pre-ordered their copy go upstairs, show your ID, get your wristband, and join the line-up which was, by this point, winding its way through the Science Fiction section. Just minutes away, now, the man on the PA system promised. Minutes away…
12:00 (Seconds before launch)
The line now covers almost every open space in the store, winding down every aisle. From the front of the store are a few screams. Somebody waves a book in the air and camera flashes start going off. There’s a count down from ten and already people are running away with their copies clutched tight. The line is moving now.
12:38 (Chapter One)
Standing at the bus stop there were about four people with the book out already reading and eight more with Chapters bags in hand. I was already jealous of those who were well into the first chapter, already having the story play out before them. It was everything I could do to wait until getting on the bus to start reading, lest some of the few stray raindrops around fall onto my page.
1:32 (Middle of Chapter Two)
I’m already in deep. I can feel it. I just got home, make some tea and a snack, and am setting up camp on the couch in my living room. The Harry Potter soundtrack is playing to set the mood. Let’s get this show running.
1:56 (Chapter Four)
Damn, Harry spotted the big gaping hole in the problem before I did, and it really was a big gaping hole. It’s good things can still be a bit humorous at this stage.
2:34 (Chapter Six)
Damn, I’m getting tired already. I should have bought some junk food to keep me up. A lot has happened already—more than I was expecting—and I’m loathe to stop now.
2:58 (Chapter Seven)
I don’t understand why Dumbledore had apparently told Harry not to tell anybody about the Horcruxes. Voldemort would want them secret, so they wouldn’t be destroyed, but Dumbledore had exactly the opposite motivations. Well, too late to do anything about it now. The title of the seventh chapter, “The Will of Albus Dumbledore” is very enticing, but I can barely keep my head up. Time to move this party to my bed, where I’ll try to get another chapter or two in before nodding off. Reading will continue in the morning.
3:41 (Chapter Eight)
A change of scene and a couple granola bars later, I’m quite rejuvinated. There’s a lot of things going on now. Lots of ideas, no answers, and the only solution is to keep reading.
10.24 (Halfway through Chapter Eight)
Normally it would take several hours or snoozing through alarms to wrench me out of bed in the morning, but not today. Trying to find where I left off before falling asleep, I accidentally read the last line in Chapter Eight—things are not going well! Breakfast can wait, I’ve got reading to do. (I love how Luna’s dad’s name is Xenophilius, by the way. And what kind of name is Thicknesse, anyway?)
11:12 (Chapter Eleven)
There’s one question delt with. Not a big surprise, I think. The big question that Rowling said was the most important has been asked, one about the events surrounding Harry’s death, but still no answer is coming to me. Why did Dumbledore need James’s cloak..
11:41 (A few pages into Chapter Twelve)
Yes, good idea Hermione, but poorly executed. I already see a bit of a problem…
12:20 (Chapter Fourteen)
Here I was telling myself that after Chapter Thirteen I’d take a break, go have a shower and get some breakfast, but then the chapter had to end in mass confusion, flashes of light, and someone screaming. What the hell is going on!?
12:38 (Chapter Fifteen)
Good, a chapter ending with Harry going to sleep, and nothing diasterous or highly suspensful happening (just a curious clue to sort out… one of those things for which all the information is probably in older books). I can take a break for hygiene and nutrition.
13:19 (Chapter Fifteen, still)
Word on the street (i.e., Facebook), is that the friend that was with me to get the book last night at midnight finished reading two hours ago, and here I am only halfway through. Now rested, clean, and nourished, I’m ready for another good run. It’s going to be a hard sell to get me out the door tonight (I have committments to keep) if I haven’t finished by then…
13:42 (Chapter Sixteen)
Some answers, more questions. I’m having one of those moments where I want to scream out the answer (or my best guess at the answer) and hope Harry, Ron, and Hermione will hear me. It’s rather clever, too, if I do say so myself. But I don’t have the whole answer… even knowing where something is hidden doesn’t matter if you don’t have the key. And of course I could be completely wrong anyway.
14:05 (Near the end of Chapter Sixteen)
Wait a minute—Harry’s parents died in 1981? When he was one year old? Is this story taking place in 1997 then? That’s just slightly odd…
14:12 (In Chapter Seventeen
Haha, “Dumbledore-ish power”.
15:03 (Chapter Twenty)
The book definitely living up to the hype so far. I seriously doubt it even qualifies as a children’s book at this point. The story has grown up quite a lot from where it started. There’s a lot of history coming into it, and lots of things are coming together. And the next chapter is called “Xenophilius Lovegood”, and you’ve got to love that.
15:22 (Chapter Twenty One)
Ah, the first mention of the Deathly Hallows. And at the very end of the chapter, of course.
15:33 (In Chapter Twenty One)
Does anybody else see a connection between The Deathly Hallows and rock-paper-scissors?
16:28 (Chapter Twenty Four)
No book where crucio exists is for children.
16:51 (Chapter Twenty Five)
I suspected that this was the case, a few chapters ago as the story of who had what when began to unfold. But knowing who had it last, particularly how he came to get it, proves that it is not everything it is made out to be. There is still hope.
17:44 (Chapter Twenty Eight)
Oh, all hell’s breaking loose now. I love it!
18:20 (Chapter Thirty)
My internet’s pooped out since quarter to five, so this live-blogging idea isn’t as live as it really should be. But that’s just as well… Things are moving along steadily and I definitely feel a climax coming on. Still got a fifth of the book left though. Lots of things still left to happen.
18:36 (Chapter Thirty One)
This chapter is giving me goosebumps already and all I’ve done is read the title.
19:24 (Chapter Thirty Three)
It wasn’t looking good, but now I can feel it! The answers are coming! Right to the end of the previous chapter I was thinking the worst, but, oh, the twists! This is killing me!
19.54 (Chapter Thirty Four)
Well damn. But I don’t believe it’s really true. Not yet.
20:09 (Chapter Thirty Five)
“But it did intrigue him slightly.” Always with the jokes, even at a time like this.
20:24 (Chapter Thirty Six)
Well I’m not sure about how I feel about that last bit. And the title now is rather ominous… Where can things possibly go from here?
20:55 (The End)
Oh, well, I think the epilogue was a bit overkill. But what a ride that was. It will stick with me for a while, I think, going through what happened in my head and wondering about missing pieces. Now I’m late for going out with a friend. Time to go back out into reality.