Friday, August 10, 2007

Post-Potter Blues

I've heard a few people wondering what to do after finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Sure, there are still two more movies to anticipate, but we already know how they are going to end. We've devoted so many years to waiting for each book in the series, then each movie based on each book in the series, the characters are almost like friends. We've spent hours happily speculating what J. K. Rowling has planned for our favorite boy wizard, visiting fan websites, and buying Gryffindor Quidditch Team t-shirts for our children. And my personal favorite part of the Harry Potter phenomenon was that with a pair of empty eyeglass frames, an old graduation robe, and a little lipstick lightening streak to the forehead, my son had the easiest Halloween costume I've ever had to create.

Wasn't it fun watching Harry grow up, and wondering if Snape was really good or bad, and learning all the rules of Quidditch, and having to wait until the first movie was released to figure out how to pronounce Hermione's name. Wasn't it thrilling to see so many children working their way through a series of books that altogether weighed nearly as much as they did, and LIKING IT!? Yes, it's the end of an era, or nearly so. Just the last two movies, (sigh) . . .

Okay, enough with the sentimenal stuff. Time to move on. Can I just remind everyone of something? Reading was a great pasttime even before Harry Potter. There are plenty of enjoyable books left on the shelves of your local library or bookstore, always were and always will be. Come on, be brave! Try something else. If the world can stop in its tracks for the story of one teenage wizard, surely it can slow down a little for Encyclopedia Brown, genius boy detective. How about Jimmy Fincher, another teenage kid who saves the world? How about the Tales of Alvin Maker series? How about the Sword of Shannara Trilogy and everything else Terry Brooks has written?

J. K. Rowling's greatest contribution may have been to make it socially acceptable to read for hours on end, stopping only for the occasional bathroom break. Finally, bookworms like me have one claim to being normal.