I did not plan to be in Harvard Square at midnight for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I planned to be in bed, waiting for my own copy to arrive, far away from the happy Harry Potter fans clutching their new books and the mischief-makers shouting spoilers like Death Eaters firing Unforgivable Curses. While I was excited to be in the Square and with a good friend, I looked on with slight jealousy, doubting that my own copy would arrive soon enough.
However, the owls were good to me. A UPS delivery owl dropped off my copy of Deathly Hallows in the entryway to my apartment building some time before 6:30 Saturday morning (and placed it appropriately enough in a large spider web!). While I felt foolish checking so early in the morning and even more foolish standing outside in Mickey Mouse pajamas, I ignored my embarrassment, hugging the box to my chest and breathing deeply to hold back unexpected tears.
It was strange, but I felt the way I felt as a small child on Christmas morning in the days when Santa still left presents for me. I could not decide whether I wanted to open the box or not. I worried. Were the contents exactly what I wished for or was it another undesired pair of socks disguised in a festive box?
Overcome by too much anticipation and too little sleep, I did not open the box that morning. Instead, I slept, beginning the book only when I felt rested enough to do so and finishing the last lines late Monday night. And, although I had a few complaints (mostly concerning the epilogue and the treatment of a favorite character), I felt satisfied with how the story ended.
Of course, as a girl with a never-ending reading queue, I did not dwell too long on the end of Harry’s adventures. By Tuesday evening, I was prowling the local bookstores and libraries again, returning home with two books from Curious George and a tote bag full of books from the Boston Public Library. I must confess, however, that I have not given up on Harry quite yet; the Japanese-language edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was among the library books.