Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for “J.K. Rowling”

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.



The only time I’ve gone to a midnight book release was when the 7th Harry Potter book came out. I love to sleep and usually won't give up my sleep for a book. Harry Potter was special, though. So, a little before midnight on July 20, 2007, I went to the grocery store to watch the crates of books being opened.

My grocery story is open 24 hours, but I’d never been there in the middle of the night. When I got to the store, the parking lot was dark and mostly deserted. It looked exactly like the type of place a woman should avoid. If real life was a horror movie, this parking lot would be a perfect setting for a gruesome murder.

Just like a protagonist in a horror movie, I ignored everything my mother taught me and walked across the parking lot. I wanted my Harry Potter book. Common sense wasn’t going to stop me.



As I got closer to the store, I noticed a group of teenage boys goofing around near a car. They were wearing dark clothes, smoking cigarettes, talking loudly, and shoving each other. I recognized a few of them. We had gone to the same schools for most of our lives, but they were several years younger than me. I was in college; they were still in high school. They were the “stoners.” The kids who got drunk or high and acted like idiots until the police showed up.

When I passed them outside the store, one of them stopped trying to bash his friend’s head into the side of a car and said, “Are you here for the book?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“So are we,” he said. “They have a ton of books, and there’s barely anybody here, so you don’t have to stand in line yet, unless you want to.”

These boys were in a dark parking lot at midnight for the exact same reason I was. We were all overeager to read Harry Potter. That’s the first time I realized that books have an amazing potential to bring people together. I’d seen these boys in the daylight, and I knew most of their names, but we’d never spoken. They were stoners who liked to party. I was a misanthropic loner with a serious case of depression. We didn’t become instant best friends or anything, but we had more in common than I ever could imagine. 





30 comments:

  1. That's an amazing story! I guess we can't always judge a book by its cover (yes, I went there with the bad pun!).

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  2. Great story! It just shows the universal appeal of Harry Potter! I tried to get my dad to collect my pre-ordered book 6 and 7 at midnight but he was having none of it...

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    1. Yeah, it was cool to see the variety of people at the midnight release. There were little kids and old people and everything in between.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. Very cool story. I've never lined up in the wee hours of the morning or night for anything, but look how it's given you something to write about and changed your perspective :)

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    1. Yeah, this is the first and only time I got out of bed to stand in line. Usually sleep is more important.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I guess that's what you call 'devotion' since this was not even a book signing, right? this was simply for a book which I can understand. I used to wait for music/movie releases the same way, there is something about getting it first or at least, getting it that same day of release, that great satisfaction that you can never get, that is definitely devotion.

    have a lovely day.

    ~ my J post - Jeopardy ~

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    1. Nope, not a signing. A bunch of us nerds just really wanted to read a book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. HA! I left a party to go get book 6, so I totally understand.

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    1. I would’ve left a party too. Reading is more fun than partying.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. What a great story! Rowling's world is such a deep, broad one that most any kind of reader will find something that resonates, whether the bookish or immature goofball.

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    1. Yeah, it’s amazing how many people love these books.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. my sister was lucky. we can order personal books through our public library. we just hve to pay them when it comes in. it's awesome. so she got to get some of the harry potters through the library when we couldn't get to a store that had them.

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    1. That’s cool. I don’t think my library does that.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I love this about these books. They can bring people from all walks of life together.

    I went to a book launch in our local castle for the last book and there were so many different people there. And despite being shy and socially inept, I was able to talk to those people, because we had that one thing in common, so we automatically had something to talk about.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. I’m impressed that you have a local castle. That would be a great place for a Harry Potter party. We don’t have castles, so I had to get my book from the grocery store.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. Aw, it just shows doesn't it :) I remember lining up at midnight for the last three books and there were always other kids from my year in the queue (and not always the ones you'd expect.) We avoided each other's eyes though, you still couldn't really to admit to it in school.

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    1. Yeah, kids are silly. You can’t admit to each other that you’re all obsessed with the same book. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. Love this because it is so true!! Books can really bring people to some sort of common ground even if for a really short time.

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    1. Yeah, I really didn’t expect to see stoners in line for a book. They never seemed like bookworms to me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. Interesting story! I have never ran out to buy a book on the date it was released, but I always have several books going at a time.

    http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/04/k-is-for-king-cepheus.html

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    1. I usually have several books going at once, too.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. What a cool story! You can't always judge a book (or a person) by their cover, can you?

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  13. Another amazing story of the Harry Potter books bridging the gaps of social groups. Think there will be a college class in the future, "The Potter Effect," that concentrates on the impact the books had on the society of Earth?

    J -- Co-host the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference and Speculative Fiction Writer
    http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com

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  14. What a great story! And I still haven't read Harry Potter....

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  15. That's a glorious story. I'm 47 and love HP. One of my colleagues, who's maybe 30, has a water bottle with the Deathly Hallows sign on it. Today at an assembly I saw a 7th grader wearing a t-shirt that listed the Hogwarts houses. There's something about seeing people from different generations all share enthusiasm about the same book.

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