|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.