Saturday, July 25, 2009

Midnight in the Garden of JK Rowling

I am standing on a platform, roughly 9 ¾ of an inch from the center of the room we now stand in. Around me is a sea of wands, robes, cauldrons and palpable excitement. As I rise to address the masses and tell them the time of the awakening will soon be at hand I feel my wig slide down the front of my face and sense a sharp pain in the back of my skull. Is it possible someone hit me with a box of Bernie Botts every flavor bean? I adjust my wig of long flowing red hair and gaze out at the mass of witches and wizards. They are silent for a moment as I look above my head. The metal sign hanging over the information desk that reads “Customer Service” is now titled at 45 degree angle because of its recent encounter with the back of my head. I had just succeeded in cracking my skull while garnering the full attention of a room full of nerds, who at this point were beginning to chuckle at me. There were a few concerned mothers and nuns who put their hands to there mouths to cover their smirks, but they were there.

“Well, I’m Glad no one saw that” I said to the mass of people now obviously staring at me. The laughter that had been bubbling over reached its full brew and the room filled with it. I was relived that I was able to turn the situation to my advantage and regain control of the room, and I now began shouting instructions about where to line up if they had a book reservation and where to cower in fear of us running out if you did not have one. This was an experience like nothing else in life, the anticipation and excitement behind a Midnight release for a Harry Potter book could not be matched.

This particular Midnight release party was for the 6th book in the Installment, which would go on to be my favorite in the series. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the expectations were high as it was the second to last book in the fabled series. If books are a dying form, JK Rowling is not aware of that fact. During a time when movie companies were struggling for new ideas and Mystery books were telling the same tired old stories with dogs instead of cats, JK created a new world. A World to rival that of Tolken and CS Lewis a world of her own creation that captured the imagination of the time.

Rowling provides a good example of why I believe books are here to stay. In a time when technology was developing faster than it could be written about JK Rowling wrote about people who stayed away from technology. Wizards and witches were unfamiliar with technology for they had no need for it, despite living in the modern world. The fact that this idea was believable to children and adults, that we can live in a world without technology and still believe in magic is magical in and of itself.

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