Oh, I’m so depressed! Can this really be the last
Harry Potter book? I know JK always said there would only be seven,
but being the Queen of Denial, I kinda sorta figured this particular
good thing would never end.
Surely, I thought, someone somewhere will dangle a
big enough carrot and she’ll add a book to the series. Or two. Or
ten. But she didn’t. Probably because she’s a stand-up chick who
does what she says she’s going to do. And that’s a good thing, but
still – I’m going to miss it all so much.
All the pre-pub hoopla. The goofy embargoes. (The
CIA should be so leak proof!) The parties. The costumes. The
commuters on the F train, in suits and ties, dresses and lipstick
and heels, busily flipping the pages of those doorstep-sized books.
I’m going to miss the excitement. I’ll miss kids
getting dressed up and standing in line for hours to get into a bookstore. Kids – the whole world over – united not by a video game, or
a cheesy toy, or rock stars in killer clown masks, but a book.
I’ll miss the newscasters taking a break from their
nightly litany of woe to cut to the kids in the bookstores, and the
kids in the witches’ hats and the wizards’ cloaks, and the kids
reading and talking and arguing about a story and in the process,
taking in all of the things that make a book: plot, tension,
There were some pretty big themes to take in, too –
good vs. evil, the power of love, the burden of choice, of
free-will, but I confess, just like the Weasley twins, I was in it
for the booger-flavored jelly beans. The screechy baby mandrakes.
The Halloween feasts. And Peeves. Man, I loved Peeves.
I loved the joyous fullness of it all. I loved the
young witches’ and wizards’ delight in their burgeoning magical
powers, and the author’s delight in hers. I was captivated by the
world Rowling created, a world I could see and feel and smell. I was
spellbound by her nimble and generous imagination. I loved the
innocence, the sadness, the mayhem, the hope.
And now it’s done and what’ve I got? I tell you
what – last week’s Economist. Who wouldn’t be depressed?
But there is one bright spot in all of this…I know
that one day, Harry Potter and his crew will live again for me –
when it comes time for my daughter Daisy to read about them.
Knowing that these stories, and those of Philip
Pullman and Kenneth Grahame and Madeleine L’Engle and the Brothers
Grimm and Laura Ingalls Wilder and David Almond – to name but a
handful – are there for her, cheers me immensely.
I can’t wait until Daisy takes these books down off
the shelf. Until all the characters in them live and breathe in our
house again. I can’t wait to hear her tell me all about a magical
castle called Hogwarts. A talking bear named Iorek Byrnison. A
haunting creature named Skellig. I can’t wait for these books to
tell her, as books have told me, over and over again, all my life,
that the hard and simple things – courage, faith, redemption, and
love – matter greatly and will prevail.
That’s magic, indeed.