I Might Lose Librarian Street Cred for This

Total amount of pages of Harry Potter read:

uh, 20?

I think?

BEFORE YOU HAVE AT ME, please let me try to explain.

Every time I pick up a book, something happens.

The first time, I started reading and got through those 20 pages or whatever, and my dad, who was going on a business trip, asked if he could borrow it. Because my parents had just given me the set of the first three books for Christmas, I felt I had an obligation to lend it to him. (I know; you probably can HAVE AT ME for that, too.)

He hogged the book and did not give it back to me until he was finished! He did redeem himself by bringing me the fourth book from England (and I hear it's very cool to have a British copy). However, by then, I was in the middle of a ton of other things and couldn't pick it up.

Second attempt: I think this was in 2008. My cousins (the ones who accompanied me to California last Fall) invited me to spend a few days with them at the shore. I always bring things to read--especially because I'm not a good sleeper away from home--so I grabbed what I thought was the first book and put it in my suitcase. When I pulled it out and started looking for where I left off. . . nothing looked familiar. I looked at the cover. It was the second book!

After that? Well. . . other books have taken priority. Things for school. Things I needed to review and consider adding to collections. Book club.

Reading Harry Potter just has not happened for me. Yet.

My English professor and former advisor when I was an undergrad said while we were studying Proust that she knew someone who dreamed of booking a hotel room for a weekend, unplugging the phone, putting up the "Do Not Disturb' sign, and reading all of Proust's books.

Maybe I should do something similar.

And I know some of you are thinking that if I really wanted to read them, I would.

But I am telling you, I am afraid of what will happen next time I try to crack the first book.

It's as if the universe does not want me to read the series.


ccr in MA said…
Well, what do you think of this? Maybe the universe didn't want you to read them until all the movies were out, so now you'll be fine.

I resisted reading them at first myself, until someone whose taste I respected advised me to try. By 50 pages into book one, I was hooked. (The "Harry, you're a wizard" series fell flat in the movie for me: it was so much better in the book!)

I got my mother reading them ... now we've hooked my cousin, aunt, and grandmother, too (if you ever wondered why they come in large print, it's for her).

(I do not appreciate the WVW "vomity" at this hour!)
Rob said…
I started reading them when the 4th one came out. I'm glad I did it because it is such a cultural phenomenon. I lose cred every time I say this but here goes. Except for the first book and movie and maybe the third, the movies have been better than their book counterparts.
Kate P said…
CCR--well, I'm willing to go with your theory. (BTW I have no idea what you mean by the "Harry, you're a wizard" series--see???)
The Cat is notorious for 7 a.m. "vomity" moments. . .

Rob--that's it; I try to stay at least somewhat knowledgeable about popular things, especially in literature. . . and I feel as if I've failed on this one. Or at least gotten way behind.
When you say the movies have been "better," what exactly do you mean? More interesting? Better special effects than described in the book? Improved dialogue? I'm curious.
Pammy pam said…
yay! i knew i was keeping that used copy of a british version i got for a reason: ups my street cred!

locking yourself in to read Proust sounds like torture. i cant even get past 20 words.

go easy and get the audio.
Sara said…
7 British versions = street cred++ for me, I guess. Although the British versions of these books plus the British versions of the Horatio Hornblower series have ruined my spelling entirely.

All I can say is, if I had a nickel for every adverb in the HP series, I would be very, very rich right now.
Rob said…
The Harry Potter film makers have done a brilliant job of bringing that world to life. There is a phenomenal jump in technical brilliance from the first movie to the second one. To be perfectly honest, the books have entirely too much dialogue.
Kate P said…
Pam--seriously, do you NEED anymore librarian street cred? :)

Sara--sorry, street cred for librarians only. ;) You get, uh, HP fandom cred? Adverbs, eh? I guess I will find out, sooner or later. . .

Rob--oh, that is interesting. I think I've said before that as the Twilight series went on the dialogue multiplied. Exponentially. Made me crazy. I've seen only the first movie, which I think did a successful translation to the screen in that it made it manageable, especially for those not familiar with the book. (I'm afraid to see the second one because that book was my favorite.)
HP, on the other hand--those movies seem long to me (two parts for the last book?), I'm guessing because they could not deviate much. Hard-core fans would riot or something.
(Coincidentally, right now on TV "Ordinary People" is on, which I've discussed in the Oscars Project. It is different from the novel in places, but the changes were reasonable and extremely well done.)
Rob said…
Ordinary People is one of my all-time faves. I didn't read the book. Powerful stuff.
Kate P said…
Yes, totally! I cried, I laughed, I cried again. . . and of course as I did the first time around, I cheered when Mom left.

I guess it's a good thing it wasn't airing this afternoon when management was showing the apartment upstairs to prospective renters.
Sara said…
Nooo... I don't want HP fandom cred. Not when I'd finish a book and belly-ache about plot holes.

"Put the bloody Philosopher's Stone in your pocket, Dumbledore, and keep it there."

There, book one is finished in a chapter.

"Mad-Eye Moody, your eye can see all kinds of neat stuff. Look through these here walls and tell me what you see."

Book two finished in a chapter.

And so on. But I'll stop there as I'm trying to stay away from spoilers.

Also, I really didn't care for the movies, especially the first ones. They leave so much out that seems vital and could be covered in two sentences. IE: the origins of the Map and what the nicknames mean.

There I go, being old and grumpy again.
Kate P said…
Uhhhh. . . I guess it's a good thing I didn't understand most of what you talked about there? :) But being able to grump about stuff is what makes it fun to discuss literature!

(Y'know, if you can do those summaries in 140 characters or less, you can handle Twitter. LOL!)
Sara said…

Sara said…
Oh, and they weren't summaries. They are ways to bypass everything in the books with simple, overlooked solutions. The books would end up a chapter long, and the movies would have to scramble to fill time.

I'm cranky.
Kate P said…
But you're adorably cranky.

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