I've done an exceptionally good job of hiding under this particular rock over the last ten+ years, but the big hoo-hah over the last movie recently has decidedly piqued my curiosity. I mean, I was twelve when the first book came out. I was basically the target demographic. I could have grown up with this series like everyone else did, but, you know. I'm like the opposite of whatever a hipster is, here. I'm sure there are a multitude of reasons why I never jumped on that particular bandwagon, but I finally decided I was tired of being left out and I wanted to be able to see this final movie on the big screen. (Spoiler alert: this didn't actually work out so I guess I will watch it on my regular screen when it comes out on DVD. I missed it even when it came to our dollar theater, granted, the showtimes were something stupid like 4pm and 9pm. One was too early - still at work - and the other was too late - hi, bedtime.) It would have been a nice symmetry, though. I did see the first movie in the theater when I was in high school.
Which means I had to scramble to get caught up.
I'm generally a "read the books first" type of gal. But when you've got a seven book series that grows with every installment, there just ISN'T TIME. So I decided to do the next best thing: watch all the movies.
I am fully aware that there is a LOT of information missing from the movies, as is what generally happens with any movie adaptation, no matter how well the screenplay is written. I started reading the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in college (before I got consumed with actual work and abandoned the whole thing) and remember being impressed at how well they HAD managed to adapt it, and they'd done a good job of knowing what to keep and what to kill. Meanwhile, I'd started reading Atonement once upon a time, and while I had loved the book to that point, the way it was written, I got impatient because the movie was taunting me and so I went ahead and watched it. That is one fucking confusing movie if you haven't read the book. I can safely say this because I was following it very well up to the point where I'd stopped reading; my ability to follow the movie was supplemented with what I'd read. Once I crossed that barrier, it was just a giant clusterfuck and I had a hard time keeping up, and I usually pride myself with being a keen movie-watcher.
Back to my point though. Which is: I've finally started reading the Harry Potter books.
You know what's weird, though? Because over the last ten or so years, I have however unwittingly been exposed to every single major spoiler there is. I more or less know what happens because of the movies. (I even know what happens in the movie I haven't seen yet.) Yet because of this, though, I am simultaneously experiencing the "first read" as well as the second read - it's all new and exciting and yet I am able to pick up on the little details that you normally wouldn't think to think of until you've already reached the end and circled back again. It's bizarre and I've never experienced that before. It's kind of an enjoyable experience. Everything is new and fresh and magical (no pun intended) (okay, maybe a little), but at the same time... it's all clicking together so much better because with all the knowledge I've inadvertently acquired, I feel like I'm able to give them a very thorough read and am absorbing absolutely EVERYTHING.
I have to say... I'm really enjoying them. Granted I'm only on the second book right now but that's not the point. I'm excited to finally catch up with the rest of the world and give myself permission to not be super-cool-grownup for a while and let myself get immersed into this whole other world. I'm inching myself inside the door to the fandom and it's all so very fascinating.
Also fascinating, from a completely different standpoint, is just.. fuck. JK Rowling. Is amazing. She planned out all seven books before she even started writing them and had the whole thing, this whole entire crazy plot, all seven books worth, put together. It was a massive story to tell, and she is, like, a goddess of storytelling. I can't even comprehend trying to write something like this, and she totally deserves every bit of success she has gotten. I mean, shit... can you think of anything else that is quite so prevalent in our culture right now? Everyone knows who Harry Potter is. Everyone. And that's her brainchild. I wonder if she had any idea what she was on to when she started putting words on paper. Every author wants someone to love their stories, but there are so few, so very very few, who achieve this level of... I don't want to say "success" again for fear of being redundant, but me brain no worky.
Anyway anyway. My overall point is that I am totally embracing my inner book nerd and I'm finally reading something I should have read fifteen years ago and I am way excited for it and YAY!