Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released at midnight. My family's copy will arrive by owl post on Saturday morning.
It seems a very long time ago that I went to the school book fair at my son's first school and purchased the first Harry Potter. Because he was eight, I wanted to know what he was reading. I can remember thinking that reading this must be what reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe when it had just come out was like. And the annoying thing was that the series was not finished! In fact, it had barely begun.
My son loved it as well. We had to join the Harry Potter fan club, and received a mugglfied golden snitch and he got regular newsletters as well as invitations to book launches. However, after the third book was released, I think the fan club had to be disbanded as it became far too big.
My lovely dh for some reason went out to the bookstore and happened to discover a hardback copy of The Chamber of Secrets which he duly purchased. I think it had just been released. Anyway, I kept telling people about this wonderful book. Most had not heard of it. Those who had, enjoyed it. A good friend remarked on the similarities with Eva Ibbotson's The Secret of Platform of 13 3/4. And there are some but both books are very different. I suspect it is more a case of ideas floating around in the ether.
I sent copies to my sister in the US as she had never heard of the book. She then went to a book fair and was able to pick up posters for her classroom as no one was interested. The next year, the Scholastic area was swamped!
My long suffering husband, after the third book was released and both my son and I had to read it on the day of publication, gave in. He was going to prove that it was not very good, and read it aloud to my daughter. Suffice it to say that he became an evener bigger fan of the series than I was.
It has been a magical ride. Yes, there is hype about the series, but it is the stories that speak to people. JK Rowling is a masterful story teller. I have my own theories about what should go on at the end, and I shall be reading avidly. I am certain that the series will become a classic. And all those lucky children will be able to read it straight through, without waiting...