National phenomenon | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, August 04, 2008

National phenomenon

Last summer, when the final installment of the Harry Potter series came out, I was in San Francisco with Joel. Even though he isn't much of a reader, he willingly went with me to find a bookstore that was having a midnight release party. We searched an unknown city and finally found a good party, stood in line till nearly 1:00 am, drove back to our hotel where he crashed and I stayed up reading as long as I could.

The next morning, we left San Francisco and headed out to Lake Tahoe for a family reunion (I, of course, threw my propensity to car sickness out the window, and read until the road got too full of twisty turns). I had to laugh, because everywhere I went in Tahoe, there were people reading the book. I counted over 10 people reading on a small beach, 4 family members (including me) were reading every chance we could, and only conversed together to talk about the book, and I saw people reading in restaurants as they ate. I thought it was the coolest thing that the whole world was joining together for a book, and I was kind of sad that it would be the last time that ever happened.

Of course, at the time, I had only heard of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. I didn't have much interest in reading the saga, even though I had a few obsessed friends and everyone seemed to be talking about it. But, a month after I finished Harry Potter 7, I had a birthday, was given a gift certificate to a bookstore, and I bought the first one so I could finally see what all the hullabaloo was about.

I didn't like it, I'll admit. I was very underwhelmed...I think perhaps with all the hype, I expected to be transfigured on the spot. However, I knew it was her first book, and the story was intriguing, so a few months later I got around to reading the next two installments. Still didn't like them much, but I can see why people do. (My reasons for not liking the series are varied and many, if you want to know, ask me.)

I actually did go to a midnight release party the other night for Breaking Dawn. I went with my Twilight obsessed fanatical sister-in-law, and it was fun. Even if I basically failed the extremely difficult quiz they made us take. Anyway, I caved and bought the book. (Again, if you want to know what I thought....ask. All I'll say here, is that I sincerely hope that we don't have that awful name on the top ten list next year.)

Again, I've been seeing it everywhere. On blogs, of course. I've been hearing my young women talk about it, eavesdropping on random people in the store discussing it and seeing it analyzed to death on message boards. I even saw a couple people with it at the play I went to see on Saturday afternoon. And I still think it's so fun to have the world come together over a book.

Maybe we really can achieve world peace. At least, maybe we could if JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer were writing the treaty.


  1. LOL -- I would love to hear your thoughts and reasons sometime. :) And I agree -- like the book or not, it is cool to be a part of something that involves *so* many people.

  2. I have been curious about this book too (like you said, because of all the hullabaloo). But I've sworn off anything with vampires and the like--written by a church member or not.

  3. I have been having fun reading the books. It is fun having people join in the fun.

  4. Have you finished it yet? A few people that have told me they bought it (and it just came out Saturday, right?) were done by this morning. Fast, fast readers out there. I'll read it when I can borrow a copy. I'm very curious about what happens.

  5. Yes...I finished it this morning. Plus, I didn't even read most of Saturday because I was so busy! I got most of my reading done yesterday (Sunday).

  6. That is so funny. I have not read any of the Harry Potter or the twilight series, but I agree it is interesting to see everyone reading them. I have many friends that went to release parties, and are reading it, as well as I saw women all over today with their copies.

  7. I think this is the first time commenting :) The book brought me out of lurking haha.

    It is so wonderful to see another series have this much attention! I started reading them in May- well I read the first three in about 2 days each...haha I really enjoyed them :)

    A group of us went to the release party too, I think we were the only mommy group there ;) and we had cute shirts made too ;) haha I started reading the book at about 11am and was done by 2am the next morning ;) I would love to hear your opinions on the book :) Just curious, since I haven't heard of anyone who hasn't liked it. :)

  8. My mom didn't like the books either, so that makes two of you anyway! I'm actually only a few chapters in the last one. I'm going to take my time if I can! I am very curious to your thoughts on all the books (just give me a couple days to finish). That would make a fun post sometime!

  9. This last one has some weird stuff in it and I'm not totally comfortable reading it. I'm about 1/4 done. It's definately NOT one I'd let my teenage daughter read (if she were teenage!) though.

    I think it's a good book - in a lose your mind for a few minutes at a time and ignore reality kind of way, but not one that I am prone to gush over.

    Of course, I didn't like Harry Potter either. . .does that just make me weird?!

  10. Hahaa....
    Weird that she's gone all sexual on us.
    Annoyingly weird.
    Perhaps I won't read it.
    And perhaps pigs will fly...

  11. Sigh...I wanted to hate it...I wanted to love it...I'm on the fence still after finishing it 2 days ago. I can't say I loved BD as much as I loved the way HP7 ended...but then again, it's hard to compare.

    I'm left shaking my head not really sure how to feel. As much as I loved the first 3 books and counted down the days till book 4 came out...I'm just left a little let down.

  12. Lara-
    It sounds like inquiring minds want to know why on earth you don't like Meyer's book series. :) To be honest, I'm not head-over-heels for the series either. I liked the first three books okay- they were entertaining, fast reads with lots of dialouge which I love. But I tend to not like fantasy/sci-fi books. (My ultra-literal brain will not turn off in order for me to enjoy them.)
    I agree though, it's cool that books like Harry Potter and the Twilight series have gotten people reading who don't normally do so.

  13. I hope I get through my homework this week soon enough to get a chance to read it. My kids have enjoyed it and have been reading all week. I hope I enjoy it.

  14. My family and I loved this series and are actually looking forward to the movie release in Dec. Of course only my two teenagers and myself have read them because I don't think they are appropriate for my younger children that could have nightmares.

    I along with others are curious to find out why you don't like the books.

    Speaking of reading that's what I'm going to do....only have 6 more chapters to go.

  15. I haven't read ANY of the books... but am I understanding this right.... did this author go a little sexy on us? Not the good Mormon stay at home Mom. **eye-roll**

  16. I haven't read any. Never say never... I might eventually. But although I know hundreds of people who love it, not one person has given me a single reason that has caught my attention enough to go out and read it. *shrug*

    HP though... now that was good reading.

  17. Ok, so I felt the same way about HP last summer. We were all at my Moms in Mesa. I had my copy, she and my sister also had their copies and Joseph had the audio book. We were all squirreled away in corners reading like mad. The kids kept bugging us to come and play, but we wouldn't so basically for 2 days the kids had free reign in Grandma's house. My eight year old neice announced one night at dinner that we all should slow down and not finish too fast because there wasn't going to be another book coming out and we should make it last as long as possible. But I still re-read or re-listen to all of the HPs every summer....When we all finished with book seven, my sister said, "Now what do we have to look forward too, no more Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and no more Harry Potter!!"

    Now, as for Twighlight, I have been debating and debating if I should invest my time here. I see it's for sale even at the grocery store now. Why didn't you like it? I'm trying to get opinions here, because if I'm going to read it, I'm not going to wait for 15 other people to finish the library's copy.

  18. I hated it! I mean, how much of a cop out can you write? Cmoe to AZ and we'll do lunch and dish!

  19. I feel exactly the same way about the Twilight series! I've only read the first one though. As I was reading, I kept thinking how unrealistic the story was, but I could see why it's become to popular!


  20. I have heard about this series but haven't read it. I would love to know you thoughts on it.