"... “It’s good that America reads ..."
By Frances Reade
The parties at Borders may have been bigger and ritzier, but we decided to check out Modern Times bookstore’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release party on Friday night. (It’s closest to my house, plus I have a strict policy of only entering Borders in order to shoplift The Economist, which I simply do not have time to read this week).
We arrived at 11:30 p.m. to find the cookies nearly all devoured, the free fake wizard beards in short supply, and the clean and well-lighted Modern Times comfortably filled with adults (and one ten-year-old boy who was enthusiastically helping with book distribution).
“It’s good that America reads,” pronounced my friend Sandy, before adjusting her wizard beard and taking a slug off something in a brown paper bag. She then noted that she is not a fan of Harry Potter.
Brendan Lee, Liam Pierce, and Liam Aiello, on the other hand, seemed entirely enthusiastic (and sober) as they proudly showed off their brooms (a Swiffer™, in Aiello’s case). I asked who they thought would bite it at the end of the book. Lee predicted Snape would die; Pierce offered a complicated theory involving Dumbledore returning to life only to be murdered again; and Aiello, in keeping with his unorthodox choice of a disposable power mop as Quiddich vehicle, said sadly, “Hagrid. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s just his time.”
Someone yelled “it’s almost time!” and a spontaneous New Year’s Eve-style countdown began, then the line towards the books surged along—Modern Times had everyone pre-pay, then line up again to get their copy. Taylor Myers of Suffern, NY. found herself in town this week, and came with her mother to the Modern Times party after reading “in some free paper” that it would be the best party in town. “All my friends in New York got it three hours ago,” she said, clutching her copy ofDeathly Hallows and sounding a bit despondent. “I turned off my phone so no one can call me and spoil it.” She ventured a guess that the Weasley parents would get sacrificed.
The evening’s best prediction came from a couple I met a few blocks up Valencia, after everyone had dispersed. The woman was in full wizard regalia, carrying her new copy of the book. I asked who she thought might get whacked, and as she pondered, her husband answered decisively, “Bush.”
I’ll drink (mead) to that.