If you don’t already know what this post is about—just from the tittle, alone—then I’m sorry. Have you been living under a rock?
I’ll give you a hint: July 15th. It. All. Ends.
Have you guessed it, yet?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (if you’re not a fan, keep reading…I promise there’s some non-HP-related stuff, too)! After 7 incredible books and 7 incredible movies, we have one final piece until it’s over. Two weeks from now, I’ll be sitting at Studio on the Square, taking in the midnight showing, along with 8 to 10 of my friends. I’m so excited it’s ridiculous. And, yes. I’ve already bought my ticket (Okay, so reading those few sentence back, I do in fact realize how much of a 13 year old I sound like…but I’m completely okay with that, because seriously? It’s Harry Potter! Free pass).
It’s no secret that I love reading. I read extremely fast and I read a lot. With that in mind, I’m slightly ashamed to admit I joined the Harry Potter bandwagon a little late. While I’ve always been a fan of the movies, it was only last summer that I first cracked open one of J.K. Rowling’s books. Last year at the midnight screening of HP7, pt. 1, my friends continued to be surprised that of all people, I had yet to read them. But, see, it’s this thing I have about movies and their book versions—I have trouble reading the book after I’ve seen the movie. I have no problem seeing a movie after I’ve read the book. But when it’s the other way around, there’s just something about it that grates on me.
As a reader, I love reading about characters and conjuring up in my head how I imagine them to look like, sound like. Yes, the writer provides the details, but as a reader, you get to fill in all the holes. I like to be able to picture the clothes they’re wearing and the places they see and visit, the secondary people they interact with. I like to play the part of producer, set designer, art director, etc. Even when I watch a movie after reading its book counterpart, I enjoy being able to compare that vision to my own. I love to see the fruits of someone else’s imagination, to see how they interpreted the same story and details I read, but in their own, unique way.
But if I experience the movie first, that’s what I see when I read the book. It takes away from my experience. I’m no longer imagining my own settings and wardrobes…I’m seeing the picture that was already created for me. I’m seeing the actors as the characters I read, instead of imagining the characters on my own. Also, I’m a firm believer that in the majority of the case, the books are better than the movies. And I like reading the better version, with all the details, before diving into a movie where, inevitably, some things must be left out.
So why did I finally cave and read Harry Potter? Well, honestly, I was kind of sick of my friends bugging the shit out of me to stop being lazy and read the books because I was so missing out, blah, blah. My verdict? Thank God they bugged me. J.K. Rowling is a genius. The books are So. Ridiculously. Amazing. Also, due to the depth Rowling went to in her writing, there were still some parts here and there that hadn’t made their way into the movies, so I was able to add in my own bits and pieces of imagination. It took me barely 2 weeks to get thru all 7 books—4,100 pages (that’s close to 300 pages a day for those who don’t do math).
So with two weeks to go until the last movie, I’ve been extremely tempted to re-read the entire series to brush up on everything before It. All. Ends. It’s obviously possible since I’ve done it before. But last year, during those two weeks, I literally ate, breathed and slept Harry Potter. I was completely engrossed in the magical little world J.K. Rowling had created. This year, I simply don’t have the time to devote to getting through all 4,100 pages again in a mere 14 days. I’ll have to be satisfied with simply re-watching movies 1 thru 7 (1 thru 4 down, 5,6 & 7 to go).
Besides, I have a LONG reading list at the moment. Due to the fact I plan on having my own personal library room in my house someday, I buy all my books. Lately? I’ve bought a lot of books that I haven’t quite had the chance to read. One of the greatest pieces of advice for writers I’ve ever seen came from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, where he talks about how important it is for aspiring writers to read everything they can get their hands on. With how busy I’ve been recently, I haven’t had time to read any of the everything I can get my hands on. It’s starting to pile up:
(Yes, that is my cat, Mulligan, photo-bombing my picture) I’m currently reading Dean Koontz’s What the Night Knows, but it’s taking me unusually forever. I have less than 100 pages left and then it’s on to Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, the two I’m most excited about on my list. Really, I’m excited about all of them and am hoping to get more than half of them knocked out by the end of July. You can check back at the top right of this blog to see which book I’m on or head on over to my profile on Goodreads (a great site my friend Christine told me about to help you organize things you’re reading, as well as your wish list of everything you want to read).
So, all in all, this month is going to be pretty busy. I’ve got my job, Harry Potter, a long reading list, apartment hunting with my sister and finishing my novel. Oh, and a blog post here and there 🙂
– lindsey archer
Next up – a short re-cap of my recent girls night and how my two best friends were disappointed with my response to a flirtatious #25 from the Nashville Sounds