Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One good thing to come out of it ...

Kristina in Ohio, it’s funny you mentioned how you love to read, but you’ve simply never gotten into Harry Potter. I can tell you that I used to feel the exact same way. I wasn’t ANTI Harry Potter, I just couldn’t imagine what all the fuss was about. A boy? Who becomes a wizard? Or warlock? Or something like that? Whatever. I watched Bewitched when I was little, I can’t imagine it’s much different than that.

Sci-fi, which is what I assumed it was, has never held my interest. Even now, as much as I love HP, I have no desire to read LOTR, or anything else in the fantasy genre … Star Wars, Star Trek (yawn). I’m so uninterested, that I can’t even think of any other examples. I’m not saying they’re not good, so all you Tolkien-loving readers out there don’t slam me. I’m just saying it’s not the genre for me. Except for totally-hot-Jamie and Claire and the Outlander series, which is more in the fantasy-adventure-historical-romance category than the sci-fi category.

Anyway, back when Kendrie was on treatment, near the beginning, we had a day of specific chemo scheduled for the clinic and I had written it down wrong. I thought it was going to be one of the quick days, in and out, when really, she needed a chemo infusion. Which meant we would be there for hours, she would be pre-medicated, and would sleep through the whole thing. Probably just as good, since I was ill-prepared and had brought NOTHING -- no snacks, no drinks, no pillow, no blanket, no stuffed animal, no games, no dvd player, and nothing to read for me or her. This was back at the beginning of her treatment, before the new Scottish Rite clinic was built and before patients got their transfusions in private rooms (and parents could stretch out and sleep right alongside them, not that I would know anything about that, ahem.)

So there my four-year old lay in her stroller because patients didn’t have their own beds or chairs or tables, hooked up to her chemotherapy IV, and sleeping off the Benadryl and Tylenol. And there I sat in a chair … twiddling my thumbs … with four or five very long, very tedious hours stretching out in front of me. Bored out of my mind already, and needing to be quiet so she could sleep, I wandered over to the rolling library cart to check out what books might be available. Unfortunately, since the cart is intended for patient use, my choices were somewhat limited to those along the lines of Berenstain bears, Biscuit Goes to the City, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I rolled my eyes and groaned inwardly … how on earth was I going to pass the entire afternoon without going insane with boredom??

Then, I saw a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the cart. I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? This is all they have? What about the poor teenagers who are treated here, what on earth do THEY read?” But I figured if it was HP1 or nothing, at least it might pass some of the time.

So I sat back down in the chair, propped my feet up, opened the book …. Read the first few chapters …. And that was all it took. I have been a bona fide HP fan ever since.

I didn’t have time to finish the book that afternoon before Kendrie woke up and we finished up her chemo appointment. So I, uh, “borrowed” the book from the library cart and brought it home with me. I don’t even remember where JK Rowling was in the series when I started …. Fall of 2003 …. But I know I whipped through the first several books as quick as I could get to Target to buy them.

And wondered, why on earth had I waited so long? This Harry Potter kid totally rocks! And yes, I might be 40 years old, but secretly I wish I had gone to Hogwarts.

So I guess if I’m being even more honest, I have leukemia to thank for introducing me to Harry and Ron and Hermoine. It’s one good thing to come out of it, because I doubt I would ever have read them otherwise. I’d probably be sitting back, snorting under my breath in my snobby way at all the weirdo-s who were so obsessed with the 7th and final book just released, instead of being the obsessed weirdo that I am today.

PS. So, considering I couldn’t have been more wrong about HP, should I give LOTR a shot?

PPS. Yes, I returned the book at our next visit, just in case you were wondering.

PPSS. So if you’re still reading, you must be a true HP fan. In which case, go here: The Escapist.
And read all the way to the end, including pictures. This site was referred to me a few years ago by a friend, and it is just as stinking funny now as it was then.. Ha!

Still laughing!

PPPSS. If you're not a HP fan, don't despair. I promise to shut my yap about it already.

Done now.

Except still laughing at The Escapist --- ha!


Anonymous said...

Kristie, I didn't start reading the books until after I had taken my daughter to see the first movie. She had the books, but I had no interest. I've now read books 1-6 at least twice and finished book 7 withing 24 hours of getting it from the library. Yes, I bought my own copy, but it used to be tradition (when she still lived at home) to get a library copy and buy a copy and read at the same time. I'm proud to say I was number 16 on the hold list so I read that copy and returned it on Monday. Now I'm off to reread part of book 7 as I know there are things I already don't remember. There was so much going on at the end. I hope J.K. Rowling has a great idea for a new series. It was sad to see the HP series end. OK, a book I just wrote. Sorry! OK, not so much. Elaine in Lynnwood, WA.

Donna said...

Kristie, I haven't started HP yet, but plan to as my second grader gets into it.

I tried a couple of times to read The Hobbitt and have never gotten far, so I had low hopes for LOTR. Then I saw the movies and decided I wanted to try the books (and not just because they now had a picture of Viggo Mortenson on them, really, not). I had always stumbled with Tolkien, but with the actors in my mind I was able to keep the characters and most of the story line straight. Like HP, I am sure, there are differences: characters that are never in the movie, things in the movie that aren't even alluded to in the book. I leave that argument to the purists though. I loved the LOTR movies AND the books! Now if somebody could make a better version of the Hobbitt, maybe I could get through that one too.

Cari in Mesa, AZ said...

Hi Kristie,

My HP fascination started somewhat like yours did(finally reading it because there was nothing else and I was bored out of my mind). I lived in NY,and was on my way home from my friends house. I had a long subway ride home, and had nothing to read. She told me she would lend me a copy of her HP book, and I declined. I thought it was a childrens book and how good could it really be. She kept persisting, so to shut her up I took the book. Totally not planning on reading it. After sitting on the subway for about a half hour, I got bored so deciced to read it. OMG, after the first few chanpters I was hooked!! That was about 7 years ago. For 7 years I have tried to get my husband to read them, but he wouldn't. Then about 3 week ago, he found out his really good friend reads them and loves them. That's all it took, for Paul to like them. Forget what I had been telling him. He is on book 4 and can't wait to finish the series. Now that I know the ending, I want to go back and read them all over. See if I see things differently now.

Sorry for the LONG story!


Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie! I haven't read any of the HP books ... my excuse *was* that I am not into Sci-fi or fantasy ... but many people are telling me that I should give it a shot. I've been reading books faster than I've been consuming diet Dew (equivalent to your DP addiction) so I'm sure I will have time to try HP before I head back to teaching in August. If anyone needs any good book recs you should try anything written by Stephen White or Tess Gerritsen! Try "Warning Signs", "Body Double" or "Vanish".

Here's a random question for you (yes, I'm bored!) : Why are there interstates in Hawaii?

Jen in Texas

Tracy'sspace said...

I enjoyed the movies, but havent read the books yet, mainly because I am plowing through Robert Jordans Wheel of Time series, and cant do 2 series at a time! Definitely, though, you must read LOTR!

Mrs. Who said...

Oh, My GOD - another Jamie and Claire fan! I adore those books. I keep thinking another one will come out soon, since she always kind of leaves things up in the air.

About HP - love them. I'm an elementary school librarian, so I read all kind of kid books, but these are truly wonderful. I just finished the last one and it is truly the best one of the series. Loved everything about it.

About Tolkien - forget it. Seriously. I loved the movies but the books are just too long, too complicated, too draggy, way too many characters. And I am an avid reader who, honestly, can keep up with lots of characters!

And, last, I loved reading about your Alaska trip. That was our very favorite cruise and we want to go back someday and go more inland, especially to Denali Park.

Deb in Florida said...

Definately give the LOTR a try. Like Donna said, the movies help. See the "The Fellowship" first. I used to rag on my husband for wanting to see those movies until I got a look at a blonde Orlando Bloom. Does he make a hot elf or what?

The first book can be a little tedious (with a totally boring character that took up a few chapters and was completely removed from the movie), but the 2nd two go faster and are worth the time.

Anonymous said...

Loved LOTR, but read those first, then go back and read the Hobbit. It just so happens that I am rereading the Hobbit right now. I have also read the first HP book, but have not made time to read the others...3 kids, college and full time job means very little private, personal time. Hope you try LOTR.
Sandy in Edison, GA

The Running Girl said...

I was just like you in the beginning - I was not going to get caught up in all the hype and read these books about Harry Potter. (And I'm just like you in that I have not desire to read LOTR and I HATE Star Trek). But then my mom read the first book and loved it. She and I like a lot of the same books, so I borrowed her copy and read it. I was hooked. Unfortunately, the weekend and this week so far have been extremely hectic and I still have about 200 pages to go before I finish #7. Thanks for the "spoiler alert" warnings in your postings. I've had to skip those. I'll finish this weekend, though. Thank goodness.


Pam Doughty said...

I guess I must be odd; I loved The Hobbit and LOTR when I first read them, back in college (25 years ago--blah). I started reading Harry Potter back when I was hugely pregnant and on bed rest for high blood pressure. I loved the first few, but that darn menopausal thing IS true, and I find it hard to stay focused and wade through them now. I don't read anywhere near as much as I used to.
I do vote "yes" for LOTR (and Viggo Mortensen MORE than makes it worthwhile to watch the movies; Bloom isn't bad, but Viggo.. wow). I may have to go plug in an LOTR DVD... bbl!

Anonymous said...

Count me as another who had no interest in LOTR - I did read The Hobbit as a teenager, but was never able to get past that first book. I resisted HP for years, couldn't understand the hype - then one snowy week-end I had nothing to read so started the first one, read it in a day and in the week that followed ready 2-5. I am so sorry to see these end :(


Abbie said...

Well Kristie, I have to say that I'm still in the "sitting back, snorting under my breathe in a snobby way at all the weirdos" phase of Harry Potter. I have absolutely no desire. Zero. Zippo. Zilch. And if you ask me, no you should not start with LOTR because I'm sure it's just as ridiculous as HP. Of course I've not seen, read, or know anything about either so...take it for what you will.

I don't even think that a mind numbing afternoon in the hospital could break my "anti-Harry Potter-ness" being that I have Sudoku, Tetris, and solitaire downloaded on my phone which can easily provide HOURS of entertainment. I may, however, need my charger. What if my phone died? THAT, would be a problem. Would I pick up HP and actually start READING it?! Huh...that's a pickle.

That's all, happy Thursday. :)


Marci Connell said...

LOTR is a GREAT movie so I cant imagine the books being any less...For some reason the older I am getting(at 33) LOTR is my FAVORITE, the lion witch and the wardrobe is in there and i have been watching alittle HP on the movie channels. I might just get hooked. I bet if you read the LOTR or watched all the movies you would be majorly hooked, it is quite addicting like SONIC cherry cokes..

Love, Marci

Boringscreenname said...

I started reading HP when I was baby-sitting. I arrived several hours before the kids woke up so out of boredom I picked up the books.

I tried reading LOTR and it's just so dull. Tolkien gets into page long spiels about the trees, what they look like, who planted the trees and then their ancestry. He includes way too much detail and doesn't focus enough on the main plot in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie,
I too started reading HP due to boredom and the fact that I was too lazy to drag myself to the library. My daughter had received the book as a christmas present but isn't much of a reader, so I picked it up and read the whole thing in one sitting. I like your rule of no movie until you've read the book! Wish I thought of that. Like I said my daughter isn't much of a reader but she listens to the tapes of the books and loves them. It's the only way she can get through the books. We have attended parties for the release of the last three books and went to the book store at midnight to pick up our copies. I am so sad to see it end!! We have had so much fun preparing for each of the releases of both the movies and the books. I decided to reread book 5 before the movie came out and then moved on to book 6 before book 7. I couldn't believe how much I didn't remember. Now I've gone all the way back to book 1. I think my favorite was 3 but I guess we'll see when I've finished them all. Sorry for blabbing here and I hope your counter has gone up. I love your blog!!
Jean in MA

Shannon said...

I just finished Harry Potter today. Denintely on of the best books EVER and I am positive I will reread it (maybe as soon as next week!!!