Yes, I am preparing for the arrival of Harry and those Deathly Hallows. Although the movies are generally a fine accompaniment to popcorn on a Saturday night, I have always gotten much more enjoyment out of the books than the films. There's nothing like getting engrossed in the print version and losing hours in hundreds of pages, being unable to put the damn book down despite the 800-odd pages weighting my forearms into cramps.
The plan was for the girlfriend to run out at the crack of 8:00 Saturday morning to buy an armful of copies from Target, since they'll be on super-sale there and should be amply stocked. Then the houseful of females--me, the girlfriend, her kid, our former semi-housemate--were going to sequester ourselves and read all day, fortified by food from El Molinito. However, another friend needs help moving, so I will miss the first part of the readingfest. It's okay. I read pretty fast and can probably catch up by the end of the day Sunday, so hopefully we will all find out simultaneously whether Harry lives or dies.
Boltgirl predicts: Harry won't die. That would kill the eternal prospects of the franchise, and JK Rowling ain't stupid. I will be very interested to see how she wrangles it if she's decided to redeem Snape at the end. If Hermione or Ron die I will be seriously pissed.
The other book release I'm looking forward to even more than Harry is First Among Sequels, the next Thursday Next novel from Jasper Fforde. If you liked high school English even just a little bit, or have rediscovered British and American classics now that you're a grownup, the series is required reading. I want to be Jasper Fforde. Actually, I want to be Thursday Next. Or date Thursday Next. The writing is crisp and so incredibly, impossibly clever. Anyway, the next Next comes out on July 24, and I'm grooving into it without even a smidgen of the stress surrounding Harry. No worries about some git shouting out the ending on the way into Borders, no hopping around biting my fingers waiting for the rest of the household to get to the part I just read that desperately needs discussing. Just me and Thursday and, probably, a bottle of wine to accompany me on frequent runs into my library to look up literary references that escape me.
Bring it on. My eyeballs are warmed up and ready to go.