My friend and I stood in line for the “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” by J.K Rowlings. Well, not quite. We went over to Borders at Santana Row three hours before release of the newest and final Harry Potter novel. No lines other than a short line to confirm the reservation for the book and get a wristband for the midnight madness. Masking tape on the floor outlined the line to cash register, starting at the romance paperbacks, running through the aisles of horror, science fiction and fantasy paperbacks, and the last mile loaded with Harry Potter merchandise.
The upstairs seem normal enough as we made our counter-clockwise prowl of the floor. The children department had way too many young schoolgirls for a Friday night. When we got into the nook and crannies of the computer department, where young couples try to make out, we find witches, wizards and more schoolgirls. The line outside has grown longer when we left. I’m glad no one mistaken me for Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogswarts gamekeeper, because of my long beard. The last thing I needed was a bunch of schoolgirls chasing me down the street.
We drove briefly by the Barnes & Noble store on Steven Creek Boulevard to check out the Harry Potter line over there. We found a Harry Potter party for the kids inside the children department. The last time we drove by was when Bill Clinton was signing his memoirs in June 2004. Traffic was a mess with the Secret Service vehicles and the Clinton limo trying to get out of the parking lot that night. Bill and Hillary stepped out to wave to everyone for five minutes before the traffic jam cleared up and the motorcade departed. We were three cars away from the former first couple. The closest I ever came to a president was a quarter-mile from George H.W. Bush in San Francisco when my father and I drove home from our construction jobs just hours before the Loma Prieta earthquake.
I never got caught up in the Harry Potter craze enough to read the books. I saw the movies that I thought they were all entertaining even if I didn’t understand some of the details. I been reading too many other books series in recent years, including Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” (seven books), Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” (eight books), Kim Harrison’s “Hollows” (four books), E.E. Knight’s “Vampire Earth” (four books), Karen Traviss’s “Wess’har Wars” (five books), and various re-readings of fantasy classics from David Eddings (16 books) and Terry Brooks (six books). Now that the last Harry Potter book is out, I’ll wait until the paperbacks for all seven books come out for Christmas (hint, hint) before I start reading that series.