After Harry Potter

No, it hasn’t taken me this long to get through Harry Potter. They took me about 10 days. The interim, however, has been filled with actual gainful employment, which is a nice change. Even better, it’s gainful employment that I actually really enjoy. And even better than that, I don’t have to be there at 8 in the morning. If only there were sports involved…then it would be my perfect job.

But…the style of the job is really suited to how I work. It’s a research and editing position, so I look at three or four different projects every day. And unlike with the last editing job I had where they were all governmental audit reports, they vary hugely. Today I learned about mining gold in South Africa. And about how the financial industry is changing and growing in the face of increased globalization. And a cult. I also knew where Ardnamurchan Point is specifically because I’m wired for this kind of random new things type of work. I fact check and edit everything and then I move on to the next thing and learn something else. It’s very cool.

Between the job, the trips out to see my best friend before the summer ends and we have to give up our weekends of swimming, beer and boats, the earthquake and the hurricane, it’s been a little busy. And I just haven’t quite figured out how to process these random things I’m learning at work into lessons here.

I’ll get to it.

You’ll have to excuse the interruption…

…I have recently come to understand how people become drug addicts. Don’t worry, I haven’t suddenly developed a taste for heroin or anything; I’m simply undertaking the literary equivalent of smoking crack.

Some of my best friends, including my old college roommate and my closest friend from the year I spent in Eastern Europe, have been telling me for years and years that I need to read Harry Potter and for years and years I haven’t done it. This is less because I have something against the series* and more because I’ve never really been drawn to fantasy (or sci-fi, for that matter). Literally the only fantasy books I’ve ever read are Tolkien and T.H. White and I can count them on one hand.** But a friend with a copy finally wore me down and convinced me to give the first book a go.

As it happens, I’m suffering through my quarterly bout of insomnia, so the timing has been pretty good for the Harry Potter series to be given a spin. After trying, and failing, to fall asleep on Friday, I plowed through the entirety of the first book. Good stuff! And then spent the entire weekend trying to figure out where I was going to get my hands on a copy of the second. I considered just buying a copy before a friend (who lives more than halfway across the country and has never lived in the city I live in) reminded me on Sunday that “don’t you have a library four blocks from your house?” I do. I’m an idiot. In any event, I’ve proceeded to go through the second, third and fourth books in the last three days. A trip to the library to secure the fifth and sixth books is in order tomorrow. I suspect they’ll take longer to read. The books have been getting increasingly long.***

In any event, I’m really looking forward to more of the Weasley twins, whom my friends have assured me play a more prominent role in the next two books. They’re my favourites!

Between the reading and the busy weekend I’ve got coming at me — which will involve being interviewed for a friend’s psych paper, free sushi, an afternoon/evening/night out on the water with my best friend, and potentially an evening of pub quiz on Sunday — there’s not going to be a lot of time for posts. I’ll get you back to your regular programming when I get through book seven.

*Unlike Twilight which I adamantly refuse to read on the grounds that it’s atrocious writing and somehow romanticizes abusive and stalker-ish relationships. There’s a really brilliant blog about those very complaints called Reasoning With Vampires that I cannot get enough of. The author calls it a “brain orgy of snark”, which is spot on.

**The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (which you can count as one or three…doesn’t make a difference) and The Once and Future King.

***The first book was 230 pages, the second was 340, the third was 435 and the fourth was 735. I suspect the fifth will also be bordering on “Russian”. Because that’s a measurable length for a book in my world. Speaking of which, I’m still only 300 pages into War and Peace. If only it weren’t 1300 pages of tiny print…and the war parts weren’t so freaking tedious. I’m a girl who tends to like a good literary war, but this just reads like a military history text, no doubt because it kind of is. All the politics and social climbing and stuff happening in Moscow and environs is great, but as soon as I get to the parts about troop movements, I lose interest.