The Surprise of Harry Potter

by Dorienne Smith

Lately, the news is scattered with articles about several copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix adrift on a type of HP “black market.” But, I am left to wonder, why true fans of the Harry Potter books would want to spoil the surprise for themselves?

Everyone who loves the books is breathlessly waiting for June 21 to come, bringing the world’s most anticipated book to anxious fans. As fans, the wait is extremely important to us. It gives us a chance to re-read the books as many times as we want and allows us the time to contemplate each character’s actions in the various situations in the books. When else would we have had the time to ponder Ron’s feelings for Hermione or sit back and think about what made Voldemort come for Lily and James if we didn’t have a few years to wait for the next book?

Through the lengthy wait, we can analyze, and in many cases over-analyze, events in the books, come up with our own ideas about what will happen in future books, and have the opportunity to truly fall in love with the characters. If Ms. Rowling had produced each book six months apart from one another, it would not only deprive us of the opportunity “study” the characters and events, but it would cheapen the overall effect of the books. So, one wonders why anyone would want to ruin his or her Harry Potter experience by reading the fifth book before the rest of the world. As trite as it sounds, the wait for that specific day makes us stronger and more in tune with the series.

Anyone trying to read the books ahead of time cannot be a true fan of the boy wizard’s adventures. A true fan of Harry Potter has been anticipating June 21 for months and knows exactly what he or she will be doing the previous night, whom he or she will be with when the clock strikes 12:01 a.m., and exactly what he or she will be wearing that night. The Harry Potter series is an experience, and the wait and the eventual surprises of the book are a part of that experience which will only be belittled by spoilers from those who read the book before the publishing date. If I came across an illegal copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I would immediately turn it in to the proper authorities. What right do I have to read what no one else in the world would be able to read until a month later? Where is it written that I should be the one to tell the world of Order of the Phoenix‘s surprises before its time? One must also make note that, with reading Harry Potter, discussions readily follow. Who would I discuss the book with, without ruining their Potter experience as well?

The Potter books make the world go ’round and, even though one might be throwing complete fits in the middle of the day because June 21 has still not come, you know you love the wait as well as the surprises that will come with the day marked on everyone’s calendar.