Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Night I Bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I was in Park Slope, Brooklyn, at Down South, a music venue whose cavernous basement looks like a military bunker. My friend Bert, better known as Bob Foxx, was spinning his tunes in the shadows. And I remember creating a spectacle when I tripped on a bar stool and sent it crashing to the cement floor. Everyone thought I was drunk but, in actuality, I was just clumsy, ungraceful.

As midnight approached, I sat next to a girl I didn't know, a friend of Bert's sister. A few beers had left me buzzed and I'm not sure why I turned to her, but I did, I don't know when I'm going to get my Harry Potter book.

She clasped her hand to an open mouth, Holy s***, that's tonight.

I nodded and she looked at her watch, rose up from her seat, Well, come on. We've got to go get one. As if there were no other choice, as if, obviously, this was what we must do.

We left the bar abruptly and came up to the street then looked around, frazzled, trying to figure out where to go. My new Potter companion thought she knew an independent bookstore in the neighborhood and we wandered until we found it, this charming shop, so tiny it looked as if all of the books were spilling out of it. Bookshelves stacked to the ceiling. Towers of books on sturdy wooden tables.

I looked for the kids, the costumes. All of the chain stores were boasting massive parties, expecting lines to curl around the block. But, we were the only ones at this particular shop. They gave us cookies and milk, handed us the heavy book, with it's orange flame cover.

And so we left, victorious, descended into the underground bar. Our adventure was just a little rest stop before we continued on with the night. I remember that we caused quite a stir, the two of us with our hefty books. People were amused, some jealous, Where'd you get that? they asked and when we told them, they went on their way, returning with the book tucked under their arm.

I will always remember how strange and perfect that experience was. The night I got the final Harry Potter book.

In anticipation of the release of The Deathly Hallows Part II, check out some other bloggers talking about Potter this week:

Lisa Galek
Jennifer Daiker
Abby Minard
Michael Di Gesu
Laurel Garver
Renae Mercado
Colene Murphy


  1. I love this story! So random and fun and memorable.

  2. HA! What an awesome story! I love that you didn't have to wait in line AND got cookies! Epic night!

  3. What a great story! Definitely a memorable way to buy a copy of 'Harry Potter', you were very lucky to beat the queues.

  4. My copy of The Deathly Hallows came soon after my mother died.

    I read the last chapter of HP while sleeping in her house surrounded by memories.

  5. What a great story! We had unglamourously pre-ordered a copy on Amazon. My husband practically tacked the UPS guy to get his hands on the package when it arrived early that Saturday morning. We plopped our daughter in front of cartoons and hubby began reading aloud to me. Hobbit Girl was too young (and at nearly nine, still is too young for book 7).

  6. Love that story! I've never heard one like that yet. I was at work, and when I got home at 5:30, HP 7 was laying on my night table (with a new bookmark, too!) waiting for me to read it. My dad had pre-ordered it at Borders months ago, and he'd picked it up while I was at work to surprise me. It was a known rule that I got to read the HP books first! My parents eventually got me my own hardcover copies for Christmas that year, the last Christmas I was home before moving out. :)

  7. I'm sure that independent book store loved you! You even sent more customers their way. Such an awesome, awesome memory. Wonder what new one you'll create for the night you SAW Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part deux...

  8. Only in NYC would and indy book store be open at that hour.... I LOVE NY!

    Thanks for the info of the new park Melissa. I will definitely visit it my next time in the city.