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| Books |

A Harry Situation

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My shameless procrastinating ways have caught up to me at last. When I went into the Old Town Borders Books & Music a few weeks ago to reserve my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I was told I could do so, but with no guarantee that I'd receive the book at midnight tonight. Which meant I could go to any number of the crazy Borders release parties, featuring movie screenings, costume contests and, in the case of the Borders at Preston Road and Royal Lane, a double-decker bus and the promise of a horse-drawn carriage ride -- but I wouldn't necessarily get a copy of the 784-page conclusion to the series. (Speaking of, Gawker has perhaps the world's greatest Potter party-planning item ever.)

This is made doubly embarrassing because, as I told you in our very own Night and Day section this week, we are poised at a unique time in history. If I may quote myself, and I daresay I can: "You have the opportunity to be among the first people in history to find out how the story ends. Don't waste it by waiting in line for your copy at Wal-Mart."

Well, I'm going to be wasting it by waiting in line at Kroger.

I'm figuring grocery stores will be among the least populated with throngs of raving Harry fans, and I'm really just interested in getting my book as soon as possible and finishing it before I have to go out in public again Saturday night. I'd love to stay in and be a hermit, leisurely reading the thing all weekend. Unfortunately, the only thing in this world that I love more than Harry Potter is stand-up comedy, and I'm performing at 7 p.m. at the Backdoor Comedy Club tomorrow night. (For more on "shameless procrastinator pulls off shameless plug," please see page 6.) And so it is imperative that, in an all-night blaze of voratious Harry consumption, I finish the novel before venturing out into the world, lest someone spoil the conclusion.

We'll have a full report for you on Monday morning -- stories from the Borders front lines, tales of my own hours spent waiting among cherry tomatoes and boxes of Kashi -- and, I hope, a lively discussion about how Snape is innocent, Harry is alive and Ginny Weasley is pregnant with their perfect wizard baby. Till then, we hear at the Barnes & Noble in Preston Royal, there's a lone wizard already waiting in line. Hope he's not looking to kill the next 10 hours by playing with his wand. --Andrea Grimes

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