Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is being released to the general public at 12:01am midnight, 21 July 2007 (in case any of you have been living in the back of beyond for the last year . . . and I've taken so many orders for the book at Barnes & Noble that I had the ISBN number memorized (or at least, my fingers did) weeks ago. In spite of being a congenital non-joiner, I can't help being pleased: there's something insanely wonderful about the world getting so excited over a book.

At the little old Barnes & Noble in Holland, we're having a midnight party, like most bookstores. We'll be open until the last customer leaves in the wee small hours of the morning, and then return to do it all again starting at 8am Saturday. The only disappointment is that we aren't allowed to serve wine to the patrons as they wait in line.

I'm going to wear my grandfather's Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry collegiate sweatshirt, which until his death this spring he wore to every Hope-Calvin Basketball game with pride. On Saturday, once I've woken from my Harry Potter hangover, I'll be driving Grandma's copy of The Deathly Hallows out to South Shore personally. I'm sorry Grandpa won't be with us in person to see how the story comes to a close.

Pictures will be coming soon!

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