There’s a spot on my bookcases waiting for its occupant to arrive, to take its place alongside six which came before.

By way of a google.com search, looking for a copy of Andrei Codrescu’s “Introduction” to John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces,” I stumbled across a Web site that wouldn’t let me go.

This book lover’s site had open threads for reader comments – categories such as favorite books, the book I always intended to read, books I could not bring myself to finish.

On the site was a formula of sorts: multiply the number of books you read in a week by 52, then multiply the result by the number of years since you first began to read.

By that calculation, I must have read 9,360 books, give or take a few.

By the same formula, I might be able to get in a few thousand more in my lifetime.

I cannot shake the feeling, though, to paraphrase David Letterman’s remark about movies, that “There’s just too damn many books.”

So, which book or, in this case, author would I recommend for sheer reading pleasure, for escape into the world of a magical and masterful imagination?

The Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling.

I read her first three books, then listened to the next three on Talking Books for the Blind. Although I could no longer see to read them, I kept adding to my bookcase.

Rowling’s seventh and final book in the series will be released on 21 July, and I’ve already preordered it online.

Seems a little silly I suppose, but I just keep buying books!

Amazon.com announced yesterday that 1 million copies of Rowling’s seventh book have been preordered. Barnes and Noble reported in April prerelease sales of 500,000, the most in its history for a single book. LINK

There have been other stories of the small and seemingly insignificant overcoming the forces of evil.

David slew Goliath. The hobbit Frodo freed Middle Earth from the destructive minions of Mordor. Childhood losers Bill, Mike, Ben, Eddie, Ritchie and Beverly came together as adults, after the death of their pal Stan, to kill “IT!” in my favorite Stephen King book.

None so capture the imagination as do the friends and foes, the gadgets and games, the potions and portals, the creatures and witchcraft that fill the school days of the kid with the funny glasses and the lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Is there any place on the planet or under the heavens where I can avoid hearing all about the final days at Hogwarts in the monhths BEFORE the book comes out on tapes for the blind?


Book I: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Book II: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book III: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Book IV: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Book V: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Book VI: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Book VII: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Anonymous said...

When last Frodo was challenged to pursue great works he was directed to Victor Hugo and J.R.R. Tolkien. Since that time he pledged himself to read "one book by everybody." Please Avatar, pick thee thy favorite so that Frodo can absorb "Seven at one blow."

Sir Cumspect said...

Mr. Frodo! Because you made me “Merry of the Fellowship” and because a friend gave me the books on tape for Christmas, I finally got through Tolkien from “The Hobbit” to LOTR to the history of Middle Earth which followed.

A laborious effort not unlike reading Homer!

And you whining about seven easy reads! :-)

OK, here’s one: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” That’s a start.

There is more to these books than what little kids stand in line at movie theatres for! BJ

Anonymous said...

My book has been preordered from B&N for a long time. July seems a long way in the future when it comes to our favorite sorcerer. The Muggles around me think I'm going to burn in hell for reading about witchcraft and magic.

But they think the "Left Behind" series are as sacred as the bible. DuuuuH! Both are about the battle of good VS evil.

Steven Wldman did a great comparison of the two. If you care to read it, go to this link!

Happy Reading,

Anonymous said...

Here is the link comparing the Harry Potter series to the Left Behind series: