A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Monday, July 16, 2007

Harry Potter Harry Potter Harry Potter Harry Potter Ohboyohboyohboy!

Okay, now, I've been having this discussion for a few days now with some of my friends, since I am SUCH a complete dork that when I think of the second I get the 7th Harry Potter book in my hands I start getting all twitchy and breathing heavily and wonder how I can tell my darling and adorable children that there are cans of Spaghetti-Os in the pantry and please no one bleed or break anything until Mommy finishes her book-- yes, that's how geeky I am. So here's my question for you:

Would you consider turning to the last page first and finding out the ending before you actually read the book?

And by the way, I'm not going to say right now what I'd do, but let me just make clear that there will be no spoilers divulged on this blog or in the comments by anyone, hear?

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At 7/16/07, 10:49 AM, Blogger oddpodz said...

Ms. Cornelius,

Thanks for your great insightful comment on our blog.

I'm worried about our economy based on the lack of attention to science, too.

You might find this article interesting. This man is trying to reinvigorate science and technology innovation in the US. I hope he's successful!

At 7/16/07, 12:20 PM, Blogger Ms. George said...

I'm torn! Usually, I am not the sort to turn to the end. I prefer to savor my way through a book. This one will be hard though. I want to believe Harry will live, but I don't see how I can read it through without spoilers. I am planning on avoiding all forms of media, except to buy the Sunday NY Times for a few weeks to read the review (by the time it is published I'll be finished).
I do like your spagetti-o's and bleeding-ban, though!
The offspring and I will be at our local shop for the midnight release, what about you?

At 7/16/07, 12:31 PM, Blogger The Bouldins said...

Absolutely. It's how I read nearly every book unless I've been specifically instructed not to do so. Actually, my usual method involves reading the first few chapters to meet the characters, then reading the last few chapters to see how the book ends, then I read a few chapters before the last few chapters, etc. and work my way backwards through the book. This time I already know the characters and can skip my first step!

And my husband has already been informed that he is completely and totally in charge of the baby that day ... including poopy diapers.

At 7/16/07, 4:28 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

Ms. Cornelius, there is no way in HELL that I would EVER turn to the last page to find out how it ends. I don't peek in the closet for Christmas presents and I don't want to know how a book ends before I've gotten to the actual end. That's just me.

Strangely, however, I DO love trailers and previews. My husband will stick his fingers in his ears and sing "lalalalalalalala!!" when a preview comes on, but I love them. Still, don't tell me how it ends - and I won't peek.

At 7/16/07, 7:25 PM, Blogger 100 Farmers said...

No, no, no, no.

At 7/16/07, 8:03 PM, Blogger Ruth said...

No!! That's just wrong.

I have a student who always reads that way - last page first. I try not to make pronouncements about it, especially as she's one of my compulsive readers, so I don't want to mess with her habits!

At 7/16/07, 10:34 PM, Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

You'll delete all potentially "spoiling" comments, right? I don't want anyone to ruin the ending for me!

At 7/17/07, 11:24 AM, Blogger Jess said...

No, I won't read the end first. Part of the experience, for me, is the journey, and it's not nearly so engrossing when there's a part of me trying to figure out HOW the book goes from where I am at that point to the end that I already know. Nah...if I'm paying full price for a hardback, I'm getting my $$ out of that first reading!!

who loves Half Price Books because she can buy twice as many

At 7/17/07, 3:02 PM, Blogger Goldie said...

I might - that's how I read most books. Makes no difference to me. I'm more interested in how the book plays out and how the author got from the beginning to the ending. I know, I'm a sick, twisted person and should probably be committed.

At 7/17/07, 5:27 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

Many times I will peek- especially with a mystery or something that isn't moving along as quickly as I would like. But with Harry Potter, I have a strict "no peeking" policy.

At 7/17/07, 10:55 PM, Blogger Mister Teacher said...

Abso-fricking-lutely NOT!!!

I too enjoy watching previews, scenes from next week, etc. but when it comes to books, I don't think I've EVER flipped to the end to see what would happen. Unless I'm just plain bored with the book and I want to be done with it.

But as for Harry Potter, it's not just the end that I care about. I won't go into too much speculation here, in case it's viewed as spoilers, but I'll be posting something on my blog tomorrow, inspired by your post today.

At 7/18/07, 12:15 PM, Blogger ms. whatsit said...

I quite often read the very last page -- and the last page only -- of book before I read the first. Since the last page doesn't tell the whole story, it never ruins the book for me.

At 7/18/07, 4:07 PM, Blogger The MAN Fan Club said...

Sad to say I am not much of a reader although I teach elementary school. Haven't picked up a Potter book yet. Would not read the last page though.

At 7/18/07, 4:23 PM, Blogger EHT said...

I would most certainly turn to the last chapter and get the suspense out of the way. Then begin at the beginning in order to enjoy the journey to the conclusion.

I know how the American Revolution ends, but it doesn't keep me from learning more about the details that got us to the events of Yorktown.

I can't wait to get my hands on the book.

At 7/19/07, 12:10 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

no, no, no, no. No, no, no. I will be tempted, but I resisted with the 6th book (and ended up sobbing in the car on the way to a dinner party as a result..talk about bad timing! I walk into the party, and my SO has to go around explaining that I was so upset because "Dumbledore didn't make it.").

At 7/19/07, 9:54 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Okay-- so here's my opinion:

Oh, hell no.

I will speed read through the first time. Then gio back and savor the second time. But I will not flip to the end. It is inconceivable!

And yes, no one better post spoilers here. They shall be cast into the outer darkness where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, CTG!

At 7/22/07, 8:57 AM, Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

Sometimes, especially with thrillers, I do tend to look at the last page....but this one I won't. I want to be surprised. Although part of me is dreading it as the chapters I've already read (mine arrived yesterday) are so dark...

At 7/22/07, 8:06 PM, Blogger Ms. Q said...

My mom reads that way--she will read the first few chapters, then the last few and continue through the rest of the book. I never understood. Suspense is the whole point. Those of us who have been following Harry since his eleventh birthday have built up years and years worth of anticipation. I couldn't spoil it before I had even started. BTW --no spoiler-- but I was out of town for a week and was afraid we would not make it back before UPS tried to deliver on Saturday. But, luck was on our side and we beat him home. I got the book just before noon and read through the rest of the day--finishing at about 11 pm (I actually ended up falling asleep for two hours!! with the book open on my lap, and my daughter felt it necessary to take a picture and send it to my mom & bro). It had been a long and busy trip--didn't realize I was so tired. To all who have not read it--happy reading!

At 7/23/07, 12:22 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I finished mine, but it took longer since I am taking care of my mom after surgery and had some big stuff to do at church.

But let me say this: When my mother asked me how many pages were in it, I made my daughter read the last page number so I wouldn't see the last page before I got there the hard way.

I loved this book. I am going to seriously miss this series. I am almost in mourning, and yet jubilant at the same time. Weird.

At 7/24/07, 11:04 PM, Blogger Sam said...

No - I would NOT read the last page, and NO, I DID not read the last page. Had I done so, it would not have told me anything, anyway, because J.K. Rowling is far too smart to allow that to happen, isn't she?

I loved each and every book in this series, and I think I'm going to go back and read them all again from the beginning because I can't accept that it's over! Thank goodness there are two more movies to come. Now, if my husband or daughter would just finish this book so I can have SOMEONE to talk to about the whole thing before I burst!


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