On Saturday morning, I picked up my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Chapters and Julia's reserved copy from the library, and so began our Harry Potter weekend. For two days, I had to argue, negotiate, bribe and steal to get a turn with the book. Fortunately, I was able to exert my parental authority and send Kate off to bed at 9pm, thus reserving the book for a 3-hour stretch each evening. I read every chance I got and was in a hurry to finish the book before being exposed to any spoilers. Kate is particularly unreliable. She tries hard, but when she gets excited, words just slip out. Fortunately, I was able to stay ahead of her at all times.
We took only two major breaks from reading on the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the whole family, including Todd, went to see The Order of the Phoenix. It was very enjoyable, even if it didn't capture the best of the book. The movies never do the books justice, so not having high expectations, I didn't go home disappointed. On Sunday, we went to a family dinner at Todd's parents' home. Todd's brother Tim was visiting from England and we had the pleasure of seeing him, as well as a number of aunts, uncles and cousins. We did read in the car while Todd drove, but it was good to have some social interaction with real human beings (instead of wizards, goblins and elves) for a few hours.
I read late into the night yesterday but wisely left the final 50 pages for today, so I could fully enjoy them with a refreshed mind. I ended up leaving a little bit late for work this morning, but it was better to finish the novel, so I could get back to programming without distraction. Kate's almost finished too. She only has 40 pages to go and gave me a very bitter look when I insisted that it was lights-out time. Julia's nearly done too but hasn't shown the same level of obsessive behaviour.
So now the series is finished, and I am entirely satisfied with the conclusion. Like my beloved "Little House" series of books that I've had since childhood, I expect the seven Harry Potter books to be read over and over by myself and the kids in the years to come. Well done, J. K. Rowling!