The end, my friends, is nigh. Oh yes, the end is nigh and the sky is falling and the world as we know it will soon cease to exist. (And I feel fine.)

Beginning 36 hours from now, I will be observing radio silence, along with about 95% of the rest of the world. No phone calls, no television, no Internet, no nothing, until I have finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Nada, nothing, nil. Total media blackout.

Yes, I know that there are now just over 28 hours until the book is "legally" available, but while I am crazy in my own sorts of ways, I will not be one of those wackadoodle Hogwartsheads who will be camped outside the Barnes & Noble so that I can get my grubby little mitts on my very own personal copy the second it goes on sale. Let's not get crazy, now. Like any civilized person, I preordered my copy from Amazon, so I know it will come in due time. (Whee, Amazon Prime and free guaranteed publication-date delivery!)

Or, if it is not here by 7am, I will track that shit down and start stalking the UPS man, so help me Jeebus.

My plan at this point is to read all weekend long. Read, and probably nothing else, until I have finished all 700+ pages. I don't remember exactly, but I think that's what I did when the sixth and penultimate book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, came out. So far the weekend is shaping up nicely to encourage that sort of behavior: G has to work 2nd shift on Saturday, so for at least a few hours I will be here alone with no distractions.

If I play my cards right (and if I get to bed early enough on Friday night and/or sleep late enough on Saturday morning), I should be able to read all the way through at least once before I need to sleep - and by then, I expect, I will need the sweet escape of slumber.

The spoilers are out there, but except for the New York Times' review of the book, I haven't read any. I don't think the NYT article gives very much away, so I will reference it here, but if you want to remain totally blissfully ignorant until you read Harry's final adventures for yourself, then by Merlin's beard, DO NOT CLICK HERE.

I expect that at the end there will be some weeping and blubbering and rending of garments, and then after all is said and done ... what? I came late to the Potter party, not reading Sorcerer's Stone until just after Goblet of Fire came out and apparently shook the adolescent literary world to its core, so for me this is just the end of a series. A big one, definitely, but not the last book that will ever matter, and certainly not the last one that I will ever read.

Reading the Harry Potter books has revitalized my love of fantasy fiction, so I have sought out books that focus on the magical and the supernatural. I have discovered Cornelia Funke and her excellent Inkworld novels (Inkheart and Inkspell), and also the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. Both of these authors have more greatness to come, no doubt.

Also, I have expanded my collection of "adult" books and started reading more Christopher Moore, who is so amazing I just can't even tell you. Love this guy. If you've never heard of him, pick up Practical Demonkeeping and don't stop until you've read everything. Let me know when you get to Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff - I defy you to tell me it isn't one of the very best books ever written.

But, for now, until sometime on Saturday, I have to keep my Google-fu in check so I don't get ahead of myself and try to find out what happens to Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, Luna, and the rest of the D.A. What will become of McGonagall, Hagrid, Hogwarts, the Order, and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named? Who is R.A.B., and what really happened in Godric's Hollow that fateful night so many years ago, when the love of a mother saved her son and gave him phenomenal cosmic powers? Where is Sirius's flying motorbike?

My God ... what am I going to do when it's all over but the crying?

(Cross-posted at MySpace)

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