I have a confession to make. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. Not even one. Not even once. I’ve heard series spoilers up to book six. I’ve watched the movies because they were free to rent. I know how people can get obsessed. I’m not one of those people. And the only reason that I even knew that today was the official release of book seven was because of a few lingering bookstore ties.
For three of the seven book releases, I was an employee of a book retailer. But I somehow managed to avoid working those insane midnight parties every single time. One time I was on a writing retreat. Another time I was on my honeymoon. I think the first time (back when the hype was still somewhat contained) I was just overlooked.
So I went to a bookstore after lunch today, just a quick stop to exchange a birth book for a breastfeeding book, forgetting for a moment that this was no ordinary Saturday. It was a good thing that I only had to pee a little bit. Because that checkout line was holiday long.
Most people were in good spirits, though. But I was on the consumer side of things. I’m sure that there were plenty of irate Potter fans who somehow failed to preorder their copies despite the fact that signs have been up since January. I’m sure the staff went home exhausted in the wee hours of the morning and the ones that took over today will go home just as beat.
The reason I mention my trip to the bookstore amid the Potter-mania today was that I managed to start a conversation with a stranger. To most people, this would not be a big deal. But it’s different for me. I hesitate and hang back. I listen and hold my tongue waiting for the right time to say something, waiting for the right thing to say. Today, though, I heard a bit of conversation, a question I knew how to answer, and I chimed in. It ended up being a pleasant few minutes where I got to interact with someone new. I couldn’t tell you the strangers’ names, and they didn’t ask for mine, but it felt good anyway to make that connection. I should probably do it more often.